Tuxedo Cake

in Cakes & Cupcakes, Chocolate, Project Pastry Queen, Valentine’s Day

Tuxedo Cake

It’s my turn to host Project Pastry Queen so I chose the very first recipe that I ever baked from the book – the reason I bought the book – the Tuxedo Cake.

People have always gone nuts over this cake, even before taking a bite into it. The mile high cake, the fluffy white frosting, and the beautifully contrasting chocolate glaze is an impressive sight. Inside is a moist chocolate cake filled with more fluffy white frosting.

The only changes I made to the original recipe was that I reduced the sugar from 4 cups and replaced the buttermilk with fat-free Greek yogurt (0% Fage). I love using it in baked goods because it keeps all the moisture in the cake without any of the fat. The recipe does call for one potentially hard-to-find ingredient: golden syrup. I fell in love with it and use it nearly exclusively in place of corn syrup now. You might try looking near the honey and syrup, on the International food aisle if you have a larger grocery store (it’s with the British foods in my store), or on the baking aisle near the corn syrup. If you can’t find it, this site has a suggested substitute (though I’ve never tried it).

Check out how the other Project Pastry Queen members tackled the tuxedo cake this week. I’m hoping someone went the cupcake route – because I curse myself for not doing it everytime I’m elbow-deep in still-too-hot chocolate glaze πŸ™‚

Tuxedo Cake

An impressive, moist chocolate cake, fluffy white whipped cream frosting, and chocolate glaze.


  • For the cake:
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk or fat-free Greek yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • For the frosting:
  • 4 cups chilled heavy whipping cream
  • 1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • For the glaze:
  • 4 oz dark chocolate
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 Tbsp Lyle's Golden Syrup
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • Chocolate-covered strawberries (optional)


  1. To make the cake, spray 3 9-inch pans (or two 10-inch pans) with nonstick spray and preheat oven to 350.
  2. Combine the butter, water, and canola oil in a medium sauce pan set over medium heat and cook just until butter has melted.
  3. In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the sugar, flour, and cocoa.
  4. Pour the butter mixture into the flour mixture and mix on low.
  5. Increase to medium and add one egg at a time.
  6. Add the buttermilk (or yogurt), followed by the baking soda, salt, and vanilla.
  7. Divide the batter evenly between the pans and bake for 30-40 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the center of the cakes comes out with moist crumbs attached.
  8. Let cool 10 minutes in pan and then turn out onto a rack to cool completely, about one hour.
  9. To make the frosting, whip the heavy cream on high until soft peaks form.
  10. Add the powdered sugar and whip until stiff peaks form.
  11. Level the cake layers, if necessary.
  12. Top the first layer with ~1/2-2/3 cup frosting, spread evenly, and then top with the second cake layer.
  13. Repeat and then cover the cake with remaining frosting.
  14. Refrigerate for one hour.
  15. Heat chopped chocolate, heavy cream, and golden syrup in a microwave safe bowl in 30 second intervals until completely melted, stirring in between.
  16. Stir in vanilla and stick in the fridge for 15-20 minutes to cool.
  17. Stir after chilling. The glaze should be pourable but very thick. I test a small spoonful down one side of the cake - if it stops running before it hits the bottom or just as it hits the bottom, it's done. If it's too thick, add a Tbsp or two more golden syrup or heat for 10 seconds in the microwave.
  18. Pour the thickened glaze over the top, gently pushing it towards the edges so it will overflow.
  19. Refrigerate until time to serve.
  20. Serve with chocolate-covered strawberries (optional). Leftovers will keep in a covered container in the fridge for a few days.


Yields: 1 3-layer, 9-inch cake

Adapted from The Pastry Queen

Estimated time: 3 hours

32 comments… add one
  • Gorgeous cake! I absolutely love the maroon background too.

  • Oh my word! Looks amazing.

  • What a beautiful cake, absolutely stunning and, if possible, it sounds even better than it looks!

  • Absolutely stunning!

  • I’m so excited about this because a new grocery store near me has a WHOLE SECTION devoted to British foods! I bet they have golden syrup there. Score.

    Plus, um. This is just super impressive.

  • I like the substitution of nonfat Greek yogurt for buttermilk. Thanks for the baking tip.

  • This is one of the prettiest cakes…ever? Love it!

  • What a stunner!

  • This is a very spectacular cake!

  • Wow, what a showstopper. I love the idea of substituting Greek yogurt, that is brilliant!

  • This looks gorgeous, Shawnda! Definitely saving this recipe to make later…

  • That is one stunning cake! I’m bookmarking this for special occasions!

  • Wish I had had strawberries to top mine and I love the suggestion you made on PPQ about 6″ pans for a mini cake. Perfect for elegant but intimate celebrations!

  • Shawnda, this cake and photo are just gorgeous. You always have incredible photos, but this one *snicker* really takes the cake πŸ™‚

  • i love, love, love tuxedo cake. I will have to put this on my to-do list.

  • Rosa


  • This cake is almost too pretty to eat!

  • OMG this looks amazing!!! It makes me drool!!!

  • Shawnda…just pinned this beauty!! What a dreamy cake πŸ™‚ Will post on FB too.

  • Wow. Just wow. I want to make it just so I can see its insides πŸ™‚

  • …amazing. That actually is dramatic enough for some sort of high-end halloween party xD

    • Maria – I totally agree! I actually thought of adding a few drops of orange food color gel to the frosting for a Halloween-y cake but I was serving it as a birthday cake πŸ™‚

  • This cake does look stunning and I am sure it is delicious. I went to Rebecca’s Rather Sweet Bakery recently and she does have some awesome treats. Great post.

  • Shawnda, I made cupcakes! They turned out really well, though definitely not as pretty as the full cake. Of course, my picture-taking skills are nowhere near as good as yours either. But anyway, I posted the link over at the PPQ page.

  • Ali

    Wow!! I’ve never seen a cake so amazingly beautiful. Such a beautiful post, love the pic. Thanks for sharing.

  • Anna

    This is love at first sight! I don’t want to even try the bite because I don’t want to ruin its appearance. This is just so pretty! Well, I may just have to take a lot of pictures and eventually dive into biting it! It isn’t a real beauty if you haven’t tasted it! LOL! πŸ˜‰

  • Such a stunning cake!

  • Miranda

    I just made this – and it looks great, but it’s nowhere near as tall and narrow as this picture is. Did you use the 9 inch pans? Were they deeper than normal? I love the tall look, but I’m not sure how you got it with only 3 9 inch pans!

  • So, how did you get it SO tall? I found you though another blog that used your recipe and her cake wasn’t even close to as tall and striking as yours… did you use smaller pans and do more layers? I would love to make this for a date-night-in with my man! It’s gorgeous! Thanks for your help.

    • You can bake it in 8-inch pans. For extra lift, you can split each layer horizontally and fill them, essentially making a 6-layer cake but you’ll need it increase the frosting recipe by half to make up for it. You also can cut the recipe in half and get 4 6-in layers. That makes an even taller (and unstable) cake so I don’t recommend stacking on that 4th layer. I made the mistake a couple years ago and ended up serving it as “Tuxedo trifle.”

  • Question: do you bake all three cakes in the oven at once? Or did you bake one at a time?

  • I meant to comment earlier, but I just want to say that this cake is absolutely amazing!! I’ve always had a special place in my heart for anything “tuxedo,” and with my friend’s birthday coming up, what better gift could there be than a homemade delicious tuxedo birthday cake? This is truly an impressive and delectable treat. I just had to blog about it, with credit to you of course! Feel free to check it out if you’d like! Thank you again for this wonderful recipe.


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