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A large decadent slice of chocolate cake sits on a white plate. The cake is slathered with chocolate ganache and filled with vanilla mousse filling. There is a white rose on top of the cake.
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4.48 from 19 votes

Chocolate Cake with Ganache and Vanilla Mousse Filling

This is a chocolate cake to put other chocolate cakes to shame! The basic cake is built around some cake mix hacks to keep the baking simple but with true homemade flavor. The vanilla mousse filling is also very easy to whip up. Instead of having to fuss with frosting the cake you just pour an easy ganache over the top layer – chocolate and done! Please note that this cake is best served chilled and that the leftovers have to be refrigerated.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Cooling Time1 hr
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: best chocolate cake, moist chocolate cake, easy chocolate cake, vanilla mousse, ganache, csotco vanilla mousse cake filling recipe, doctored cake mix
Servings: 12
Calories: 868kcal


For the Cake

  • 1 package Devil’s food cake mix 15.25oz Betty Crocker Preferred
  • 1 package vanilla instant pudding mix 3.3 or 3.4oz
  • 1 cup low fat plain yogurt can sub any plain yogurt any fat content
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • ½ cup warm water
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

For the Vanilla Mousse Filling

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 small box vanilla instant pudding mix 3.3 or 3.4 oz

For the Ganache Frosting

  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 cups real semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup salted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  • Tip: A great cake is baked in such a way that it rises flat and doesn't need to be leveled! The sides and bottom will be more tender and the entire cake is taller and more fluffy. See the full tutorial here.

To Make the Cake

  • Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line two 9” round cake pans with parchment paper and grease the sides.
  • Combine everything for the cake except the chocolate chips.
  • Beat on low speed with an electric mixer for two minutes, scraping the bowl as needed. Alternately beat by hand for two minutes. (Failing to beat for two full minutes will result in a cake that does not rise.)
  • Stir in chocolate chips.
  • Divide the batter into the pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs but no actual batter. 25-30 minutes
  • Cool on rack until cake is completely cool

To Make the Vanilla Mousse Filling

  • This filling sets up quickly so be ready to put it on the cake as soon as it is made.
  • When the cake has cooled place the first layer of cake on your plate or cake stand.
  • Add whipping cream, powdered sugar and vanilla extract to a large bowl or stand mixer. Whip on high for a few minutes until peaks form.
  • Add the pudding mix and beat on slow speed until combined. Scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula making sure all the pudding mixture is incorporated.
  • Continue to beat on slow speed just until the mousse has become thick and creamy.
  • Spread all of the filling on the cake – it will be about 1” thick.
  • Place the 2nd layer of cake on top of the filling and then prepare the frosting.

To Make the Ganache Frosting

  • In a large sauce pan over medium heat, bring cream to a simmer. You do not have to stir but watch that it does not go past a simmer.
  • Add chocolate chips and brown sugar. Stir until all the chips are melted, removing from heat when they are half melted.
  • Add the butter, vanilla and salt. Stir until combined and the sauce is smooth without any sugar grains.
  • Let sauce cool for 10 minutes and then pour over the cake. Start pouring over the middle of the top and gently spread out to the sides until the frosting drips down over the sides.
  • Place finished cake into the refrigerator until ready to serve. This cake is best served chilled.
  • Leftovers should be refrigerated and will be good up to three days.


When it comes to boxes of cake mix not all brands are created equal. Personally, I always buy Betty Crocker as the quality is the best of all the name brands. I suggest starting with a good quality Devil’s food cake mix for the best results.


Calories: 868kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 45g | Saturated Fat: 27g | Cholesterol: 163mg | Sodium: 139mg | Potassium: 296mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 1243IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 114mg | Iron: 2mg