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Ultimate Chocolate Layer Cake

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Chocolate double layer cake
Golden_ie/Flickr/CC BY 2.0
This luscious chocolate layer cake with dark chocolate frosting is an irresistible temptation. It's the perfect cake to make for a birthday celebration or dinner party. The cake layers can be made ahead, wrapped well and refrigerated up to 3 days or frozen up to 3 months.

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Yield: Serves 8 to 10


  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • Chocolate Frosting
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup (1/2 stick) butter, at room temperature
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract


1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease and flour two 8-inch round cake pans.

2. In a small bowl, mix the cocoa and boiling water until blended and smooth.

3. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time and beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and salt.

4. Stir the baking soda into the buttermilk. Alternately add the buttermilk and flour to the batter, beating well after each addition until all is combined. Beat in the cocoa mixture until blended. Increase the mixer speed to high and beat for 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of bowl and beater a few times. Divide the batter between the prepared pans and spread evenly.

5. Bake until the cakes pull away from the sides of the pans and a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Set the cakes in the pans on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Turn the cakes out onto the racks. Turn right side up and cool to room temperature.

6. Make the frosting: In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar and cocoa until blended. In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter until smooth. Add 1 cup of the cocoa mixture and 1 tablespoon of the cream until blended. Repeat adding the cocoa mixture and cream until all is combined, and frosting is smooth and fluffy. Beat in vanilla and additional cream if necessary for desired consistency.

7. To assemble the cake: Trim the top of the cake layers with a long serrated knife, cutting off any raised areas. Place 1 cake layer on serving plate. Spread with 1 cup of frosting. Top with a second cake layer. Frost the sides and top with the remaining frosting.

Store the cake at cool room temperature until serving time; then refrigerate loosely covered up to 2 days.
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