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Monday, March 9, 2009

Double (or Triple) Chocolate Layer Cake

I first heard about this cake last year on the Today Show, where they reported that it was the most popular recipe at  I made it for my sister's birthday, and we loved it!  My dad said it was one of the best chocolate cakes he's ever had.  He doesn't often give out compliments, so it means a lot.  The picture is really unfortunate looking - I apologize.  I made it at my parents' house, and my mom didn't have any 10-inch pans, so I used two 8-inch pans and a 9-inch pan, which explains why the cake is a little bottom-heavy.  I just made the normal amount of frosting, so it didn't cover completely, but it was still good!  I'm sure it would be even better made the right way.  Looking back, I probably should have just done two 9-inch pans and used the leftover batter to make a few cupcakes!
Double Chocolate Layer Cake

For cake layers:
3 ounces fine-quality semisweet chocolate such as Callebaut
1 1/2 cups hot brewed coffee
3 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
3 large eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups well-shaken buttermilk
3/4 teaspoon vanilla

For ganache frosting:
1 pound fine-quality semisweet chocolate such as Callebaut
1 cup heavy cream
2 Tablespoons sugar
2 Tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter

Special equipment:
Two 10- by 2-inch round cake pans

Make cake layers:
Preheat oven to 300F and grease pans.  Line bottoms with rounds of wax paper and grease paper.

Finely chop chocolate and in a bowl combine with hot coffee.  Let mixture stand, stirring occasionally, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.

Into a large bowl sift together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  In another bowl with an electric mixer beat eggs until thickened slightly and lemon colored (about 3 minutes with a standing mixer or 5 minutes with a hand-held mixer).  Slowly add oil, buttermilk, vanilla, and melted chocolate mixture to eggs, beating until combined well.  Add sugar mixture on medium speed until just combined well.  Divide batter between pans and bake in middle of oven until tested inserted in center comes out clean, 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes.

Cool layers completely in pans on racks.  Run a thin knife around edges of pan and invert layers onto racks.  Carefully remove wax paper and cool layers completely.  Cake layers may be made 1 day ahead and kept, wrapped well in plastic wrap, at room temperature.

Make frosting:
Finely chop chocolate.  In a 1 1/2- to 2-quart saucepan bring cream, sugar, and corn syrup to a boil over moderately low heat, whisking until sugar is dissolved.  Remove pan from heat and add chocolate, whisking until chocolate is melted.  Cut butter into pieces and add to frosting, whisking until smooth.

Transfer frosting to a bowl and cool, stirring occasionally, until spreadable (depending on chocolate used it may be necessary to chill frosting to spreadable consistency).

Spread frosting between cake layers and over top and sides.  Cake keeps, covered and chilled, 3 days.  Bring cake to room temperature before serving.

Source:  Adapted from


  1. This looks really amazing. I love chocolate cakes with buttermilk. The quesadillas look great too.

  2. Oh - that looks SO good. You know a chocolate cake with both coffee and buttermilk is going to be delicious!

  3. yum! there's nothing better than a perfect chocolate cake! looks delicious, megan!

  4. I might just have to give this cake a try!

  5. I'm Meghan's sister, for whom this cake was made. I can attest that it was absolutely DELICIOUS! It was so nice that Meghan went to all the trouble of baking a 3 layer chocolate cake for my birthday. I felt so special. Thanks, Meghan! :)

  6. Looks like the blog is really coming along, and how sweet of you to make a cake for your sister!


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