Best Chocolate Layer Cake (adapted from America’s Test Kitchen)
Author's Notes: Moist, chocolaty perfection. This is the chocolate cake you've been dreaming of that is perfect for any occasion!
Best Chocolate Layer Cake (adapted from America’s Test Kitchen) Print Recipe
Serves 8-10 • Ready in 45min
- 12 Tbsp. Butter softened (very soft) + extra for greasing pans
- 1 ¾ Cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- 4 oz. Scharffenberger Unsweetened Chocolate**, coarsely chopped
- ¼ Cup Lake Champlain Dutch-processed Cocoa**
- ½ Cup Hot Water
- 1 ¾ Cup Granulated Sugar
- 1 ½ Tsp. Baking Soda
- 1 Tsp. Kosher Salt**
- 1 Cup Buttermilk
- 2 Tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract**
- 4 Large Eggs
- 2 Large Egg Yolks
- 6 oz. Scharffenberger Unsweetened Chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 6 Tbsp. Hot Water
- 4 Cups Powdered Sugar, sifted
- 2 Large Eggs
- 2 Tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract**
- 2/3 Cups Butter, softened
- Adjust oven rack to middle position, heat oven to 350˚F. Grease two 9” round cake pans with softened butter; dust with flour and knock out excess.
- Combine chocolate, cocoa powder and hot water in the top of a double boiler with the bottom containing 1”-2” of simmering water. Stir with rubber or silicone spatula until chocolate is melted. Add ½ cup sugar to chocolate mixture and stir until thick and glossy (1-2 minutes).
- Remove top bowl from heat and set aside to cool. Whisk together flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Combine buttermilk and vanilla in a small bowl. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk eggs and yolks on medium-low speed until combined. Add remaining 1 ¼ cups sugar, increase speed to high, and whisk until fluffy and lightened in color (2-3 minutes).
- Replace whisk with paddle attachment (preferably with a silicone edge). Add cooled chocolate mixture to egg/sugar mixture and mix on medium speed until thoroughly incorporated (pause to scrape down sides if not using a silicone edged paddle).
- Add softened butter, one tablespoon at a time, mixing about 10 seconds between each addition. Add about one-third of flour mixture followed by half of buttermilk mixture, mixing until incorporated after each addition. Repeat using half of remaining flour and all of remaining buttermilk; (don’t worry if the mixture appears separated).
- Add remaining flour mixture, mix at medium-low speed until batter is thoroughly combined. Remove bowl from mixer and fold batter once or twice with spatula to incorporate any remaining flour.
- Divide batter evenly between prepared cake pans; smooth batter to edges of pan with your spatula. Bake until toothpick inserted into the cener comes out with a few crumbs attached, 24-30 minutes.
- Cool cakes in pans 15 minutes, then invert onto wire rack. Completely cool cakes to room temperature before frosting. Frost with Aunt Hannah’s No-Cook Chocolate Frosting.
- Melt chocolate in top of a double boiler, until melted.
- Remove from heat and using an electric mixer, blend in the hot water (you can use the water from the bottom of the double boiler), then mix in the powdered sugar until fully incorporated.
- Add eggs one at a time, mixing in completely before adding another. When eggs have been fully incorporated, add the vanilla and softened butter and beat until thoroughly combined.
- The frosting will be thin at this point so place pan in bowl of ice water and continue beating until frosting is spreading consistency. You will see that it will become significantly lighter as you beat it. Frost cake and enjoy!