I’m conflicted when it comes to cakes. I love to bake, but I like to keep it on the easy side. If the recipe is too fussy, I just don’t have the patience for it.
To that end, this chocolate cake is really easy to make.
It’s moist, dense, and dotted with half-molten dark chocolate chips.
I frosted it with a simple chocolate buttercream, made with dark cocoa powder and laced with a healthy amount of Scotch. (The scotch is optional…but it gives it amazing flavor.)
The result? This thing is sinful.
Friends were coming for dinner, and it was Miss. S’s birthday.
This made the perfect birthday cake.
Oh, and not crazy about Scotch? Substitute amaretto or Kahlua. You get the idea.
She’s a kindred baking spirit, in that she does step-by-step photos to show you exactly how to assemble her amazing cakes.
I’ve only started to attack this book. I’ll do a proper review sometime soon. (Can’t wait? Order your own copy here.)
The cakes are totally bananas. If you’re an adventurous baker, you have to check it out.
Easy Chocolate Layer Cake
For the cake
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1 tsp. baking soda
Pinch of salt
2 large eggs
1 cup Greek yogurt
2 tsps. vanilla extract
1/2 cup hot water
1 cup dark chocolate chips
For the buttercream frosting
1 cup butter, room temperature (that’s 2 sticks)
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp. vanilla extract
8 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup scotch or bourbon
1/2 cup heavy cream
Makes a 9-inch layer cake with 2 layers
Do a little prep
Line two 9-inch round cake pans with parchment paper and set aside.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
Make the cake batter
Whisk them together until well combined.
Toss in the eggs, Greek yogurt, and vanilla. Beat until just uniform.
Add the hot water and chocolate chips, and beat until just uniform.
Your batter will be thick and drippy, like this:
Divide the batter evenly between your two prepared cake pans.
Bake the cakes
Pop the cakes into your preheated, 350-degree F oven. Bake for 20-23 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
When the cakes are done, yank them out of the oven.
Cool them on a rack for about 10 minutes, then remove them from the pans, peel the parchment off (discard it), and cool the cakes completely on a rack.
Make the buttercream frosting
Put the butter (make sure it’s at room temperature), cocoa powder, and vanilla in the bowl of your stand mixer (or in a large mixing bowl if you’re mixing by hand).
Beat until uniform.
Add the confectioner’s sugar to the bowl a little at a time, thinning it out with a drizzle of scotch each time.
Mix to completely incorporate before you add more. When you’ve added in all the sugar and scotch, beat in the heavy cream.
WARNING: Truly do this a little at a time, or you’re going to get covered in sugar if you add too much to the bowl.
Trust me. I speak from experience. 😉
Your final buttercream should be thick and stand up in stiff peaks, like this:
Fill and frost the cake
When the cakes are totally cooled and the buttercream is made, you’re ready to fill and frost your layer cake.
Don’t do this until the cakes are completely cool. Any heat from the cake will make the buttercream melt off.
Spread on a thick layer of buttercream, pushing it right to the edges.
Plop the second cake on top.
Working from the top down, frost the rest of the cake.
When you’re done, run the flat edge of a knife around the cake to even out the shape if necessary.
Then wipe off any excess frosting with a damp paper towel.
And, voila! One chocolate layer cake. No muss. No fuss.
Serve and enjoy!
Serve fat wedges with steaming cups of espresso or tall glasses of cold milk.
Will keep in the fridge, well wrapped, for 3-4 days.