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Fudgy Chocolate Layer Cake

December 7, 2010
A lot of my family and friends are born between late November to late February (including me! January baby in the house!) so I call this stretch the “Cake Eating Season.” It also gives me time to practise baking and decorating cakes and trying out new recipes. For my cousin’s 17th birthday, he requested a chocolate cake. I was about to make this and call it a day (it really is the best chocolate cake ever) but I decided to try a layer cake instead. I went on the Food & Wine website, searched for chocolate cake and picked the one that looked the most delicious and easy enough for a non-professional baker.

And then I found it. Fudgy Chocolate Layer Cake. Impressive name, huh?


Fudgy Chocolate Layer Cake *Recipe by Andrew Shotts*
1½ cups sugar
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2½ tsp baking powder
1½ tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
1 cup buttermilk
3 large eggs
2½ tsp pure vanilla extract
6 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1 cup hot coffee

Filling and Frosting
1¼ pounds bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped ( I used milk chocolate)
1 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp light corn syrup
5 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp water


*I wanted a tall cake so I doubled the cake portion of the recipe (so I got 6 layers although I ended up using only 5) and did a 1½ portion of the frosting recipe.*


-Preheat the oven to 325°f/165°c . Line the bottoms of three 8-inch round cake pans with rounds of parchment paper. Spray the pans and the parchment paper with vegetable cooking spray.
-In a large bowl, whisk the sugar with the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a small bowl, whisk the buttermilk with the eggs and vanilla. In another small bowl, melt the butter in the hot coffee. Using an electric mixer, beat half of the buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients at low speed. Beat in half of the coffee mixture, then scrape down the bowl. Beat in the remaining buttermilk and coffee mixtures.



*Please note that the batter will be very runny (I initially thought that I had screwed the recipe up somehow) but have faith! All will be well after baking!*


-Pour the batter evenly between the prepared pans and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking, until the cakes are springy to the touch. Let the cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then turn the cakes out onto a rack to cool completely. Peel off the parchment paper.



-Put the chocolate in a large bowl. In a small saucepan, bring the cream and corn syrup to a boil. Immediately pour over the chocolate and let stand in a warm place for 5 minutes. Gently whisk the ganache until smooth. Whisk in the butter until incorporated. Refrigerate, stirring frequently, until the ganache is thick enough to spread, about 30 minutes.



-In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the sugar with the water and heat for 30 seconds. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Set a cake layer on a cake plate or cake cardboard and brush lightly with the sugar syrup. Spread about ¾ cup of the frosting onto the cake in an even ¼inch layer. Repeat with the remaining cake layers, sugar syrup and frosting. Spread the remaining frosting around the sides of the cake. Let the cake stand at room temperature for at least 1 hour before slicing.


*I refrigerated the frosting overnight and then beat it with a mixer for about a minute or two before using because I love whipped ganache frosting, it gives the ganache a bit of a mousse like texture (just a bit!) and makes it generally even more lickable! I also skipped the sugar water step because I didn’t want the cake to be too sweet and at that time the texture of the cake seemed fine without it so… yeah.*


I decorated the cake with crushed Crunchies because life is short.



And of course, the money shot. Cake Innards.

This cake is perfectly adequate for a birthday celebration of a chocolate fanatic. I think perhaps I shouldn’t have skipped the sugar water step. The cake wasn’t dry but it was a bit on the hard side, from being refrigerated the whole day. But the frosting? Definitely a keeper. I love love love the consistency of the ganache, it was stiff and held its shape (it’s weird to describe frosting like this, I know) and pretty much perfect for cakes and cupcakes that need to be transported, for picnics and such. Bookmarked!

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Chi Chi permalink
    December 8, 2010 5:07 AM


  2. December 11, 2010 11:38 PM

    The ONLY cake I will eat is chocolate on chocolate cake. Seeing this recipe brought me back to my childhood and how I still ONLY eat chocolate cake. This is a different take to my fav but I really LIKE this recipe… thanks for sharing

    • rebelwithoutasauce permalink*
      December 12, 2010 12:01 AM

      aww, thanks for enjoying the post! :)

  3. Chelsea permalink
    February 14, 2011 6:08 AM

    Wow great recipe! The cake looks amazing, I really want to try it. My family are just big cake eaters in general, I’m sure they’ll love it. Can’t beat ganache!

    • rebelwithoutasauce permalink*
      February 14, 2011 6:45 PM

      i hope you try this recipe although the ganache>the actual cake itself! :)

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