In the Kitchen

Double Chocolate Layer Cake

Today I thought I would share with you my favourite chocolate cake recipe. This is the best chocolate cake recipe I have ever used. Always works, always raved over by all who eat it. It’s incredibly rich but so utterly delicious. Thanks to eldest sister introducing it to me, it’s been my go-to cake recipe for a few years now!

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And I’ve used it a lot lately… well, twice in the past month to be exact. The first was for Kendra’s little boy’s first birthday. She gave me the freedom to choose what kind of cake I made so I of course knew I was going to make my chocolate cake. In terms of shape/theme, I gave Kendra the options of a) cake in the shape of a #1, b) monster cake, c) lion, or d) car or other vehicle. She decided on monster as they call him “the beast” (you’ll have to ask her why… I can’t give you a definite reason). I was excited by her choice as I knew I could have a lot of fun with it. He is such a wonderful little boy, full of energy and personality and I wanted to give him a cake that matched! I looked at a lot of pictures and decided to do my own thing combining of a lot of ideas. Of all the websites I saw, there were lots of pictures but no one said how they did it or what icing tips they used. Maybe people keep it a secret because if you knew what tips they used it would be too easy to make! But I’m going to give you the inside scoop and tell you, if you have the right tips, making a fun cake is so so easy.

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The bottom layer used tip 233. In the books, it’s most often used for grass. I just took a few squeezes to practice in my bowl before putting it on the cake, but it was fairly simple. The longer you squeeze, the longer the hair looked. You do need to make sure your icing is firm enough to keep the shape though so make sure it’s not too warm or runny.

For the middle layer, I used tip 18. Not much to say about it other than take a few practice squeezes to learn what pressure to use and for how long.

The top layer finally used tip 21. Do the same practice again. How you apply the pressure and release the pressure makes all the difference.

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If you’re wondering about how I made the icing, I always use buttercream. In my opinion it has the best flavour and it’s super easy to make. I just use the recipe on the back of the icing sugar bag, adding more milk if I want it to be thinner.

  • 1 cup (250 mL) butter
  • 4 cups (500 g) icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) milk
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) pure vanilla extract

Beat the butter until smooth. Mix in icing sugar slowly. Once all of it is added, add the milk and vanilla. If needed, add more milk until the desired consistency is reached. From there, tint as desired. I use gel food colours because the colours you can get are so much more vibrant!

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The second time I used this chocolate cake recipe was for a lovely friend B’s baby shower. It seems that everyone in our group of close friends is having boys lately, but hooray, there is finally a girl on her way. We went all out girly on the shower and did a ballerina theme. I wanted to keep the cake simple, pretty and elegant so I went with the large rosettes. The tip I used was 1C. For these bigger tips, you need a bigger coupler (the plastic thing that secures the metal tip. Also, the larger tip doesn’t fit in my icing bag so I just use a plastic baggie (aka ziploc). You can buy disposable icing bags that work great, but I just keep forgetting to buy them. Or I could invest in reusable bags, probably a better idea, but I just haven’t… one day. Just a warning about using these big tips, you need a lot of icing! I almost ran out on the cake and I made a double batch of icing… so make lots!!! Happy baking!

Double Chocolate Layer Cake

Makes 3 8-inch cakes

  • 3 oz fine-quality semisweet chocolate
  • 1 ½ cups (375 mL) hot brewed coffee
  • 3 cups (750 mL) sugar
  • 2 ½ cups (625 mL) all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups (375 mL) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) baking soda
  • ¾ tsp (4 mL) baking powder
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • ¾ cup (175 mL) vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ cups (375 mL) well-shaken buttermilk or sour milk*
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) pure vanilla extract

*sour milk: add 1 tsp (5 mL) vinegar or lemon juice to milk just before adding to batter

  1. Preheat oven to 300°F (150°C) and grease 3 8-inch pans. Line bottoms with rounds of parchment paper and grease paper.
  2. Finely chop chocolate and in a bowl combine with hot coffee. Let mixture stand, stirring occasionally, until chocolate is melted.
  3. Into a large bowl mix together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In another large bowl with an electric mixer beat eggs until thickened slightly and lemon coloured (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 and beat on medium speed until just combined well. Divide batter between pans and bake in middle of oven until a tester inserted in centre comes out clean, 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes.
  4. Cool layers completely in pans on racks. Run a thin knife around edges of pans and invert layers onto racks. Carefully remove parchment paper and cool layers completely. Cake layers may be made 1 day ahead and kept, wrapped well in plastic wrap, at room temperature.

Tip: Can also be used for cupcakes. I got 34 cupcakes from the recipe and baked them for 35-40 minutes.

From epicurious.com which cited from: GOURMET MARCH 1999 ENGINE CO. NO. 28, LOS ANGELES CA

  1. Kendra's Mom

    July 27, 2016 at 1:33 pm

    Looks beautiful Clarey!!!

    1. Clarey

      July 28, 2016 at 1:32 pm

      Thank you so much!

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