A triple threat to chocolate: a rich, moist chocolate cake covered in chocolate frosting and decorated with chocolate chips.
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About Triple Chocolate Layer Cake
So I turned to an old friend of mine and said, “I’ve decided I need to bake something sweet. We’ve earned it. What are you in the mood for?”
He wasted no time with his answer: “Cake. Chocolate cake.”
Well, that was easy. If only all of our decisions about food were handled this quickly!
Baking a cake from scratch would cross off yet another item on my cooking bucket list, so I was more than happy to take a crack at it. Cake has always seemed like a fundamental achievement in baking, but I’m sure a huge part of that is because nearly half the baking isle in the grocery store is devoted to boxes of cake mix.
All those boxes make it seem like cake making is this impenetrable hurdle of skill and complexity conquerable only by uber chefs (try saying that 5 times fast), but really it’s not. No, my friends, baking a cake from scratch is so not as hard as Betty Crocker would like you to think it is. She’s being tricksy with you.
So I had my battle plan for sugar: provide an old friend of mine with chocolate cake. But which recipe to use? That turned out to be an easy answer, too: I immediately thought of a recipe I had stumbled across forever ago on Sally’s Baking Addiction for Triple Chocolate Layer Cake.
But why did I think of this cake?
Well, other than the fact that it fulfilled the requirement for chocolate (3 times over, I might add!) the picture stood in my memory out because the chocolate chip decorations kind of make the cake look like it has spikes. A ferocious cake! And why would I care about spikes on a cake, you ask? You might remember that an old friend of mine and I are a couple of gamer nerds, and last Thursday marked the release of World of Warcraft’s latest expansion Warlords of Draenor (insert excited squeal here). So in honor of my joining forces with the Horde once again, a spiky cake seemed more than appropriate. And kick ass! For the Horde!
Ahem. Sorry, the nerdiness got away from me for a second there.
Sorry, the nerdiness got away from me for a second there.
The name of this cake might be a little misleading, since there are actually only two layers in this cake. The “triple” part just means that chocolate is used 3 times: chocolate cake, chocolate frosting, chocolate decoration. Quest for chocolate cake: completed!
Other notes for this recipe
- The eggs need to be warmed up to room temperature (so NOT straight from the fridge and cold) which you can achieve by putting the eggs in warm water for 5-10 minutes.
- The frosting uses a lot of powdered sugar, about 3-4 cups depending on your taste and preferences for consistency. If you’re like me and didn’t quite have enough powdered sugar, you can substitute 1/2 cup powdered sugar for 1/3 cup granulated sugar. But be warned – your frosting will seem a tad bit… crunchy when you use any granulated sugar. That’s just the difference between the two – powder will absorb into the butter, granules will not. I had to use about 2/3 cup granulated sugar to make up for what I was missing in powdered and my frosting still tasted great.
Before I close out this post and give you the goods (you know, the recipe) I have to fangirl about this cake for just a moment: I honestly, truly don’t think I’ve ever had a more moist and fluffy cake. And I really wanted to add a “trust me, I’ve had a lot of cake” endorsement to that point, but let’s be real here – I think we’ve all had a lot of cake in our day.
We’re all cake connoisseurs and as one for your fellow brethren I’m telling you this cake is the real deal. I didn’t even know cake could be like this.
And a cake like this has certainly never existed in one of those boxes in the bakery isle.
Good thing an old friend of mine likes chocolate cake, cause there will certainly be a lot of it in his future now!
Triple Chocolate Layer Cake
Devil's Food Chocolate Layer Cake
- 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil, or canola oil, or melted coconut oil
- 2 egg, large & at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup coffee, strong, hot, and freshly brewed
Prepare the Cake
- Place eggs in warm water (to get them room temperature) for 5-10 minutes while you complete the next step.
- Sift together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium sized bowl, then set aside.
- Pour the batter into prepared cake pans and bake for 23-27 minutes or until a toothpick tester comes out clean.
- Place cakes (still in the pan) on a wire cooling rack. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
Prepare the Frosting
- Use a stand mixer (or a hand mixer + large bowl) on high speed to beat the softened butter until smooth and creamy, roughly 2 minutes.
- Drop speed to low and slowly add 3 to 4 cups of powdered sugar and the cocoa powder. Add more or less sugar depending on how thick or sweet you want the frosting to be. As mentioned above, you can substitute 1/2 cup powdered sugar for 1/3 cup granulated sugar, but the frosting will be heavy and crunchy. Using powdered sugar is highly recommended.
- Continue mixing until the sugar and cocoa is completely absorbed into the butter, roughly 2 minutes.
- Turn up the mixer to medium and add the vanilla and heavy cream. Once combined, turn mixer up to high and continue to beat for 1 minute.
- Taste test the frosting and add more sugar, cream, or salt as desired. This frosting is very forgiving and easy to balance to your tastes.
Putting to all Together
- Place the first cake layer, flat side up, on a plate or cake stand.
- With a knife or spatula, spread a thick layer of frosting on top.
- Place the second lake layer on top, rounded side up. Spread the frosting evenly on the top and the sides of the cake.
- Decorate with chocolate chips as desired. The cake pictured took 15 minutes to decorate.
- Cake can be stored in an air tight container on the counter for 4 days or covered in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.
I do my best to provide nutrition information, but please keep in mind that I'm not a certified nutritionist. Any nutritional information discussed or disclosed in this post should only be seen as my best amateur estimates of the correct values.