New This Month

Chocolate Layer Cake


This recipe, from Cynthia Avice of Lusby, Maryland, calls for a cup of freshly brewed coffee to be added to the batter. You won't taste it in the finished cake; the coffee is there to intensify the flavor of the chocolate.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 10

Source: Everyday Food, September 2005


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, plus more for pans
  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup strong coffee, cooled
  • 1 package (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips, (2 cups)
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/3 cup milk


  1. Make cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 8-inch round cake pans. Line bottom of pans with parchmentpaper rounds; butter parchment. Set pans aside.

  2. Heat butter and chocolate in a bowl set over (not in) a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally, until almost melted. Remove from heat; stir until completely melted.

  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together granulated sugar, flour, baking soda, and salt. In a large bowl, combine sour cream and eggs; whisk in coffee. Gradually add dry ingredients then chocolate mixture, stirring until just combined. Divide batter equally among prepared pans.

  4. Place pans on same rack in oven; bake, rotating pans halfway through, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool in pans 10 minutes; run a knife along edge of cakes, then invert onto a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

  5. Make frosting: Heat chocolate and butter in a mixer bowl set over (not in) a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally, until almost melted. Remove from heat; stir until completely melted.

  6. With mixer on low speed, add vanilla and salt. Gradually add confectioners' sugar and milk in alternating batches; beat until smooth. Let stand 5 minutes.

  7. To frost cake, place a cake layer bottom side up, on a serving plate (tuck strips of waxed or parchment paper under edge of cake), spread about 3/4 cup frosting over the top. Place the other cake layer on top; cover assembled cake with remaining frosting.

Reviews Add a comment

  • Sienna
    17 MAR, 2013
    This cake was good, but turned out super sweet and not very chocolate-y. I enjoyed the cake itself, albeit not very dark, however the frosting tasted like fudge! It was so sweet that it overpowered the chocolate. Next time I would find a different, creamier, and darker-chocolate frosting. Seriously, 2 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar is way over the top.
  • Mimi001
    23 JUL, 2011
    this cake turned out with a lovely texture. I baked the layers barely 30 minutes to ensure a moist tender cake. I also tweaked the frosting by using 1/3 cup sour cream in place of the 1/3 cup milk, but added 1 plusTBS milk to get a nice spreading consistency. I baked this for my sister in love when she came home from the hospital.This cake made everyone feel better! Thanks for sharing.
  • tudorfarmgirl
    9 JAN, 2009
    I am glad the directions are updated. This is a wonderful cake. I get asked for the recipe frequently. Many people ask me to bring this cake. It's become a staple.
  • Alison
    22 AUG, 2008
    The directions and ingredients have been updated and are now correct. Enjoy your cake!
  • grace26
    15 JUN, 2008
    Terrible directions!!!! What is the powdered sugar, vanilla extract