Sean is a serious chocolate-lover, and it just so happens that his birthday is today. What better way to celebrate than with a ridiculously chocolatey cake? Though I’ve been eyeing quite a few of the recipes in Joy the Baker’s newest cookbook, this is the first that I’ve made from it. Just like the rest of her of her recipes, this one is right on target.
I now have both of her cookbooks (the first one can be found here: Joy the Baker Cookbook: 100 Simple and Comforting Recipes), and love them both. They’re full of really delicious, easy to make, recipes, and the photos are so gorgeous.
Prior to this, I didn’t really have a go-to chocolate cake recipe. But honestly, I don’t know that I need another one after trying this recipe out. For one thing, it’s perfectly moist, something I’ve found hard to come by in chocolate cakes (maybe this is just me?). It’s also perfectly chocolatey, and not too sweet, which is nice. No one wants their teeth to hurt from an overly sweet dessert.
Even though she didn’t get to sample it, Maeby was a diligent helper and supervisor in the kitchen.
These recipes come from Joy Wilson’s new cookbook, Homemade Decadence: Irresistibly Sweet, Salty, Gooey, Sticky, Fluffy, Creamy, Crunchy Treats.
Basic Three-Layer Chocolate Cake
- 3 cups cake flour
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 tbs vanilla extract
- 2 cups buttermilk
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare three 9-inch round baking pans by either: 1) greasing and flouring; or 2) lining the bottoms with parchment paper (trace the pan and cut out the circle) and grease the sides. Set the pans aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugars together on medium speed for 3-4 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating for a minute or so after adding each egg. Add the vanilla extract.
Lower the speed of the mixer to low, add half of the flour mixture, and beat until it is well-incorporated. Slowly stream in the buttermilk until it is all combined. Add the remaining flour mixture and beat until it is just combined. Finish stirring everything with a spatula, if necessary.
Divide the batter between the 3 pans. You can use a small kitchen scale to weigh the pans to ensure even amounts of batter in each if you like. Or you could just eyeball it.
Bake the cakes for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick or knife comes out clean when inserted into the center. Rotate the pans about halfway through to ensure even baking.
Let the cakes cool in the pans for about 20 minutes before turning them out onto wire racks to finish cooling completely.
You can double-wrap the cakes in plastic wrap or foil and store them in the freezer if you aren’t going to frost them immediately. Actually, freezing the cakes can make them a bit easier to frost!
Whenever you’re ready to frost, you’ll want to put a dollop of frosting on top of the first cake, smooth it around, stack another cake and add more frosting, smoothing it around. Add the third cake on top, and frost the rest! You can use whatever frosting recipe floats your boat, but I used the one from Joy’s cookbook (below).
Glossy Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting
- 1 lb semisweet or dark chocolate, coarsely chopped (or use chocolate chips!)
- 2 cups sour cream
- 1/4 cup light corn syrup
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
Using a double boiler (a heat-proof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water), melt the chocolate. Let the chocolate cool for a few minutes.
While the chocolate is melting, whisk together the sour cream, corn syrup, vanilla, and salt. Add the sour cream mixture to the cooled chocolate. Allow the frosting to cool to room temperature. The longer it cools, the thicker it will become. When it has thickened to your desired consistency, frost your cake!
I chose to top the cake with mini chocolate chips, but that’s optional.