Chocolate Layer Cake

4.7 from 13 reviews

Chocolate Layer Cake

This chocolate layer cake is long pending. I made it for my mother’s birthday in January but didn’t get time to blog about it until now. If you are a fan of the “I can’t believe its chocolate cake” recipe, I’m pretty sure that this one is going to be your favorite too. My mom’s birthday was special this year because we got to be together on her birthday after 7 years. It’s not that I haven’t been to India or she has not visited us in the past 7 years. Actually I have been lucky enough to spend time with her every year since 2003 except for 2007. But we never got to meet during our birthdays. This year it so happened that she was visiting us for helping with the baby and fortunately we got to be together on her birthday.

So this called for a special something. I was so excited to bake for her when I found a decadent chocolate layer cake in a magazine. It was pretty simple and used only 2 eggs, so substitution was easy. I used unsweetened applesauce in place of the eggs. Unlike the “I can’t believe…” cake which uses oil for the fat, this chocolate layer cake calls for butter making it a very moist, rich and delicious cake. Just one caution though, this one is super duper tasty, so don’t blame me if you indulge and gain some pounds!

Chocolate Layer Cake
Chocolate Layer Cake Recipe
4.7 from 13 reviews
Prep time: 15 Mins
Cook time: 30 Mins
Total time: 3 hrs incl. frosting
Yields: 12 servings
Chocolate Layer CakeSpecial occasions call for a special treat and this chocolate layer cake should be it. I bet you would wonder why do we need eggs to bake a delicious and decadent cake once you try this recipe.
  • 2 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 3/4 cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 and 1/4 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 3/4 cup Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 3/4 cup Brown Sugar, lightly packed
  • 1/2 cup Unsweetened Applesauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 and 1/2 cups Buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Ingredients For Frosting:
  • 1 cup Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
  • 225-g Unsweetened Chocolate, chopped and melted
  • 1 tablespoon Vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 6 cups Icing Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Milk
  • 1/4 cup water/Milk/Strong Coffee
  1. Preheat oven to 325F/160C for 15 minutes. Line two 9 inch round cake pans with parchment paper and grease it lightly with non stick cooking spray.
  2. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium sized bowl. Stir until mixed.
  3. Beat butter with sugars in a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium for about 3 minutes.
  4. Add the applesauce in two additions, beating well and scraping down sides of bowl after each addition. Mix in the vinegar too. The mixture will look curdled but don’t worry.
  5. Beat in vanilla.
  6. Reduce speed and beat one third of flour mixture into butter mixture, then add half the buttermilk.
  7. Repeat additions, scraping down sides until well mixed.
  8. Divide batter evenly between pans and smooth tops. Tap the pans lightly to burst air pockets if any.
  9. Bake in center of oven until a tooth pick inserted in center of cakes comes out clean, 25 to 30 min. If using two racks, move the pan from the top rack to the bottom and the vice-versa in about 15 minutes.
  10. Cool in pans on a rack for 10 minutes.
  11. Run a knife around inside edge of each pan and then turn cakes out onto rack.
  12. Remove parchment. Let cool completely, about 1 hour. I actually left it overnight before I could frost the cake.
For Icing:
  1. Beat butter for icing in a large bowl, using an electric mixer/hand beater on medium, until creamy, 1 min.
  2. Add melted chocolate, vanilla, salt and 1 cup icing sugar. Beat for 1 minute.
  3. With mixer on medium-low, add remaining sugar in 3 parts, alternating remaining liquids (milk and coffee) and ending with sugar.
  4. Beat on medium-high, scraping down sides of bowl as needed, until fluffy and smooth, 1 to 2 minutes.
Frosting the cake:
  1. Be extremely careful while slicing each cake into half because its very delicate. One of my layers actually split in half and I somehow managed to patch it up and used it as the bottom most layer and covered it with the frosting. I think shrink wrapping the 2 cakes with plastic wrap once it has cooled completely and storing it in the refrigerator for a couple of hours will harden it up a little bit and slicing it into half won’t be much of a trouble. Check this chocolate cake recipe to learn about frosting a layered cake.
My Notes:
  1. The original frosting was a mocha frosting, which uses 1/4 cup of strong coffee to prepare the icing as I have indicated above. Since I didn’t want to add coffee I used plain water from the tap. You can use 1/4 cup of any liquid of your choice; water, coffee or milk.

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Ratings and Reviews (13)

Chocolate Layer Cake
3 star: 0
2 star: 0
1 star: 0

170 Responses to “Chocolate Layer Cake”

  1. vaidehi says:

    I baked the cake and now I’m going to frost it but I’m stuck. How to measure 225gm chocolate. I got a bar its 170gm so I have two 170gm bars. Please reply urgent. What are the silver beads on the cake called?

  2. vaidehi says:

    Finally made the cake n it was all good just until I frost it n kept in refrigerator to cool. I baked one day n frosted the other day n let it cool on the rack overnight. It was soft when I cut the layers but after frosting refgerated it for a day n today its like cement.
    Why its so hard
    I followed everything as per recipe. The toothpuc came out clean.
    Why went wrong?

    • Madhuram says:

      Hi Vaidhehi, if you serve the cake directly from the fridge it will be hard. You have to put it out for at least 20-30 minutes before serving. Another tip which I find very useful is the one I used in my Eggless Strawberry Cream Cake recipe. Soaking the cakes in sugar syrup before frosting it will keep the cake very moist even when you keep it in the fridge.

  3. vaidehi says:

    Thanks for your reply. I read on some website that if we dilute the frosting and just brush it on the cake it should keep it moist and I did that before doing the frosting. Now I think of it the biggest mistake I did I kept the cake in fridge uncovered so only the top layer is hard but the bottom is soft. We finished eating the cake anyhow by warming it a bit for 10 sec in microwave. My 1 yr old also tasted it. She gave me a tough time while preparing the cake..I made this cake at nights( total 2 nights)
    One thing I have lot of frosting leftover! Did u use all of yours in the cake?
    I have kept it in freezer so may be I can use it again..

    Where did u learn about this egg substitution. Is it in the dummies book?

    • Madhuram says:

      The cake should be stored in a covered container. You should get one of those cake carriers which has an air-tight lid. It’s available in Walmart too for $10. I think you are talking about crumb coating. That’s usually done before doing the actual frosting so that when you do it you don’t pull away the cake. It’s definitely a good idea to do that first, put the cake in the fridge for an hour or too so that frosting the cake would be much easier. I don’t remember if I had frosting leftover. I did learn about egg substitution from a couple of books that I borrowed from the library. But I had to learn it practically by trial and error and in that process I have thrown out a lot of stuff. Now I’m undergoing the same thing with gluten-free and egg-free baking!

  4. catherine says:

    Hi just finished making the cake tonight. It is for tomorrow morning, do I store in the fridge or on the counter overnight?

  5. mini says:


    I am planning to bake this chocolate cake for my son’s 1 st birthday! I plan to bake in an 11X15 inch pan. Will I have to double this recipe?

    • Madhuram says:

      You don’t need to Mini. You can use the batter as it is, but it will be a very thin layer cake.

  6. Niva says:

    Out of curiosity, why does the recipe require unsalted butter? I suspect that it is to make the cake a little healthier than it normally would be, but I would like to be certain.

    • Madhuram says:

      Baking recipes always call for unsalted butter because you can adjust/add the quantity of salt to the dry ingredients.

  7. Surbhi says:


    Can I replace the apple cider vinegar in this recipe with white vinegar?

  8. Daniel says:

    most of your recipe are in butter. can you use margarine instead of butter.

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