Chocolate Layer Cake

4.5 from 16 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
4.5 from 15 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 (16)

Chocolate Layer Cake
3 star: 0
2 star: 0

184 Responses to “Chocolate Layer Cake”

  1. Rachel says:

    I LOVE this recipe! I have made it four to five times now. Everyone absolutely loves it and always asks for it for their birthday. So I will be making it again for my mother’s birthday, since everyone devours it.
    I will say that it does take a lot longer for it to bake in the oven than what is said in the directions. I just set the timer for 35-40 minutes and then check on it every 10 minutes or so with a toothpick. It can take up to an hour for it to bake properly, but this doesn’t bother me, because when it is done, it is perfect. You just have to be a little flexible on time.

  2. Marlene says:

    I tried this cake twice and both times it looked really good in the oven, rising nicely and all. Rather than 2 pans, I used a 8×13 pan. I tested for doneness with a toothpick in the centre after the time listed..30 mins and the centre was still very doughy. I left it an additional 10-12 mins until the toothpick came out clean in the middle. As it cooled, the entire cake deflated to about half its height. This is a problem I have had with every eggless cake…looks good and the collapses. Don’t know what else to try!!! I need eggless to satisfy egg allegies!

    • Madhuram says:

      Again this recipe too is flawless Mariene. I don’t know what you are doing wrong! Are you over beating the batter, or opening the oven in the middle? Are you living in a high altitude place?

  3. gauri says:

    How to make apple sauce at home?

  4. gauri says:

    And Substitute for apple sauce?

  5. gauri says:

    Nice recipie but the prob is that some of these ingredients aren’t available in my town. So will u suggest me substitute for some ingredients like brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, unsweetened chocolate?

  6. Vani says:

    Lovely recipe..I tried this frosting with some other chocolate was superb! Thanks for sharing such a wonderful recipe :)

  7. Jyothi says:


    Is there any substitute for butter milk. Planning to bake today please reply

    • Madhuram says:

      Sorry that I’m late with reply. If you are still looking for an answer you can try mixing 1.5 cups of milk (any) with 2 teaspoons of vinegar as a substitute for buttermilk.

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