Chocolate Layer Cake

(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 Print
Prep time
15 Mins
Cook time
30 Mins
12 servings
Chocolate Layer Cake
4.5 from 16 reviews
Special 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.


  1. Hi Madhuram,

    I baked this cake for my friends daughters bday and it was a total hit…I made a 8 inch 3 layer cake and cupcakes and cake pops of the same batter…I frosted it with buttercream and decorations were fondant.I have been baking for a while and have been referring to a lot of your recipes ..thanks for this website and your recipes and detail instructions and notes. Wish I could share a pic of my creation..

  2. Hi i tried this cake today. The cake was looking awesome in the oven but when i took it out and as it cooled down a bit it started deflating .. I used banana instead of applesauce . Can u suggest something to overcome this deflating problem ?

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