Death by Chocolate-Layers of Devils Food Cake divided by rich Chocolate buttercream then topped with Chocolate curls
I don’t make layer cakes very often. I don’t have a good excuse for this. Layer cakes are really easy to make. They always look gorgeous. I’m loving the trend of the exposed sides. As someone who fails at frosting a cake just perfectly, this trend will live on for a long while in my house. Also, it means I can have more frosting to spread between the layers. Making every bite, an equal proportion of cake and frosting. This is always important in my book.
There has to be a “reason” for me to make a layer cake. A special occasion, like a birthday, like my birthday. And if it’s my birthday, then it has to be chocolate. Overloaded chocolate is even better. I don’t believe there is ever a thing as too much chocolate.
Devil’s Food Cake has always been my favorite. Team it up with Chocolate Buttercream and Chocolate Curls and you have Death by Chocolate…but what a way to go!
A few tips about making a layer cake easy to make. Don’t take shortcuts on your prepping. Have your ingredients at room temperature if the recipe calls for it. Need to soften your butter? Cut it into small pats and spread them out on wax paper. Eggs straight from the fridge? Put them in a bowl of warm water for 5-10 minutes (while your butter is creaming.) If a recipe calls for sifting-do it. Sifting makes for a lighter, fluffier, better crumb cake. If a recipe says to line your pans with parchment paper, it’s easy, takes just a few seconds more. You get to play with scissors, and your cake won’t stick to the pan.
The other big tip I can give for a layer cake are Bake Even Strips. They are magical in their baking powers that when the cake bakes (using the strips) it bakes with an even top, no doming. They are cheap, less than $10, and you can find them at most hobby/baking stores or just order them online. Saves time later, when the cake is cooled, you don’t have to level it.
Most of all, making any cake is supposed to be fun. Lick the bowl and the beater. Be sure to taste test your buttercream several times (for quality assurance purposes.) And don’t worry about the little things. I can’t tell you how many lopsided cakes I’ve made and they still tasted fabulous.
I will warn you, the chocolate curls take a little practice. I used this great tutorial from The Pioneer Woman. What you see on my cake is my second attempt. Half curls, half scrapings. I could have tried for perfection, but what’s the fun in that? If you are one of those people (perfectionists) just place your practice chocolate back in your bowl,remelt it and start over. It’s that easy.
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- 3/4 cup butter, room temperature
- 2 1/4 cups sugar
- 3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 eggs
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/4 cups brewed coffee
- 1/4 cup milk
[Quick Chocolate Buttercream Frosting|http://chocolatechocolateandmore.com/2014/09/quick-chocolate-buttercream-frosting/]
- 1 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 11 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 8 ounces (1 cup) semi-sweet chocolate
- 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
- Prepare two 9 inch round baking pans by greasing them, then lining the bottoms with parchment paper. Grease parchment paper then dust the pans with flour. Set aside.
- Beat Butter on medium speed until fluffy, add in sugar and beat until lighter in color. Add in Cocoa powder and vanilla, beat well to combine. Add in eggs, one at a time beating well after each addition.
- Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Combine coffee and milk.
- Alternating, add flour and coffee to batter, starting and ending with flour, mixing just until each addition is combined in to batter. Make sure to scrape down sides of bowl occasionally.
- Divide batter evenly between the 2 prepared pans. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes. Test for doneness using a toothpick inserted in center.
- Let cakes cool in Pan for 30 minutes before turning out onto racks to cool completely.
for Chocolate Buttercream
- Cream together butter, shortening and salt until smooth and creamy. Add cocoa powder and vanilla extract, beat again. Add powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating slowly to make sure sugar is fully incorporated. Slowly add cream until desired stiffness is reached.
for Chocolate Curls
- Place chocolate and shortening in a microwave safe dish, microwave on high for about 45 seconds. Remove from microwave and stir until chocolate is completely melted and no lumps remain. Using an offset spatula, spread chocolate in a thin layer on a cold metal baking sheet. Place in the freezer for about 5 minutes to harden. Using a flat metal spatula, scrap chocolate away from you to form curls. Refrigerate curls until ready to use.
To assemble the cake
- If doing 4 layers-Using a serrated knife, slice each of your 2 baked layers in halve horizontally. Place bottom layer on cake stand or serving plate. Using 1/4 of buttercream, spread evenly on top of layer, just to the edges. Repeat with next 2 layers.
- Place top layer on cake, Use remaining 1/4 buttercream and spread to edges of cake but create a small raised rim (by spreading butter cream thinner in the center) around the edge. This will help keep your chocolate curls on the cake. Gently pile on chocolate curls to cover top of cake.
- Keep cake refrigerated.
Here are more of my favorite cakes