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Double Chocolate Layer Cake with Whipped Chocolate Frosting

Rich and ultra-chocolaty layers of chocolate cake are paired with whipped chocolate frosting for a decadent treat. Coffee adds a hint of robust flavor while also enhancing the intense chocolate flavor of unsweetened cocoa powder. It’s the secret ingredient that pulls it all together. The cakes are not as thick as a typical layer cake, but they are intense! When paired with a fluffy whipped chocolate frosting, this cake is beautifully balanced. Perfect for your most special celebrations.

Time these processes to use the frosting immediately—it will begin to firm up!

Excerpted from Half the Sugar, All the Love by Jennifer Tyler Lee and Anisha Patel, MD, MSPH. Photograph by Erin Scoot. Workman Publishing ©2019.

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  • Yield: Serves 12

Ingredients:

Cake
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup freshly brewed coffee, cooled slightly
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar
Frosting
  • 10 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips (about 1 2/3 cups)
  • 2 cups heavy (whipping) cream
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Steps:

  1. Step 1

    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat two 8-inch round cake pans with cooking spray. Line with parchment paper and coat the parchment paper with cooking spray.

  2. Step 2

    Combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl; set aside.

  3. Step 3

    Beat the butter and sugar on medium speed of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Add the vanilla, increase speed to medium-high, and beat for 30 seconds.

  4. Step 4

    Add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the milk, and beat on medium speed until just combined. With the mixer on low speed, slowly pour in the warm coffee. Once mostly incorporated, add the vinegar, increase the speed to medium-high, and beat for 30 seconds, scraping the bowl as needed.

  5. Step 5

    Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake pans and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of each cake comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Let the cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then remove the cakes from the pans and transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

  6. Step 6

    Make the frosting:

    Place the chocolate chips in the bowl of a stand mixer. Bring the cream and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat and add the vanilla. Pour the hot cream mixture over chocolate and allow to sit 5 minutes, then whisk until completely smooth.

  7. Step 7

    Chill, uncovered, in the refrigerator until completely chilled but not hardened, about 1 hour. Fit your stand mixer with a whisk attachment. Attach the bowl with the chocolate mixture. Beat on medium speed until the mixture thickens, about 1 minute. Continue to beat until soft peaks form. Do not overbeat!