The Perfect Chocolate Cake

READY IN: 1hr 20mins
SERVES: 10-12




  • In medium bowl, combine unsweetened cocoa with 2 cups boiling water, mixing with wire wisk until smooth.
  • Cool completely.
  • Sift flour with soda, salt and baking powder.
  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Grease well and lightly flour three 9-by-1 1/2-inch layer-cake pans.
  • In large bowl, with an electric mixer at high speed, beat butter with sugar, eggs and vanilla, scraping bowl occasionally, until light and fluffy-about 5 minutes.
  • At low speed, beat in the flour mixture (in fourths), alternately with the cocoa mixture (in thirds).
  • Begin and end with flour mixture.
  • Do not overbeat.
  • Divide evenly into pans; smooth top with spatula.
  • Bake 25-30 minutes, or until surface springs back when gently pressed with fingertip.
  • Cool in pans 10 minutes.
  • Carefully loosen sides with spatula.
  • Remove from pans; cool on racks.
  • Make frosting: In medium saucepan, combine chocolate pieces, cream butter; stir over medium heat until smooth.
  • Remove from heat.
  • With wisk, blend in 2 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar.
  • Turn into bowl; place over ice set in a larger bowl.
  • Beat until frosting holds shape.
  • Make filling: Whip cream with sugar and vanilla.
  • To assemble: On plate, place a layer, top side down; spread with half of cream.
  • Place second layer, top side down; spread with rest of cream.
  • Place third layer, top side up.
  • To frost cake: With metal spatula, frost sides first, covering whipped cream; use rest of frosting on top, swirling decoratively.
  • Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.
  • To cut, use a thin-edged sharp knife; slice with a sawing motion.