Who doesn’t like a chocolate cake? It is one of our favorites. Over the years, I have found that cake recipes that call for vegetable/canola oil or sour cream tend to be more moist and last longer than those without either of those ingredients. This cake recipe tends to be a bit messy during preparation – when adding the cocoa powder mixture, it tends to puff up and out of the bowl a little so I wear an apron. I have different chocolate cake recipes, but I usually use this White Chocolate Frosting recipe is for all of them.
Chocolate Layer Cake
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
3 cups packed brown sugar
2 t vanilla extract
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup good baking cocoa, such as Ghirardelli
3 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 1/3 cups sour cream
1 1/3 cups boiling water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour three 9-inch round baking pans. In a large bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and brown sugar until lightened and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla.
In another large bowl (I like to use a 4 cup Pyrex glass pitcher) whisk flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.
Add to creamed mixture alternatively with sour cream beating well after each addition.
Carefully stir in boiling water.
Transfer batter to prepared baking pans. Bake 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of each comes out clean.
Cool cakes in pans for 10 minutes. Remove pans to wire racks and cool completely.
White Chocolate Butter Cream Frosting
3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
3 3/4 cups confectioner’s sugar
9 ounces good white chocolate (I use Ghirardelli) melted, but still warm
1/4 cup milk
2 1/4 t vanilla extract
In a large bowl with a hand mixer at medium speed, beat butter, confectioner’s sugar, white chocolate, milk and vanilla until combined.
Increase speed to high and beat for two minutes until light and fluffy. Add more powdered sugar if too thin and add more milk if too thick. You want a texture that will be easily spreadable but that will also hold up and stay in place on it’s own.
Ice the cake:
When making a three tiered cake I flatten out the frosting in its mixing bowl and score the top into fourths to gauge how much frosting to use for each of the three layers and the side.
Place one cooled cake layer on plate (I like to use a Rubbermaid “lazy Susan” as it makes icing easier because it turns).
Scoop out 1/4 of the frosting and even out on the layer (it doesn’t have to be pretty, just even, no one is going to see this layer.
Repeat with the second layer.
Top with third layer. At this point, I like to frost the sides before the top.
I used a large, offset spatula for this (because it’s all I had on hand) however, I now have two new straight spatulas, which will make frosting the cake easier.
I am not particularly artistic, so I tend to make the sides and top layer smooth, but if you want to get out the piping bag and get fancy, go for it!