Chocolate Layer Cake

30 minutes
20 minutes
Recipe developed for BC Egg by

Classic chocolate cake, with rich, fudgy frosting between two layers of moist, delicious cake – what’s not to love?



  • 1 3/4 cups (440 mL) all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 3/4 cup (175 mL) cocoa powder, sifted
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) instant espresso powder
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) baking powder
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp (4 mL) salt
  • 1 cup (250 mL) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 2/3 cups (420 mL) granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) buttermilk


  • 3/4 cup (175 mL) cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 8 oz (230 g) bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1/4 tsp (1.25 mL) salt
  • 3 cups (750 mL) icing sugar, sifted
  • 1/3 cup (75 mL) milk
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla



  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease and line two 9-inch (23 cm) round cake pans with parchment paper. Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt until combined; set aside.
  2. Using electric mixer, beat butter with sugar until light and fluffy; beat in eggs, one at a time, making sure each egg is fully incorporated before the next addition. Beat in vanilla.
  3. With mixer on low, alternately add the flour mixture in 3 parts and buttermilk in 2 parts, starting and ending with flour mixture; scrape down the bowl as needed between additions.
  4. Pour batter into prepared pans; smooth top. Bake until tester comes out clean when inserted into centre, approximately 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer to rack; let cool completely.


  1. Using electric mixer, beat butter on high speed until light and creamy; beat in melted and cooled chocolate, cocoa powder and salt until smooth. Beat in icing sugar. Stir in milk and vanilla; beat until creamy.
  2. If frosting is too soft to spread, refrigerate for 5 to 10 minutes. Smear a little frosting on a serving plate to prevent the cake from sliding. Place the first cake in the centre of the plate and spread 1 cup (250 mL) of frosting on top. Top with second cake layer; frost the top and sides of cake with remaining frosting. Refrigerate cake for at least 2 hours before serving.


For a sweeter frosting, use semi-sweet chocolate instead of bittersweet.

If you don’t have buttermilk, add 1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon juice or white vinegar to a measuring cup; fill with milk to measure 1 cup (250 mL) to make 1 cup (250 mL) buttermilk.

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