Classic Chocolate Layer Cake

by Megan on July 2, 2011

Sometimes I need a nap in the afternoon. Sometimes I need to confide in my favorite ladies. Sometimes I need a beer before dinner. Sometimes I need to sing along to Lady Gaga. Sometimes I need another coffee. Sometimes I need to bring Elliot with me to get ice cream. Sometimes I need to sit in the sun and get freckles. Sometimes I need to watch true crime shows in front of a fan.

This week I needed chocolate cake. So I made one at night, frosted it the next day, and ate it for lunch. I might need this cake every week. It’s simple and delicious!

P.S. And by sometimes (down there), I mean all the time.

Classic Chocolate Layer Cake
Recipe from Matt Lewis of Baked via Oprah


cake –

  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 t instant espresso powder
  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 stick (8 T) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 t vanilla extract

frosting –

  • 2 sticks (16 T) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 T vanilla extract
  • 6 oz. good-quality unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled


  1. Make the cake! Preheat your oven to 350°. Butter two 8 inch round cake pans and line bottoms with parchment paper. Butter parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, sift together the cocoa powder and espresso powder. Add boiling water and whisk until smooth.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk flour, sugars, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until blended. Add melted butter, eggs, vanilla, and hot cocoa mixture. With an electric mixer on low, beat until dry ingredients are moistened. Increase to medium and beat 2 more minutes.
  4. Divide batter between your two cake pans. Bake 30-35 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Cool in cake pans, on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the sides and invert onto racks, turn topside up and cool completely.
  5. Make the frosting! In a large bowl, beat butter, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer on low until blended. Turn the speed up to medium; beat until smooth and fluffy, about 2 minutes, scraping the bowl as needed. Add the chocolate; beat some more until the chocolate is fully incorporated.
  6. Assemble! Peal parchment paper off cake layers. Place one layer round-side down, on a plate. Spread with about 1 cup of frosting. Top with second layer, round-side up. Frost the top and sides with remaining frosting. Slice and enjoy! Chill in the fridge when not slicing and eating.

It’s almost the 4th of July! Here are more dessert ideas for Monday:
Red + White + Blue Stuffed StrawberriesHamburger Mini Cupcakes,
Peach Pie GranitaDevilish Shortcakes.

… and then I chugged the milk.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

cindy July 2, 2011 at 11:53 am

all of those sometimes are, at times, necessary. especially the napping and confiding in fave ladies…those are integral for a good life. i had pie for lunch this week. cake for lunch though, girl you know what’s up..and next week I am definitely making a chocolate cake.


Megan (megabite) July 2, 2011 at 12:56 pm

I just woke up from a nap! I love that you had pie for lunch. I have pie plans for tomorrow. <3


kang li July 3, 2011 at 10:17 am

love the dark colour of the cake! dessert for meals make my day! 🙂


Megan (megabite) July 3, 2011 at 12:42 pm

ooh thanks Kang Li! This cake is a lovely shade of chocolate, I’d say. 🙂


Chris @ TheKeenanCookBook July 6, 2011 at 2:26 pm

Hahahah. “This week I needed chocolate cake.” I love it! And from one chocoholic to another, I understand. This cake looks delicious! We made a kahlua chocolate cake for the 4th, and it was really good, but sometimes you just need a straight up chocolate cake with chocolate frosting like this. Yum!


Megan (megabite) July 6, 2011 at 2:27 pm

True that, Chris. We totally get each other!

That kahlua cake sounds amazing, by the way. Now I think I need that one…


Sasha @ The Procrastobaker July 6, 2011 at 5:30 pm

Megan, I replied to your comment on my blog but just HAD to comment on this post too, this cake looks A.MAZ.ING. That picture labelled ‘lunch’ just kills me, id eat it for every meal until it disappeared, i cried a little, and then made another. I am 100% going to try this recipe out next time i make a chocolate cake, im yet to have a go-to and i feel this might be it! Thank you so much for stopping by my blog 🙂


beckie July 6, 2011 at 7:35 pm

Chocolate cake and a cold glass of milk = heaven. A slice of really good chocolate cake is as good as it gets.


Megan (megabite) July 6, 2011 at 7:39 pm

Sasha! I’m glad you’re totally down for cake for every meal!

Beckie! Yes! Chocolate cake + milk is where it’s at.


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