A deeply chocolaty old-fashioned chocolate cake with a creamy and velvety chocolate frosting. The perfect treat for any chocolate lover.
I've mentioned many times over about my occasional obsessions with all things chocolate. There will be times when I will not think about anything but chocolate. Moments when I leave the house on a mission to eat my weight in it.
It's like it consumes my brain to the point where I can think of nothing else. Think Walking Dead where I am a zombie, and Rick is a big bar of Lindt Intense Orange. The only difference being that I get my chocolate long before it first meets Glenn.
I hadn't had one of those moments in a long time until one day I knew I needed to have some chocolate cake in my life. It needed to be super chocolaty and it needed a lot of chocolate frosting. I am not a huge fan of frosting, but I can really go to town on chocolate frosting. In my opinion, it doesn't fall in the same category as other frostings.
So I woke up early one morning and decided to work on a chocolate cake. I was going to see if I could come up with my own thing, but then I remembered I recently bought a copy of The Perfect Cake by America's Test Kitchen. They had a recipe for an old-fashioned chocolate cake and the moment I saw, it I knew I needed to make it.
What drew me to this old-fashioned chocolate cake was that instead of going to the trend of super dense chocolate cake - which is definitely good and I'd never turn down a third or fourth slice of the stuff - it is airier, with a more tender crumb while still remaining moist. I also really loved the idea of creating a pudding-like mixture of chocolate to get you that concentrated chocolate flavor we look for in our cakes.
It's something different for when you don't want to feel like you are so weight down by cake. The lightness helps lighten those feelings of guilt for sneaking a small slice of cake every time you go into the kitchen.
I wanted to contrast the light chocolate cake with a velvety chocolate frosting that mimics the creaminess of the pudding mixture you make when you bake the cake. It is creamy enough to easily frost the cake, but stable enough to do some light piping if you so desired.
You can also easily substitute the chocolate for Nutella if you wanted. In fact, I highly suggest you do use Nutella instead at least once during the many time I know you will be making this old-fashioned chocolate cake.
Old-Fashioned Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Frosting
Old-Fashioned Chocolate Cake
- 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
- ½ cup hot water
- ¼ cup Dutch-processed cocoa
- 1 ¾ cups granulated sugar divided
- 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup buttermilk room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs
- 2 large egg yolks
- 18 tablespoons unsalted butter room temperature and cut in cubes
- 1 ¾ cups unsweetened baking cocoa
- 3 ½ cups confectioners' sugar
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder optional, for enhanced chocolate flavor
- 1 cup unsalted butter very soft
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 - 6 tablespoons heavy cream
- Grease and flour 3 6-inch baking pans and add parchment to the bottoms. Preheat the oven to 350 °F.
- Create a double boiler by placing a small amount of water in a small saucepan and heat until boiling. Place a large heatproof bowl over the saucepan and turn of the heat. Add the chocolate, hot water, cocoa powder, and ½ cup of sugar. Stir well until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.
- In a small bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- Place the buttermilk and vanilla in another small bowl and set aside.
- In a mixer add the eggs, yolk, and remaining sugar. Whip on high for about 5 minutes.
- Add the chocolate mixture and beat until well-combined.
- Add the butter one cube at a time, allowing the butter to incorporate before adding another cube of butter.
- Alternate between adding the flour and buttermilk mixture. Start and end with the flour which should be added in three additions, while the buttermilk mixture is added in two additions.
- Evenly divide the batter among the cake pans and bake for about 18 - 22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middles comes back with a few crumbs sticking to it.
- Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for about 15 mins, then turn them out onto wire racks to cool completely. Tightly wrap each layer as you prepare the frosting.
- Make the frosting. Mix together the cocoa powder, powdered sugar, and espresso powder together.
- Beat the cocoa mixture, butter, and salt together. The mixture may seem lumpy, and that is normal.
- Add in the heavy cream one tablespoon at a time and continue to beat on medium speed until it a smooth, creamy consistency.
- Remove the cake layers from the freezer and level them as needed. Add frosting to the layers and frost the outside as normal.
- I made this cake in 3 6-inch cake pans, but you can make it in 2 9-inch cake pans like the original recipe from America's Test Kitchen, simply increase the baking time to 25 - 30 mins.
- The frosting recipe is not from America's Test Kitchen.