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Ultimate Frosted Chocolate Cake


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The Gourmandize Team

Layer upon layer of deliciousness await you, with this decadent chocolate cake.

Rate this recipe 4/5 (1 Votes)


  • 5 oz fine-quality unsweetened chocolate
  • chopped
  • 2 1/4 sticks unsalted butter
  • softened
  • 2 3/4 cups sifted cake flour (not self-rising; sift before measuring)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • at room temperature 30 minutes
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process)
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 4 oz fine-quality unsweetened chocolate
  • finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 6 sticks (1 1/2 pound) unsalted butter
  • at room temperature
  • EQUIPMENT: 2 (8- by 2-inch) round cake pans


Level of difficulty Average
Cost Average budget


Step 1

Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Butter cake pans, then line bottom of each with a round of parchment paper and butter parchment. Flour pans, knocking out excess.

Step 2

Melt chocolate with butter, then cool.
Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

Step 3

Beat eggs, sugars, and vanilla in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until pale and thick, 3 to 5 minutes. At low speed, mix in melted chocolate until incorporated, then add flour mixture in 3 batches alternately with sour cream, beginning and ending with flour mixture and mixing until each addition is just incorporated.

Step 4

Spread batter evenly in pans and rap pans several times on counter to eliminate air bubbles.
Bake until cakes pull away from sides of pans and a wooden pick inserted in center of each comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes.
Cool in pans on a rack 10 minutes, then run a knife around edges of pans. Invert onto racks and discard parchment, then cool completely, about 1 hour.

Step 5

Whisk together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, and a pinch of salt in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat, then add milk and cook, whisking constantly, until mixture boils and is smooth and thick, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in chocolate and vanilla until smooth. Transfer to a bowl to cool to room temperature, covering surface with parchment paper to prevent a skin from forming.

Step 6

Beat butter with an electric mixer until creamy, then add cooled chocolate mixture a little at a time, beating until frosting is fluffy and spreadable.

Step 7

Cut each cake horizontally into 2 layers with a long serrated knife. Put 1 layer on a cake stand or large plate and spread top with 1 1/4 cups frosting. Repeat with 2 more layers, then add remaining layer and spread top and side of cake with remaining frosting.

Cake layers can be made 2 days ahead (but not split horizontally) and kept, wrapped tightly, at room temperature.
Frosting can be made 2 days ahead and chilled, covered. Bring to room temperature (about 1 hour) and beat until fluffy before using.
Cake can be frosted 1 day ahead and chilled, covered.

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