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Moist Chocolate Layer Cake #SecretRecipeClub

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Mia is one of those super sweet, ever positive bloggers that I met when I started blogging.  Her love of hearts and pinks is reflected in her baking…and it is a delight to visit Bright Morning Star to see what beautiful twists she’s put on a recipe.  For October’s Secret Recipe Club, I was assigned Mia’s warm and inviting blog. I knew I’d find something yummy and chocolate…and there was Ina’s Chocolate Layer Cake…a recipe I’ve eyed numerous times, but never made from start to finish.

I asked hubby for a quotable review….and his reply was, “My piece was too small.” There. you.go.  The frosting was amazing…I will make it again and again.  Nick and I both thought the cake was a wee bit dry and may try Mia’s tweak of adding some vegetable oil instead of the sour cream next time.  I think she’s onto something.  Thanks, Mia, for inspiring me this month!!!


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Moist Chocolate Layer Cake


Adapted from the Barefoot Contessa via Bright Morning Star

For cake:

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup butter at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 extra large eggs at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons coffee

For frosting:

  • 10 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 3 extra large egg whites
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Pinch of cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 4 sticks (1 pound) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder, dissolved in 1 teaspoon water
  • 2 tablespoons Kahlua, optional


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°.
  2. Butter two 8-inch round cake pans and line them with parchment paper; butter the paper. Dust the pans with flour, tapping out any excess.
  3. Bake for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean.
  4. Let the cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then invert the cakes onto a rack to cool completely.
  5. Peel off the parchment paper.

To make frosting:

  1. In a microwave-safe bowl, heat the chocolate at high power in 30-second intervals, stirring, until most of the chocolate is melted. Stir until completely melted, then set aside to cool to room temperature.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer combine egg whites, sugar, salt and cream of tartar.
  3. Place bowl over a pot of simmering water and heat, whisking occasionally, till mixture is hot, about 5 minutes. Return to mixer with whisk attachment, and beat on high till cool and meringue holds stiff peaks. Add butter, one tablespoon at a time, while beating on medium. Scrape bowl and add chocolate, vanilla, espresso, vanilla and Kahlua. Mix for about one minute, till combined. If soft, allow to cool and beat again before icing cake.
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73 comments on “Moist Chocolate Layer Cake #SecretRecipeClub”

  1. very nice job love the milk chocolate icing!

  2. What a beautiful cake! So perfect!

  3. Stopping over from the SRC page and what a PERFECT looking cake! Gosh, I can’t get over how flawless it looks and I love your frosting technique. Love this!

  4. Lizzy, a beautiful job on making this cake – the lush photography showcases your talent. I too, have viewed this recipe from Ina on several occasions but have yet to make it. You and Mia have inspired me to print it out, incorporating Mia’s note for the oil. Brava ladies!

  5. Amazing job with this month’s SRC post! This cake is a show stopper and I love how perfect your layer of icing in the middle is.

  6. This cake is gorgeous – every layer is perfect! I would love to come over with a pitcher of milk.

  7. i love the icing , great cake… hips are already crying ahahah can’t break my diet.

  8. WoW,,,,What a gorgeous chocolate cake,Looks delicious and the name of cake say it all,,,moist,rich with chocolate,and thick layer and frosting,YUMMY 🙂 I will save this recipe to try.

  9. This looks amazingly good.. I could never bake something like this!

  10. Even though I’m not a member, I always love following the Secret Recipe Club to see what everyone has made. This looks terrific!

  11. This looks great – the icing is so neat! I’m so impressed!

  12. What a perfectly looking and delicious cake, Lizzy! You did such a great job with the icing and you need to teach me how to put such an even layer of frosting inside the cake. Awesome!

  13. Amazing design, it won’t be dry if eaten with lots of frosting:)

  14. Nothing beats a chocolate layer cake! Yours does look stunning as well as tasty. Nice SRC pick.

  15. Crave worthy. I have never attempted to make a layered cake. I need to bookmark this recipe to make for my guy when his birthday rolls around. Your cake looks perfect. Great SRC pick.

  16. it certainly looks gorgeous…

  17. very tempting two layered cake Lizzy, love that creamy and wonderful icing around it.

  18. looks so good!

  19. Beautiful cake!!!! You can cut me a small piece, but then I’ll need another 😉

  20. Look beauty and perfect dear Lizzy I love SRC recipes is nice!! xxgloria

  21. How could you go wrong with Ina?! The cake looks beautiful. Yum!

  22. Lizzy the cake looks gorgeous and I’ll bet it tasted great. What a lovely pick for this months SRC!

  23. You’re husband’s quote was classic and I think I would have responded exactly the same.

  24. The cake looks beautiful!

    Btw I made your bacon and eggs casserole this weekend…it turned out great….Thanks for the recipe!

  25. Liz that cake is absolutely beautiful! The frosting, and layering is just perfect! Chocolate cake with chocolate frosting is one of my favorites!

  26. That is just the most perfect looking cake! Really…just looks like perfection. Nicely done

  27. What a lovely cake, Lizzy! Beautifully frosted 🙂 You make layer cakes look so simple to make! 🙂

  28. Your cake is BEAUTIFUL! Its so perfect!! Looks soooo yummy!

  29. You did an awesome job frosting that cake and the frosting does sound and look delicious. It is so hard to find a really tasty and moist chocolate cake recipe made from scratch isn’t it? I’m always looking and trying out recipes.

  30. Drooling!

  31. You are so good! This cake is picture perfect. Wow! *** applause***

  32. Is this not the quintessential birthday cake if you ask me? It is so gorgeous and soft looking and of course, chocolatey! No wonder your husband didn’t get enough! 🙂

  33. This looks so good! I will have to make this the next time an occasion calls for cake!

  34. That’s just so beautiful, Lizzy! I want a slice at this very moment!

  35. Sinful, just too sinful!

  36. What a gorgeous cake Lizzy, looks fantastic!! 🙂

  37. Wow. That cake looks so impressive. I wish I could make something that looked half that good!

  38. That cake looks gorgeous!!! You made a good decision 😀

  39. What a perfectly gorgeous cake…
    Wonderful, I love the icing….
    beautiful Beautiful Beautiful

    P.S Liz I simply adore your blog and I have a award waiting for you here. I hope you”ll enjoy it.

  40. The photographs are stunning, though not nearly as beautiful as piece of that cake would be. I’ve had my eye on that cake for a while too – thanks for the secrete tip on vegetable oil.

  41. OMG – this looks so good. I wish I had a piece right now. The frosting looks to die for. Can’t wait to try it!

  42. I have been eyeing this cake for quite some time too. I haven;t made it yet though. It looks gorgeous!

  43. Wow,what a beautiful cake. My birthday is coming soon. I just might make this for my self.

  44. Gorgeous cake!!! I would have picked this one too! Your layers look perfect!

  45. Just gorgeous! It looks amazing and delicious. Your pictures are beautiful!

  46. Your cake slices are perfect! Chocolate YUM 🙂

  47. That’s quite a Cake! And it looks scrumptious, too. I adore the layers – now I where to visit for culinary inspiration;-)

  48. This cake looks to die for!

  49. Oh Lizzy! You have done it again! What an awesome looking chocolate cake! Irresistible! When I saw the thumbnail in the blog hop, I already knew it had to be YOU! MMMMMM YUM!!! :-))))))

  50. Beautious! Look at those even layers (told you we were baking soul mates!). I am really enjoying being a part of the Secret Recipe Club!!


  51. that is a truly magnificient cake – really special frosting – beautiful pictures – a truimph!
    mary x

  52. This cake looks marvelous, Lizzy. Simply spectacular!

  53. Looks wonderful. Yum! I’d like a piece. 🙂

  54. Lizzy, such a GORGEOUS job you did on this chocolate cake!
    Awesome to be in the Secret Recipe Club with you. Here is my post from group C –

  55. That is a perfect looking chocolate cake! The frosting look divine!

  56. That is the most beautiful cake I’ve ever seen!!! I am such a sucker for chocolate cake : )

  57. now that is just one beautiful cake! those slices look perfect!!!

    Glad to be in Group C with you!!

  58. this cake looks wonderfully delicious

  59. Definitely looks and sounds like the best ever. I love a good chocolate cake and you made a beautiful one!

  60. Lizzy this looks so amazing. Great cake.

    I was sick so didn’t get out to the post office today. Hopefully I am fine tomorrow. Will send it off to you then. I marked all the recipes I want to try in it with flags last night. Needless to say almost every page is flagged. Lol!

  61. *Squeeee!* This recipe looks INCREDIBLE! Thanks so much for bringing it to my attention, I think I know just the occasion to try it out!

  62. I should have know when I saw the thumbnail pic of the SRC it was your masterpiece. You have outdone yourself on this one!

  63. Wow – that is an absolutely amazing cake! Your pictures and presentation are absolutely stunning!

  64. There are few culinary masterpieces more impressive than a layer cake, and you did this one perfectly. You have a gift with cakes!

  65. This looks like a cake I would dream of and wake up and cry because it wasn’t real 🙂 How are all your recipes so beautiful looking?!

  66. What a beautiful cake! Chocolate on chocolate is my favorite (one of my comfort foods).

  67. As always, your cake is picture perfect!

  68. This looks gorgeous and so delicious!! Can’t get over the thick, lovely frosting! YUM!

  69. Absolutely gorgeous cake, Lizzy! I have never seen Mia make an actual cake…other than her “cutesy” cutout cakes and desserts.
    You made this so professional and fabulous!…love the swirls of the frosting…oh, so pretty:DDD

  70. LOL – I can hear Bill saying his piece was too small! It looks beautiful and I love the idea of Kahlua in the frosting. xoxo Kate

  71. This cake is picture perfect Lizzy! The frosting is beautiful & sounds delicious!

  72. I could swim in that frosting. I love how thick it is between the layers. And those layers are perfect. Way to go Lizzy!!!

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