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Double Chocolate Layer Cake
© Pernille Pedersen

Double-Chocolate Layer Cake

  • ACTIVE: 40 MIN
  • TOTAL TIME: 1 HR 45 MIN
  • SERVINGS: Makes two 9-inch layers
  • MAKE-AHEAD
  • STAFF-FAVORITE
  • VEGETARIAN

“Disappointing cakes have often been sitting out too long,” says Tom Douglas. “They should last just long enough to have the last pieces the next morning with coffee—who doesn’t love cake with coffee?”

  1. 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  2. 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  3. Unsalted butter, for greasing the pans
  4. 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  5. 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  6. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  7. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  8. 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  9. 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
  10. 1 cup canola oil
  11. 2 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
  12. 1 cup buttermilk
  13. 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  14. Mousse filling and Buttercream frosting (see note)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. In a small bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons each of the flour and cocoa powder. Butter two 9-inch round cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper. Butter the paper and dust the pans with the cocoa-flour mixture, tapping out the excess.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the 2 cups of flour and 1/4 cup of cocoa powder with 1/2 cup of the granulated sugar, and the baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. In the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the whisk, beat the eggs with the brown sugar and the remaining 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar at medium-high speed until thickened, about 5 minutes. At medium speed, gradually add 1/2 cup of the oil and beat for 3 minutes. Beat in the melted chocolate, then add the remaining oil in a thin stream, until thoroughly blended, scraping the side and bottom of the bowl. At low speed, beat in the buttermilk and vanilla. Remove the bowl from the mixer and gently mix in the dry ingredients by hand.
  4. Pour the cake batter into the prepared pans and bake in the center of the oven for about 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the centers of the cakes comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Cool the cakes in the pans for 20 minutes, then invert them onto a rack to cool completely. Peel off the parchment paper.
  5. Set one cake layer on a platter. Spread the mousse filling on top and cover with the second cake layer. Frost the cake all over with a thin layer of buttercream and refrigerate until set, about 5 minutes. Frost the cake with the remaining buttercream. Refrigerate the cake until the frosting is firm, at least 15 minutes, before serving.