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Recipe

Chocolate Three-Layer Cake with Milk Chocolate Ganache Frosting

Scott Phillips

Yield: Yields 1 8-inch, 3-layer cake

Servings: 12 to 16

This classic layer cake is rich and chocolatey but not too sweet. It would also taste great with vanilla frosting in place of chocolate.

Ingredients

  • 12 oz. (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened; more for the pans
  • 12 oz. (2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour; more for the pans
  • 1-1/4 cups hot water
  • 2-1/2 oz. (3/4 cup) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. table salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 Tbs. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 recipe Milk Chocolate Ganache Frosting, or your favorite frosting

Preparation

  • Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 325°F. Butter three 8-inch round cake pans, line the bottoms with parchment, and butter the parchment. Dust with flour and tap out the excess.
  • In a large bowl, whisk the hot water, cocoa, and sour cream; set aside to cool, about 10 minutes.
  • In another large bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and shortening together until mixture looks smooth, about 7 minutes. Add both sugars and continue beating until light and fluffy, about 7 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until well incorporated. Add the vanilla, scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, and beat again for 30 seconds. Alternate adding the flour mixture in three additions with the cocoa mixture in two additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.
  • Divide the batter among the prepared pans and smooth the tops. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through the baking time. Transfer the cakes to a wire rack and let cool for 20 minutes. Invert the cakes onto the rack, remove the pans, and let cool completely. Remove the parchment.
  • Frost with Milk Chocolate Ganache Frosting or your favorite frosting.

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