Triple Layer Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Icing

This week my parents came to visit, so I pulled out all the stops! But this wasn’t just to create a more memorable visit, it was mostly to celebrate our little girl’s fifth birthday. We forgot to pick up candles and I meant to put rainbow sprinkles on this, but she assured me that it was “okay”. Thankfully the lack of these items didn’t take away from the flavor and richness of this cake.

This was my first ever homemade icing and it was so easy, thanks to my trusty KitchenAid standing mixer. It is a messy process sifting all those six cups of powdered sugar, but it was worth it. Next time I will be more generous with the frosting between the layers, but I was worried I wouldn’t have enough to frost the “outside”. Once the cake was frosted, I put it in the fridge to set up. Oh, and don’t mind the wax paper – that was meant to keep the cake plate cleaner but I forgot to remove them before the rest in the fridge. Overall, this cake was really worth the effort and not at all difficult. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Double Layer Chocolate Cake – adapted from Smitten Kitchen

** This became a “triple layer” cake because I only have 9″ cake pans**

The recipe below is for 2 10-inch layers filled and coated in chocolate ganache. My adaptations were to split the layers to create a four-layer cake and use raspberry filling instead of chocolate. To do the same, use half the frosting and all of the raspberry filling, recipe at the end.

For cake layers

  • 3 ounces fine-quality semisweet chocolate such as Callebaut
  • 1 1/2 cups hot brewed coffee
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups well-shaken buttermilk
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla

Make cake layers: Preheat oven to 300°F. and grease pans. Line bottoms with rounds of parchment paper and grease paper.

Finely chop chocolate and in a bowl combine with hot coffee. Let mixture stand, stirring occasionally, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.

Into a large bowl sift together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In another large bowl with an electric mixer beat eggs until thickened slightly and lemon colored (about 3 minutes with a standing mixer or 5 minutes with a hand-held mixer). Slowly add oil, buttermilk, vanilla, and melted chocolate mixture to eggs, beating until combined well. Add sugar mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined well.

Divide batter between pans and bake in middle of oven until a tester inserted in center comes out clean, 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes.

Cool layers completely in pans on racks. Run a thin knife around edges of pans and invert layers onto racks. Carefully remove wax paper and cool layers completely. Cake layers may be made 1 day ahead and kept, wrapped well in plastic wrap, at room temperature

Quick Chocolate Buttercream – adapted from Williams-Sonoma

  • 8 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 6 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 16 Tbs. (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 6 Tbs. milk, plus more, if needed
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

Directions –

Have all the ingredients at room temperature.

Put the chocolate in the top pan of a double boiler set over but not touching simmering water in the bottom pan. Stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Let cool to room temperature.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, combine the confectioners’ sugar, butter, the 6 Tbs. milk, the vanilla and salt and beat on low speed until combined, about 1 minute. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Increase the speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes, then reduce the speed to low. Add the chocolate and beat until combined, then increase the speed to medium and beat for 1 minute more.

If the frosting is dry, add more milk, 1 tsp. at a time, until it is creamy but still holds peaks. Makes about 4 1/2 cups.

Triple Chocolate Mint Cookies

Oh, wow – these were so much work…it’s all my fault though. I took it upon myself to double this recipe so I would have enough for M and Little S’ classes. They were also really hard to judge doneness because they didn’t brown up like non-chocolate batter cookies – they’re already a rich brown because of the melted chocolate and the cocoa powder. If you love mint chocolate, you’ll love these. Do yourself a favor and find the Andes Mint Baking Bits – I had to open a pack and a half of the individually wrapped candies to get three cups worth of pieces. I will make these again, and I’m thinking they’d taste so good in a vanilla milkshake! Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Triple Chocolate Mint Cookies – adapted from The Culinary Chronicles

  • 16 Ounces Semi-Sweet Chocolate
  • 2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
  • ½ Cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • ¾ Teaspoon Salt
  • 4 Large Eggs
  • 2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 10 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, room temperature
  • 1½ Cups Brown Sugar
  • ½ Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1½ Cups Andes Mint Chocolate Baking Bits

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, with the oven racks in the upper-middle and lower-middle positions. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, melt semi-sweet chocolate. This can be done by placing the bowl over a pot of simmering water (for a make-shift double-boiler) or in the microwave at 50% power. Stir and set aside to cool.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a large bowl, using a hand electric mixer), beat butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar at medium at speed until the mixture is light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add one egg a time to the butter mixture, beating after each addition. Add vanilla extract and beat until combined. Add the cooled melted chocolate and beat until well combined.

Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually add the flour mixture. Mix until just combined. Stir in mint-chocolate baking bits. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the mixture sit at room temperature for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the mixture is easy to scoop and fudge-like.

Using 3 tablespoons of dough for each cookie, roll the dough into balls and place on the prepared baking sheets, 2 inches apart. Place the baking sheets in the oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, switching the position of the sheets and rotating them back to front halfway through baking. The cookies are baked when the edges are set, but the center are still soft. The cookies will still look a little raw in between the cracks, but are done.

Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack. Repeat with the rest of the dough, using cooled cookie sheets. Serve the cookies warm or at room temperature.

Makes 25 to 30 cookies.

Peanut Butter Cup Brownie Bites

These are always welcome here, but thankfully they were meant for a cookie exchange. The kids were expecting these to stay home, but I don’t think they mind that there are 18 different kind of cookies to choose from now. These are so easy to make and you can use other mini candies in place of the Reese’s if you’d like. For example, I have tried Snickers in place of the Reese’s cups and I bought some Rolo’s thinking that those would be a perfect complement to these too. Maybe the next batch will have those in them! These were snapped up at the cookie exchange really quickly and I hope whoever chose these enjoyed them. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Peanut Butter Cup Brownie Bites – adapted from Savory Sweet Life

  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 40 mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, unwrapped from the brown paper

DIRECTIONS – Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray mini cupcake pan with non stick spray.  In a medium bowl, mix melted butter, sugars and vanilla.  Beat in eggs one at a time. Gradually add flour, cocoa, and salt and mix until combined.  Fill each cupcake slot slightly more than halfway but not more than 2/3 full.  Place a peanut butter cup in each slot pressing it down until it is almost level with the batter.  Bake in preheated oven for 15-18 minutes or until done.  Allow the brownie bites to cool for 5 minutes before removing from the cupcake tin.  Enjoy! *Notes: Be sure to remove brownie bites 5 minutes after coming out of the oven.  Otherwise they might cool and stick to the sides making it difficult to get out.  If baking these in a pan, your baking time will increase to 25-30 minutes.  You can be sure they are close to being done when you can smell them from your oven.