Ultimate chocolate layer cake

Photographer: Kate
Serves 12

Every baker should have this recipe up their sleeve.  It’s a superbly rich and decadent cake which with a little imagination can be transformed into a limitless number of decadent creations fit for any occasion.  We tested this cake over and over again and tried one layered with freeze dried raspberry buttercream and topped it off with chocolate shards and fresh berries; simple yet show stopping.  Next we stepped it up a notch with mandarin buttercream and Nutella in between the layers and had some crazy fun with caramelised sugar and candied mandarins.  Here is our cake recipe and watch this space for more tips and recipes for filling and decorating for any occasion.


Chocolate cake (3 layers)
150g (5 oz) dark (70% cocoa) chocolate
1 1/2 cups coffee
3 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups Dutch press cocoa
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


1. Preheat oven to Bake 150ºC (300F)
2. Grease and line tins.
3. Melt chocolate over low heat.
4. Into a large bowl sift together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
5. In another large bowl with an electric mixer beat eggs until thickened slightly and lemon coloured (about 3 minutes with a standing mixer or 5 minutes with a hand-held mixer). Slowly add oil, buttermilk, vanilla, coffee and melted chocolate to eggs, beating until combined well.
6.Add sugar mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined well. Divide batter between pans and bake on center rack of oven until a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean (test after 45 minutes)
7. Cool layers completely in pans on racks. Run a thin knife around edges of pans and invert layers onto racks.
8. Carefully remove wax paper and cool layers completely.
9. Cake layers may be made 1 day ahead and kept, wrapped well in plastic wrap, at room temperature.