Perfect Chocolate Cake – Best Cake We’ve Ever Had

Perfect Chocolate Cake Recipe - Dinner Party Atelier

We have discovered a chocolate cake recipe that is simply a game-changer. I honestly can’t think of another chocolate cake I’ve had that is better than this one.

When my mother shared this recipe with me ages ago, I filed it away in my recipes and barely gave it a glance. Then when Mother’s Day rolled around this year, I decided to go all-out with a special dessert. I chose Perfect Chocolate Cake as my┬árecipe. I made a three-layer cake for the first time, and WOW – it was the right recipe to try! We served it to seven people that night. Everyone loved it so much that some were asking for seconds. This cake is a new favorite in our house for special occasions, and I’ve just made it again for my husband’s birthday dinner.

The cake layers are incredibly moist with just the right amount of sweetness. The center filling is a whipped cream filling that is light and fluffy. The outer icing is a decadent, silky chocolate frosting. I love that the filling is different from the frosting on the outside. It keeps the cake feeling airy and not too heavy to have that whipped cream center instead of more chocolate frosting.

Make it Ahead: Did you know that you can freeze unfrosted cake and wait to ice it on the day you plan to serve it? I make the 3 cake layers of this recipe a week in advance, wrap each layer individually in plastic wrap, and freeze. Then on the day of my dinner party I make the whipped cream filling and the chocolate frosting. I ice the cake while it’s still frozen (which also makes icing it much easier). Then it can defrost for a couple of hours during the day until ready to serve that night. I love eliminating steps on the day of a dinner party. Anything that can be done in advance should be, to make the day-of more enjoyable.

Tip: Grease your cake pans with butter really well. Get every corner and edge of the pan. Then throw a scoop of flour into each pan and swirl it around until it coats all of the butter. Knock it around with your hand to spread the final bits of flour around. This is essential in making sure your cake layers pop out of the pan whole, and don’t leave chunks of cake behind stuck to the pan. We want our cake to look pretty and whole!

Perfect Chocolate Cake Recipe - Dinner Party Atelier

 

Perfect Chocolate Cake Recipe - Dinner Party Atelier

 

Perfect Chocolate Cake Recipe - Dinner Party Atelier

Below is a picture of how I’m greasing and flouring the cake pans. I add the flour to greased pan #1, then once it is covered I pour the remaining flour into the next pan and start the process over. I flour the final pan over the trash can to toss out the leftover flour.

Perfect Chocolate Cake Recipe - Dinner Party Atelier

Below is a picture of how the batter should look after mixing just the butter and sugar. It should look “fluffy.”

Perfect Chocolate Cake Recipe - Dinner Party Atelier

The below picture is what the batter should look like after adding the eggs, one at a time. It looks creamy now.

Perfect Chocolate Cake Recipe - Dinner Party Atelier

 

Cakes are cooling and will soon go into the freezer until “frosting day” aka “dinner party day” arrives!

Perfect Chocolate Cake Recipe - Dinner Party Atelier

 

Perfect Chocolate Cake Recipe - Dinner Party Atelier

What we were eating one year ago: Casual Barbecue Dinner

P.S. Want more dessert ideas?

Oreo Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Cake

Julia Child’s Creme Caramel

Homemade Ice Cream Sandwiches with Lemon and Vanilla Bean

Perfect Chocolate Cake
Print Recipe
Servings
16 slices
Servings
16 slices
Perfect Chocolate Cake
Print Recipe
Servings
16 slices
Servings
16 slices
Ingredients
Chocolate Cake
Whipped Cream Filling
Perfect Chocolate Frosting
Servings: slices
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 3 9-inch cake pans with butter thoroughly, then dust with flour thoroughly. Do not skimp on this step - this will ensure that your cakes will come out of the pans whole.
  2. Boil water. Add cocoa to a bowl and add boiling water, stirring to incorporate. Set aside.
  3. In a stand mixer, cream the butter, then add sugar a little at a time while mixing on medium speed.
  4. Crack the eggs one at a time into a ramekin (to prevent any shells from being cracked directly into the mixer), then pour one at a time into mixer, beating well each time before adding the next egg.
  5. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Mix together with a large whisk.
  6. Beginning and ending with the flour mixture, alternate adding small amounts of the flour mixture and the cocoa-water mixture into the mixer. Beat at low speed during this. Once all is just combined, add the vanilla with one final round of stirring and then stop so as not to over-beat.
  7. Pour the batter evenly into the 3 greased cake pans. Bake for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean from the center. Let the cakes cool in the pans for about 10 minutes, then flip over onto cooling racks. If making the cake in advance to be frosted and eaten at a later date, let the cakes cool completely, then wrap each individually in plastic wrap and place in the freezer for up to a week. If freezing for longer, wrap in plastic wrap first, then in aluminum foil.
  8. Make the whipped cream filling: Beat the whipping cream with the vanilla until it foams, then add powdered sugar a little at time. Beat until soft peaks start to form. Place in refrigerator until ready to use.
  9. Make the perfect chocolate frosting: In a saucepan, heat the chocolate chips, half and half, and butter over medium heat while stirring. Once the chocolate has melted, remove from heat and mix in the powdered sugar. Place the saucepan into a large bowl of cold water and ice (or partially fill a sink with some ice and water). Using an electric hand mixer, beat at low speed until the frosting stiffens and no longer looks shiny.
  10. Assemble the cake: Spread the whipped cream filling between the layers. Then spread the perfect chocolate frosting across the top and sides of the cake. You can spread the frosting on thicker when spreading over the gaps in the cakes, in order to cover the whipped cream filling that may be on the edges and keep the outside only chocolate frosting.
  11. Store in the fridge for up to 5 days (if it lasts that long)
Recipe Notes

Source: First printed in December 1977 issue of Southern Living, recipe by Dondee Gage Steves, San Antonio, Texas