Dark Chocolate Cake

May 28, 2012

One of the most sought after chocolate cake recipes is one that is moist and rich.  The following formula will give you such a chocolate cake and you will want to keep this recipe in your collection.  Trust me..!  It is exceptionally good.  Try this cake  filled with Bavarian Cream, Chocolate Mousse, Raspberry or Strawberry Mousse or Peanut Butter Mousse.

Double the recipe for 3-10″ cake pans, 3-7″ cake pans, and 3-4″ cake pans for a small tiered cake.  All of my cake recipes can be turned into tiered cake recipes by simply doubling the recipes without the need for any special manipulations of ingredients.  It is when the recipes get into large quantities that the baking powder can be reduced and there is a special formulation for that process.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Prepare 3- 10″ cake pans by spraying pan release on the pan bottoms and walls and lining the cake pans with rounds of parchment.

You will need to sift together and set aside:

2 2/3 cups cake flour

1 1/2 cups Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa

1 Tablespoon baking soda

1 Tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

Whisk together:

1 1/2 cup  strong coffee

6 ounces buttermilk

6 ounces sour cream

Cream together:

6 ounces unsalted butter softened to room temperature

3 cups granulated sugar

then add to the butter/sugar:

5 whole eggs

1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract


Cream the butter and sugar together and then add the eggs one at a time.  Add the vanilla and make sure the bowl is well scraped down.

Alternate the dry ingredients with the coffee/sour cream/buttermilk mixture in thirds starting with the dry then ending with the dry ingredients.  Again, scrape down the bowl well.  Make sure there are no lumps of flour or butter in the batter.

Divide among the cake pans evenly.  Bake for 25-30 minutes and cool in the pans.   Remove from the pans and chill completely before filling.

A note about Hershey Special Dark Cocoa:

I have tried many different types of cocoa.   My supplier, Peterson Cheese supplied great imported cocoa but I found them to be rather grainy.  One day, I tried Hershey Special Dark Cocoa and I haven’t looked back.  This cocoa is a soft powder that absorbs into the cake batter.  This recipe used to yield a thin liquid batter, but with the Hershey Special Dark, the batter has more heft and is oh so dark!  There is nothing more lovely that a rich dark almost black cake and that is what you will get by using Hershey Special Dark Cocoa.

7 Responses to “Dark Chocolate Cake”

  1. Leah Michael Says:

    I would like to make this for a tiered wedding cake that will be 15 in, 12 in, 9 in and 6 in layers Can you tell me how. I would adjust the baking powder for the larger layers
    Leah michael subqleah@ yahoo.com

    • Hi Leah,
      When you make large batches of cake that have baking powder in them, adjusting them downward or lowering the baking powder content is sometimes recommended..however, if you are making small batches of this cake batter at a time, there is no need to adjust the baking powder. If you double this recipe you will get a tremendous amount of cake batter..try the recipe first with the smaller cake pans so that you get the feel of it. It is very rich cake and the Hershey Special Dark makes this cake absolutely black.
      My question for you is how many batches are you planning on making at one time…? Doubling this recipe has never caused a problem for me in the past..Also, what kind of oven are you using? A commercial oven that will bake all your 15″ and 12″ layers at one time is nice.
      Let me know how it works for you.

      • Leah Michael Says:

        I am using a DeLuxe convection oven that will hold all the layers. I didn’t know if the 15 and 12 in layers needed less baking powder. Thanks for your help

      • I love the DeLuxe ovens. I believe they are the best oven ever created for baking cake. Test the recipe first to see how it behaves for you. One recipe will bake 3 10″ cake layers with no problem if that will help you figure out how many batches you will need.

      • Leah Michael Says:

        I agree with you about the deluxe oven. I was really asking if the larger layers 15 and 12 inch needed to have less baking powder and how to calculate the reduction. You did mention something about this in the instructions I went ahead and just doubled the recipe and the layers baked beautifully I really love this recipe!!!! Thanks for your help

        Leah 504-201-2737 5124 Baronne St. NO LA 70115

      • Hi Leah,
        I am so glad the recipe works well for you. You can at some point tweak this recipe if you wish by trying just sour cream instead of the combination of buttermilk and sour cream to get a very rich cake indeed. However, lightening up the liquid with buttermilk works well.
        Reducing baking powder matters when you can feel that astringent texture against the teeth..that will let you know that you should reduce baking powder in a recipe.
        I used to use Belgian cocoa in this recipe but found the Hershey Special Dark to be superior because of the viscosity of this batter which is on the thin side.
        I hope you have a chance to share you wonderful DeLuxe oven with other cake makers so that they can see how perfect these ovens are..!!
        Take care,
        Tobey deChristopher

    • Hi Leah,
      I have posted metric measurements for the Coconut Bavarian Cream. You can look online and convert any recipe you like with a simple conversion table..

      Take care and I hope this works for you…


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