10 Servings

As if this moist, rich chocolate layer cake wasn't already deep in flavor, make it even more devilish by adding 1 tsp. instant espresso powder to the cocoa mix.

How to Make It

Step 1

Make cake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 2 9-inch round cake pans and line with parchment. Butter paper and dust pans well with cocoa powder.

Step 2

Place cocoa in a small bowl. Pour in 1/2 cup boiling water; stir until smooth. With an electric mixer, beat butter until light and fluffy. Add sugar; beat until well blended. Add yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in cocoa mixture. Stir baking soda into milk.

Step 3

Sift flour, baking powder and salt onto a sheet of parchment. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture in 3 additions, alternating with milk. Blend in vanilla. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until they form soft peaks. Gently fold into batter. Divide batter between cake pans; bake until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool in pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then turn out onto rack to cool.

Step 4

Make frosting: Mix sugar, cocoa, salt and butter in a small pan. Stir in milk. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium; simmer until dark and thickened, 5 minutes. Stir in vanilla. Transfer to a large bowl and cool.

Step 5

Beat frosting with an electric mixer on high speed until thick and spreadable. Frosting should form thick swirls when beater is lifted.

Step 6

Arrange one cake layer on a serving platter. Spread top evenly with about 1/2 cup frosting. Set second cake layer on top. Spread top and sides with remaining frosting.

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