Everyone knows…I’m a chocaholic! If I’m going to eat dessert loaded with calories, I want it to be something chocolate or it’s just not worth it. For many years, my favorite birthday cake was Max’s Niagara Falls. It was layers of chocolate cake and buttercream frosting — total indulgence and a great way to begin a new birth year.

This weekend, I’m making a chocolate cake for a friend’s birthday celebration. Like me, she only wants chocolate, chocolate, chocolate and the following cake recipe is moist, tender and full of chocolaty goodness in every bite!

The Best Chocolate Cake Ever!

Cake Ingredients:

8ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (such as Baker’s, Guittard or Ghirardelli)

2/3 cup Dutch-processed Cocoa, sifted (such as Guittard, Ghirardelli or Hershey’s)

2 tsp instance espresso powder (I use Medaglia D’Oro Espresso Instant or Nescafe Gold Espresso Instant)

1 cup boiling water

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

1 cup sour cream, at room temperature

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 TBSP white vinegar

2 tsp vanilla

Frosting Ingredients:

2/3 cup granulated sugar

4 large egg whites

1/4 tsp salt

3 sticks unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces at room temperature

12 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled slightly (I use Guittard or Ghirardelli)

1 tsp vanilla

Cake Directions:

In a medium heatproof bowl add the chocolate, cocoa powder and espresso powder. Pour hot water over mixture. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Whisk until smooth and cool.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two 8″ round cake pans.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, sugars, salt and baking soda.

Whisk sour cream, oil, egg yolks, vinegar and vanilla into the cooled chocolate mixture until smooth. Stir in the flour mixture until smooth.

Pour the batter into the two prepared pans and bake for 35 minutes or until a cake tester/toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes then carefully turn them onto a cooling rack.

Frosting Directions:

Combine the sugar, egg whites and salt in a pan of a double boiler with water simmering. Whisk gently and consistently over heat until sugar is dissolved and mixture is slightly thickened and foamy and registers 150 degrees on a candy thermometer, about 4 minutes.

Fit stand mixer with whisk attachment (or use hand-mixer) and beat the egg mixture on medium speed until slightly cooled and thickened, about 3 minutes. Add the butter, 1 piece at a time, until smooth and creamy. Keep beating until smooth.

Add chocolate and vanilla and mix until combined. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until light, fluffy and well combined about 2 minutes.


Place one cake layer on a cake turntable or cake stand. Spread an even layer of frosting over the entire cake. The frosting needs to be cold. (I had a hard time once it got soft and needed to place it back in the refrigerator.) Place the other cake layer upside down on top of the frosting. With a spatula, spread the remaining frosting evenly over the cake, smoothing the edges and sides.

Decorate as you wish with sprinkles.

Enjoy! XOXO Jill