Thursday, May 8, 2008

Mary Herbert's Three Layer Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

We are still in the celebratory mode here at the beach.

All Groom wanted for his birthday was one of Mary Herbert’s chocolate cakes.

And this one is a winner.

Easy to bake in a kitchen Herbs has never seen before and the end result is one of those cakes we’ll talk about in the years to come.

It’s the kind of cake that gets better with time and smaller with time, because someone’s mother keeps going past it and straightening up the sides. It’s perfect for breakfast, lunch, dinner, morning snack, midnight snack, come up from the beach because you think no one else will be up in the kitchen eating the cake but they are kind of snack. Or just dessert.

Be prepared. This is a very thin batter but rises to heights unachieved by many cakes. It’s moist, deep chocolate flavor gets better as it ages. It truly is best made a day before you serve it.
If it lasts that long!

Mary Herbert’s Three Layer Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting


2-½ cups all purpose flour
3 cups sugar
1-1/8 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2-¼ tsp baking powder
2-¼ tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 eggs
1-½ cups whole milk
¾ cup vegetable oil
1 tbsp real vanilla extract
1-½ cups boiling water

Preheat oven to 350.

Grease three 9-inch round cake pans. Cut three pieces parchment paper to fit the bottom of the pans, place in pans and spray with vegetable spray, like Pam.

Combine flour, sugar, soda, baking powder and salt in large bowl. Blend well with electric mixer on low speed. While on low, add eggs one at a time until mixed well. Slowly add milk, oil, vanilla and put mixer on medium and blend well. Put speed on low and add boiling water in slow stream.

When combined, pour into the prepared cake pans and bake 30 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.

Cool then remove from the pan. You can wrap these individually in saran wrap and freeze for later use.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

8 tbsp unsalted butter, room temp
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted
1/3 cup whole milk
2 tsp real vanilla extract
¼ tsp salt

Place butter and the cocoa powder in large bowl. Blend on low with electric mixer til soft and well combined. That takes about 30 seconds. Stop mixer. Put the confectioner's sugar, milk, vanilla, salt in bowl and beat with mixer on low speed til the frosting lightens and is fluffy. Add more milk if it’s too thick and more confectioner’s sugar if too thin.

Makes enough to frost a 3 layer cake.

The cake will serve 16. Or one person, who shall remain nameless, 6 times, and 10 others.

Thanks to Mark for the "rc" decor on top of the cake!



cook eat FRET said...

god how i love but love but really love "cake"

i want one for my b'day. july 3. mark it down. that's 52 baking days left....yellow cake though, ok? and caramel icing. got it? perfect. thanks.

Heather said...

That cake is so delicious and moist.

Tomorrow's my dad's birthday. Maybe I should give this cake a whirl!

cookiecrumb said...

All the cool people have birthdays now (except Claudia, but she's still cool); mine was on the 2nd.
You all are having too much fun; must be doing something right!

Peter M said...

That's a steep cake...I would be most happy to receive this on my B-day.

ShopLittleGifts said...

Gosh, I would love a slice of that. It seems like a lot of work (I really can't bake...) but wow!! Looks, moist and v. yummy. How long did it take?

michelle @ TNS said...


i love it.

that's an exception specimen. my favorite chocolate cake recipe is really similar, but it uses hot brewed coffee instead of plain boiling water.

for whoever's keeping track, my birthday is december 25th. so you have plenty of time to plan.

RecipeGirl said...

I just love a tall cake like that! Glad you're having fun at the beach!

Brilynn said...

That is one towering cake, looks awesome!

My Sweet & Saucy said...

That cake does look like a winner! Yummy!

Anonymous said...

I just made this, and it was the best chocolate cake I have ever made from scratch. Thank you!!!! The frosting was good too!

Thanks for sharing this for us all to enjoy!

Mary Coleman said...

Hey Guys:
Thanks so much for all the comments. Mary Herbert is such a great baker and makes everything look so easy. But this is! Shoplittle gifts, this took her probably 1-1/2 -2 hours max to do..i'm counting cooling time in that. Anonymous, I'm so glad you made it. Just wait til will be even better!

Jessy and her dog Winnie said...

Triple layer cake! Nice! It looks delicious!

noble pig said...

Oh my ever lovin' calorie counting self. How big is that cake?

Wow, so unreal. I bet it was delcious.

J for Kitchen Confit said...

Oh Yum! I am going to have to try this to H's birthday this year.

Mary Coleman said...

Jessy: You've been my baking inspiration.

Cathy: It was huge! and divine!

Jessica: The bug will love this cake!!! So will precious lambchop jch!!

Meredith said...

Beautiful! I haven't baked a tall layer cake in ages.

(But now I have to Google Mary Herbert and see who she is!)

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to let you know that I used this as the basis of a layer in my wedding cake! Everyone loved it! Thank you for sharing this with us for my big day!

Mary Coleman said...

I am so happy this worked for you!! It's an incredible cake.

Chi Chi said...

I have to post and let you know that I made it for my sister's birthday and it was gone by the next day! I added instant espresso powder to the cake itself as well as the icing and it was wonderful and so easy to prepare.

Mary Coleman said...

Chi Chi!
Thank you so much for posting. I forwarded your message to Mary Herbert, the originator of the recipe and she loves the idea of the espresso powder.
So glad you enjoyed it.
Mary Coleman