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Rich Chocolate Cake

  • yield: Makes 8 cups batter


  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
  • 3/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder, sifted, plus more for pans
  • 3/4 cup boiling water
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3 cups sifted cake flour (not self-rising)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt


  1. Step 1

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter pans. Line with parchment cut to fit. Butter parchment. Dust with cocoa. Tap out excess.

  2. Step 2

    Stir together cocoa and boiling water. Add milk, and whisk until smooth.

  3. Step 3

    Beat butter with a mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add sugar in a slow stream, and beat well, about 3 minutes. Beat in vanilla. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

  4. Step 4

    Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt. Reduce mixer speed to low. Add the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the cocoa mixture.

  5. Step 5

    Pour batter into pans, and bake until a few crumbs remain on testers (batter amounts and cooking times follow). Let cool in pans on wire racks for 45 minutes. Unmold, and remove parchment. Let cool completely on wire racks.

    Batter Amounts and Cooking Times for 2-Inch-Deep Pans
    5-inch: 1 1/4 cups batter, 45 minutes
    7-inch: 2 1/4 cups batter, 45 minutes
    9-inch: 4 cups batter, 50 minutes
    11-inch: 6 cups batter, 50 minutes

Martha Stewart Weddings, Spring 2008

Reviews (5)

  • 10 Jun, 2011

    This recipe was horrible! The cake was so dry and the chocolate color was not as dark as the picture. The cake stuck hard core to the pan and rose in a dome even though I used baking strips.

  • 18 Jul, 2008

    It's the white-chocolate

  • 18 Jul, 2008

    The frosting is the "White-Chocolate

  • 18 Jul, 2008

    The frosting is the "White-Chocolate

  • 16 Jul, 2008

    Does anyone have the recipe(s) for the pictured frosting and chocolate filling?