Rich Chocolate Cake

This is a satisfyingly dense and moist cake.

  • Yield: Makes 9 cups batter

Source: Martha Stewart Weddings, Summer 2001


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


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter pans; line bottoms with parchment. Butter top of parchment. Dust pans and liners with cocoa; tap out excess. Set aside. In medium bowl, combine boiling water and cocoa, stir well. Set aside, and let cool.

  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter on medium speed until light. Gradually add sugar; beat well, about 3 minutes. Beat in the vanilla and almond extracts.

  3. Add the eggs, a little at a time, beating well after each addition, and scraping down sides of bowl occasionally.

  4. Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt. Add milk to the cocoa mixture, and whisk. With mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture to the egg mixture in three additions, alternating with the cocoa mixture and beginning and ending with flour mixture.

  5. Pour batter into pans. Bake each until a few crumbs remain on a cake tester inserted in center of cake and removed. Partially cool on wire rack; remove from pan, and return cake to rack to cool completely. Transfer to same-size foam board. Wrap each tier with plastic wrap; transfer to refrigerator to chill overnight.


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