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Chocolate Layer Cake and Valentine’s Day – What A Great Combination

As I thought of what I wanted to share with you for Valentine’s Day, I wanted to share something really sensational.  I have shared many different chocolate recipes on this blog and if you browsed through my recipe collection you would see a great assortment of chocolate recipes.  Yesterday I started thinking of what would be a great Southern chocolate dessert to share with you.

I remembered this layered chocolate cake that my brother-in-law’s Mother made every year at Christmas.  I don’t remember if it was 10 thin layers or 12 but I do remember how delicious it was.  There was a richer old fashioned icing on the cake.  I know this cake has to be a labor of love but I bet it wins the prize in making family members happy. I have requested the recipe but it was never given to me and I understand that people like to keep their recipes in the family.  Thanks to the internet, I found the recipe I am sharing with you today.  It is from the New York Times and I am including the introduction that I think illustrates the Southern background of the recipe.

Chocolate Little Layer Cake

  • Time2 1/2 hours
  • Yield One 12-layer cake


  • 2 sticks butter, more to grease pans
  • 2 ½ cups sugar
  • cup shortening
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 5 cups cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 5 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 cups milk


  • 5 cups of sugar
  • cup cocoa
  • 1 stick butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 15-ounce can evaporated milk
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla



  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease three 9-inch cake pans and line with rounds of parchment or waxed paper.
  2. In a mixer, cream together butter, sugar and shortening until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs one at a time and continue to mix on medium until eggs are well incorporated. Stir in vanilla.
  3. Sift flour, then add salt, baking soda and baking powder. Sift a second time. With mixer on low, alternately add flour mixture and milk in about 4 additions, then increase speed to medium. Beat until smooth, about 4 to 5 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl.
  4. Spread 3/4 cup batter in each pan. Bake 6 to 8 minutes, or until cake springs lightly when pressed with a finger. Flip cake out of pan onto paper towels or cake rack while still very warm. Repeat with second set of layers.
  5. When first layers go into oven, start to make icing. Put sugar and cocoa in a deep, heavy-bottomed saucepan and mix well. Turn heat to medium-high and add butter and milks, bringing to a boil. Boil for about 4 minutes, stirring continually, careful to watch that it does not boil over. Lower heat to simmer, add vanilla and stir occasionally for another 7 to 10 minutes. If using a candy thermometer, cook to the point just before soft ball stage or about 230 degrees.
  6. Begin icing first layers, still warm, when second batch is in the oven. Flip layers over so that top side faces up. Use about 4 tablespoons of icing per layer. Icing will be thin but will firm up as it cools. Stack layers, then continue icing and stacking as layers are baked.
  7. When all layers are iced and stacked, glaze top and sides of cake. Contours of layers will be visible through icing. If icing hardens too much while frosting cake, set back on low heat and stir until it is spreadable.

If Mr. D wasn’t diabetic, I would love to make this for Valentine’s Day.  On second thought though, does a chocoholic like me, need a wonderful layer cake with old fashioned chocolate tempting me?  Probably not.  This recipe is going into my “Recipes I want to make file.”  I am sure I will be able to prepare it for a special occasion soon.

Happy Valentine’s Day Everyone!!!


3 responses »

  1. The cake does indeed sound special. I hope your day was lovely.


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