We can all agree that we need more layer cakes in our lives, and this rich chocolate cake doesn't disappoint. With only a few ingredients, our favourite chocolate sour cream frosting comes together easily and adds the needed tang to compliment the sweetness from the chocolate. Raspberry jam, although optional, rounds out all the flavours by bringing bright and tart notes.
Four Layer Chocolate Cake
Yields 6 1/2" x 9" cake, approximately 12 servings
1/2 cup (50g) cocoa powder
90 ml whole milk (approx. 1/3 cup)
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups (209g) Flourist Sifted Red Fife Flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup (170g) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup (113g) brown sugar
3/4 cup (162g) sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting
1 1/2 cups (263g) semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped (or chocolate chips)
1 1/2 cups sour cream, room temperature
1 tbsp (20g) maple syrup
1/2 cup (163g) raspberry jam (optional)
For the cake
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a rectangle baking pan (13" x 9" x 2") and line with parchment paper. Butter the paper and dust the pan with cocoa or flour.
Place cocoa powder in a bowl and whisk in 3/4 cup boiling water until smooth and glossy. Whisk in milk and vanilla. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt.
In a stand mixer, beat butter and sugars together until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, making sure the egg is fully combined before adding the next. On low speed, add flour in 3 batches and the cocoa mixture in 2, alternating flour-cocoa-flour-cocoa-flour.
Pour batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, until a tester comes out clean. Let the pan rest on a cooling rack for 5 minutes, then turn the cake onto the rack to cool completely before frosting.
Make the frosting
Bring a small pot of water to boil and lower heat to a simmer. Put the chocolate in a stainless-steel or heatproof glass bowl and set it over the pot. The water should not touch the bowl, pour water out if it does. Stir the chocolate until melted. Remove from heat and whisk in the sour cream. Add maple syrup and continue whisking until silky and smooth. Place in refrigerator to thicken.
Cut the rectangle cake in half width-wise. Cut each half horizontally to make two layers, leaving you with a total of four layers. Level cake layers if necessary.
Place the bottom layer on a flat serving plate or platter. Top with just less than a quarter of the frosting, spreading evenly and to the cake's edge. If you're using jam, spread a very thin layer on the next cake layer, then lay it jam side down, over the chocolate frosting. Repeat with the next three layers.
If you'd like the cake to have a naked look, you can simply spread frosting on the last cake layer and leave the sides bare. Otherwise, completely cover the assembled cake with the remaining frosting. With the back of a spoon, smear the frosting in an 's' shape to make swoops and swirls over the entire cake.
Let the cake sit for at least 1 hour before serving, the longer the better to let the flavours come together.