Dark Chocolate Layer Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

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Dark Chocolate Layer Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

When my first cookbook, Fast Food Fix, came out, reporters were constantly trying to get me to admin that I still have a secret fast-food longing. They would say, “Come on, you must cheat from time to time with the real deal.” But the truth was that I just didn’t and I still don’t. Once I re-created those flavors, the cravings went away completely. They never believed me or backed down until I confessed that I have yet to win the war with my cravings for fudge cake. I just love it and I could definitely indulge constantly. This recipe is a little homage, of sorts, to my love for rich chocolate layer-cake — the food that is still my joy and my nemesis, of sorts. Thus the reason it made the cover of this book. But the good news is, knowing that I can have it whenever I want takes away the obsession I used to have with it. Now, when I do indulge, I truly enjoy every last bite and walk away without a twinge of guilt, particularly because this one is even made with whole-grain flour. The fiber helps fill me up so I don’t start looking for another treat right after I’m finished. On the Chocolate Buttercream Frosting: I’m an icing girl. When I order a piece of cake in a restaurant these days, I tend to eat a bite or two of the cake with the icing, then a few bites of the icing, and that’s it (and I’m able to stop there only because I know I can make a much less fattening one whenever I want that I’ll enjoy more). So I don’t skimp on this icing. True, it’s not exactly mounded on this cake. But I once saw an episode of a healthy cooking show where the host was trying to spread such a ridiculously small amount of icing over a cake that the cake kept tearing. Finally, they cut away and he pulled out another cake with the thinnest layer of icing you’ve ever seen and said, “Well, this isn’t a cake decorating show, so I have a finished one here.” I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t watch the show anymore. To me, it’s blasphemy to serve a cake with so little icing. Okay, I’m exaggerating, but rest assured, that is not the case here.

 

For the Dark Chocolate Layer Cake

Butter-flavored cooking spray
1-1/2 cups whole grain oat flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon very finely ground espresso beans
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup low-fat buttermilk
1 teaspoon white vinegar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 large egg whites
2 cups dark or light brown sugar (not packed)
1 cup fat-free, artificially sweetened vanilla yogurt
1 recipe Chocolate Buttercream Frosting (recipe follows)

For the Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons light butter (stick, not tub), room temperature
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons light cream cheese, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
2-3/4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1-1/2 teaspoons fat-free milk

For the Dark Chocolate Layer Cake

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Cut two 9-inch circles of parchment to line the bottoms of two 9-inch nonstick cake pans (trace the pans for ease). Lay the parchment in the pans. Lightly mist the papers and the sides of the pans with spray.

Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, espresso, and salt in a medium mixing bowl.

Use a sturdy whisk (or an electric mixer, but be careful not to overmix) to mix the buttermilk, vinegar, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl until well combined. Whisk in the egg whites, brown sugar, and yogurt and continue mixing until blended. Gradually stir in the dry ingredients until just smooth. Divide the batter evenly among the pans. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry (a few crumbs are okay).

Cool the cakes side by side on a wire cooling rack in the pans for 10 minutes. Then carefully flip the cakes onto the rack. If the cakes stick to the sides of the pans, gently run a butter knife around the rims of the pans to loosen them.

Meanwhile, prepare the Chocolate Buttercream Frosting.
When the cakes are completely cool, place one cake, flat side down, on a platter. Spread 3/4 cup frosting over the top of the cake. Top it with the second cake, flat side down. Spread the remaining frosting evenly over the top and sides of the cake. Slice the cake into 14 equal wedges. Serve immediately, or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

For the Chocolate
Buttercream Frosting

Add the butter, cream cheese, vanilla, and salt to a large mixing bowl. Use an electric mixer fitted with beaters to beat on high speed until smooth. Add half of the powdered sugar. Beat on low speed until well combined. Beat in the remaining powdered sugar and the cocoa powder until combined. Add the milk and beat on high speed until fluffy. Tightly cover the bowl of frosting with plastic wrap until the cakes are cooled (do not refrigerate it before icing the cake).

Makes 1 layer cake; 14 servings

Each serving (1 slice) has: 294 calories, 6 g protein, 59 g carbohydrates, 6 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 11 mg cholesterol, 4 g fiber, 384 mg sodium

By Devin Alexander