Mile-High Chocolate Layer Cake

  • Active Time 30m
  • Total Time 3h 5m
  • Rating ****

Makes one 3-layer, 9-inch cake; serves 10

With a typically American love of exaggeration, any multilayered cake might be dubbed "mile-high." But watch the expressions when this towering cake is presented, and the name will seem perfectly fitting. Rich and crumbly on the inside and covered with dense frosting, it's a chocolate lover's delight.


  • For Cake:
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • For Frosting:
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 15 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract


Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F. Butter three 9-inch cake pans.

FOR CAKE: In a bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder. Set aside. In the top pan of a double boiler or a heatproof bowl set over (not touching) simmering water in a pan, melt the chocolate, stirring until smooth. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer set on medium speed, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Then add the cooled chocolate and the vanilla and mix until blended. Reduce the speed to low and beat in the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with the milk and beginning and ending with the flour.

Divide the batter evenly among the prepared pans. Tap them on a countertop to rid the batter of any air pockets. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of each cake comes out clean, 25-30 minutes. Transfer to racks and let cool in the pans for 15 minutes, then invert the cakes onto the racks to cool completely.

FOR FROSTING: In a heavy saucepan over high heat, bring the cream to a boil. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate, butter and vanilla, stirring constantly until both the chocolate and butter are melted and the mixture is smooth. Place the pan in the refrigerator and stir every 15 minutes. The frosting will begin to set after about 50 minutes and will be quite thick. Check every 5 minutes near this point for a spreadable consistency. (If the frosting becomes too thick, let stand at room temperature, stirring occasionally, until it softens to a spreadable consistency.)

TO ASSEMBLE: Place 1 cake layer, flat side up, on a 12-inch cake plate. Spread the top with 1/4 of the frosting. Place the second cake layer, flat side up, on top of the first, and flatten gently with your hand. Spread the top of the second layer with 1/3 of the remaining frosting. Place the third layer, flat side up, on top and again flatten gently. Frost the top and sides of the cake quickly, using all of the remaining frosting. Using a flat-edged knife or icing spatula, make quick movements to create swirls on the top and sides of the cake. Let stand for about 1 hour to set the frosting, then serve at room temperature.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Owen. All rights reserved.

RecID 2062

nutrition information per serving

807 calories; 45g total fat; 149mg cholesterol; 505mg sodium; 96g carbohydrates; 5g fiber; 10g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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