An incredibly moist, rich, triple layer chocolate cake with whipped cream filling and chocolate buttercream frosting. This was always a favorite in our house!

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Ingredients

12
Original recipe yields 12 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
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Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour three 9 inch round cake pans. Stir together the cocoa and boiling water from the first set of ingredients. Set aside to cool. Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder, set aside.

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  • In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Add the dry ingredients alternately with the cocoa mixture. Mix only until combined. Divide evenly between the three prepared pans, and spread the batter out flat.

  • Bake for 18 to 22 minutes in the preheated oven, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean, and the cake pulls away from the sides of the pan. Cool cakes on a wire rack.

  • In a medium bowl, whip the heavy cream and vanilla. When the cream becomes thick, add the confectioners' sugar and continue to whip until stiff but not too grainy. Divide into three parts and spread onto two of the cooled layers. Stack the layers onto a nice plate, putting the two creamed ones on the bottom. Place the plain layer on the top. If there is a hump on the top of the cake, trim it off with a long serrated knife. Frost the sides with the chocolate buttercream frosting.

  • To make the frosting, beat the remaining ingredients, butter, confectioners' sugar, vanilla and cocoa until light and fluffy, about 7 to 10 minutes. Frost sides of the cake, leaving a ridge that sticks up over the top edge. Spread the remaining cream filling over the top of the cake. Garnish with sprinkles, chocolate curls or seasonal fresh fruit.

Nutrition Facts

745.5 calories; protein 7.7g 15% DV; carbohydrates 99.2g 32% DV; fat 38.2g 59% DV; cholesterol 170.4mg 57% DV; sodium 513mg 21% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (137)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
01/23/2012
This truly is a PERFECT chocolate cake I can confidently vouch for with a 5-star rating and review. This cake is so good left such an impression on me that I remember the first time I made it in September 1977 as a birthday cake! It was a showstopper and an incredible hit and I was proud. With a full cup of cocoa powder you can expect a deep chocolate flavor the boiling water only serving to make that flavor bloom! Four eggs and a full cup of butter tells you the cake will be rich moist and flavorful (just be very careful not to overbake). I use the filling from the original recipe which calls for just 1 cup of cream not a pint 1 tsp. vanilla and 1/4 cup of powdered sugar. I use it only between the layers not on top. I also make the original frosting melt 1 c. chocolate chips 1/2 c. half-and-half and 3/4 c. butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add 2-1/2 c. powdered sugar mix well then place saucepan over a large bowl of ice. Beat the frosting until it thickens and holds its shape. Add a little half-and-half if needed to make a desirable spreading consistency. Try garnishing the cake with chocolate curls and a few strawberries. This is an excellent reliable go-to recipe for a great chocolate cake that has stood the test of time! Read More
(66)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 1 stars
04/10/2006
I have given so many recipes on this site 5 stars but this cake disappointed me in every way. I had my doubts when I tasted the batter. I was on a low budget and wanted to make it for Valentine's day for my boyfriend but it just did not work out. Read More
(15)
164 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 126
  • 4 star values: 22
  • 3 star values: 6
  • 2 star values: 5
  • 1 star values: 5
Rating: 5 stars
01/23/2012
This truly is a PERFECT chocolate cake I can confidently vouch for with a 5-star rating and review. This cake is so good left such an impression on me that I remember the first time I made it in September 1977 as a birthday cake! It was a showstopper and an incredible hit and I was proud. With a full cup of cocoa powder you can expect a deep chocolate flavor the boiling water only serving to make that flavor bloom! Four eggs and a full cup of butter tells you the cake will be rich moist and flavorful (just be very careful not to overbake). I use the filling from the original recipe which calls for just 1 cup of cream not a pint 1 tsp. vanilla and 1/4 cup of powdered sugar. I use it only between the layers not on top. I also make the original frosting melt 1 c. chocolate chips 1/2 c. half-and-half and 3/4 c. butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add 2-1/2 c. powdered sugar mix well then place saucepan over a large bowl of ice. Beat the frosting until it thickens and holds its shape. Add a little half-and-half if needed to make a desirable spreading consistency. Try garnishing the cake with chocolate curls and a few strawberries. This is an excellent reliable go-to recipe for a great chocolate cake that has stood the test of time! Read More
(66)
Rating: 5 stars
03/29/2007
Magnificent!!!!!! I can't BELIEVE anyone gave this cake a poor rating. They must've overcooked it or used substandard ingredients. I have made it several times now and everyone i mean EVERYONE goes crazy!!! ADD MILK TO THE FROSTING AND IT TURNS OUT PERFECTLY start with 1 Tablespoon and then keep the processor/mixer going and just go a drop at a time until it's at a perfect spreading consistency. You an also add up to 1/4 cup cocoa for a more "chocolatey" frosting. truly amazing!!!! Read More
(49)
Rating: 5 stars
10/09/2006
This is my favorite chocolate cake recipe of all time. I make the cake part exactly to this recipe. I have been making it for 22 years and it is always a very big hit. On the filling my recipe calls for only 1 cup of whipped cream with 1/4 cup powdered sugar but I always wish I had more. I think it has gotten some negative reviews because the frosting is a bit stiff for the cake (which is sticky but so worth it) and tears it. I use a softer frosting (which I think taste better on this cake) that doesn't harden until you refridgerate it which is close to "Creamy Chocolate Frosting" SUBMITTED BY: Jeannette Mack. But a few times when I was in a hurry I used a classic chocolate buttercream like the one in this recipe and it was fine. I think once I even used a store bought frosting and no one complained. Because the cake is sticky use two spatulas one for dipping in the frosting and one for spreading to avoid getting crumbs in your frosting. Get plenty of frosting on your spreading spatula and avoid pulling it straight off the cake. Slide the spatula off keeping it level with the cake. Spread the frosting like you would peanut butter on soft bread. This is such a wonderful cake. Don't be scared off! It is so worth the effort. Read More
(41)
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Rating: 5 stars
04/10/2006
I am not a cook in fact I haven't baked a cake since I was a kid but it was my boyfriend's birthday and I wanted to make him something special and stumbled across this review. I was a bit worried about the one negative review on this page but this cake turned out to be 'the best cake i've ever had' (one of the people at our birthday party) and in fact was the main talking point of the 40 or so people that had some of this cake. It's rich moist easy to cook and the fillings and icing were perfect! Read More
(22)
Rating: 5 stars
11/07/2006
Wow! I added a really large melted Hershey bar and a package of chocolate pudding to this recipe baked it in a bundt pan and frosted it with buttercream vanilla icing. I made it for my husband's coworker's birthday. The next day another coworker who had brought a piece home to his family offered to pay me to make him one too! It was a huge hit! This is a really good cake by itself but I felt I wanted a little boost of moisture and chocolate. These added ingredients make it heavy so proceed with caution but so yummy! I also used Penzey's cocoa - beware that if your cocoa powder is a lesser quality or old it won't be as good!:) Read More
(19)
Rating: 1 stars
04/10/2006
I have given so many recipes on this site 5 stars but this cake disappointed me in every way. I had my doubts when I tasted the batter. I was on a low budget and wanted to make it for Valentine's day for my boyfriend but it just did not work out. Read More
(15)
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Rating: 5 stars
01/24/2003
Oh boy! Let me catch my breath...Wow! This cake is rich dark chocolatey moist perfect consistency! We had it with whipped cream and it was excellent! Read More
(14)
Rating: 5 stars
11/25/2004
Simply the best chocolate cake! I sometimes use hot coffee in place of the water just to kick up the flavor. Splits beautifully to fill and frost. Read More
(13)
Rating: 5 stars
03/23/2012
I only made the cake and used it to make CUPCAKES. (Full recipe yielded about 46 regular-size cupcakes.) They were SO delicious and moist and wonderfully tender... they practically melt in your mouth. I used the recipe to make cupcakes that I hollowed out and filled with chopped reeses mixed with some homemade caramel. Topped with a peanut butter buttercream and garnished with a mini reeses. I wish I wasn't so rushed... I forgot to take a photo! This recipe is a KEEPER! Read More
(11)