Reviews for Dark Chocolate Cake I
This is a very good recipe after I made several changes. 1 cup of cocoa seemed like too much; and I am glad I reduced it to 3/4 cup otherwise the cocoa flavor wouldve been too overpowering. I also increased the baking powder, elimated the baking soda, using 1 tsp. of salt. used milk instead of water and added a box of instant ( chocolate fudge flavor) pudding. It came out great! very moist and rich chocolate flavor :)
Delicious! Very easy to make. I made it in a bundt pan, and needed to cook it about 50 minutes. It was a fluffy, moist and very chocolately cake. I greased the pan and it came out perfectly, no breaking.
This is an outstanding recipe for chocolate cake that should be used in any and every instance where you need to impress anyone. It is so flavorful and moist.
This cake was very light and very chocolatey, I followed the recipe exactly but only made 2 layers instead of 3 (I only have 2 pans!!)The kids loved it and will become one I will make over again!!
made dis couple of tyms now! 1st tym it turned out quiet dry! So Next tym i used one cup sour cream wen adding da flour n cocoa mix n it turned out gr8! N even used dis one to make my Sis an anniversary cake! Covered it With marshmellow fondant from dis site! Turned out gr8!!!... :)
This recipe is superb just the way it is, but I've been using 1 cup heated milk and 1 cup boiling water instead of 2 cups boiling water The cake is dense and moist, chocolatey, but not too strong. I've been making it in a bundt pan and drizzling vanilla icing overtop. GREAT chocolate cake recipe.
This is my favorite go-to for birthdays. I make it gluten free and use double the soda and salt. It’s moist and fluffy. Even my husband loves it. It’s really great with cream cheese icing!
Spectacular! I made 2 batches: - Batch one was a half batch, which I made into 12 large cupcakes. I replaced the boiling water with boiling coffee and used canola instead of butter. Turned out lovely! About 20 mins at 330 F approx. - Batch 2, also a half batch, I made with spelt flour as I can't have wheat. Same as above, oil for butter and coffee for water. This time I added some instant coffee to the coffee to give it a bit more coffee taste. Turned out AWESOME! These were even fluffy which is difficult for spelt. For both batches, I took the advice of others and whipped the egg whites separate and folded them in....this may be why they turned out so fluffy and nice, not dense like some people have claimed :) I decorated mine with whipped vanilla icing and plain M&M's. YUM! Thanks, this one is for keeps!
I made this for my son's birthday the first time and now he wants it this year too. It is a wonderful tasting and moist cake. It is important to really take the time to cream the butter and sugar until it becomes fluffy and almost white in color. This will be the basis for the texture of the cake. It is also important to let the cocoa and boiling water mixture cool to room temperature before mixing up your cake. Try it. It is a super tasty and great textured cake.
The flavour of this cake was really good. Very chocolatey. However the texture was much too heavy. Almost like mud cake. I think there are too many eggs in it.
after reading a bunch of reviews, i did the same thing as ROSEMC91. i used milk instead of water in the recipe, i added a little extra cocoa powder, and i used cake flour instead of all purpose. i frosted inbetween the layers with raspberry cream cheese frosting using the same kind of recipe ROSEMC91 stated. i used a chocolate frosting recipe i found on this site to frost the sides and top of the cake. DELICIOUS! the cake is light, fluffy, and very chocolatey. just wonderful!
This is an unbelievably moist, delicious chocolate cake. Very decadent! I highly recommend this to anyone considering making it. I used it for my daughters birthday cake, and got rave reviews from all my guests!! I topped it with "Special Buttercream Frosting" also taken from this site, and it was out of this world. I do have to say I was a bit nervous about the recipe after mixing it up and pouring into the pans, the batter was very thin and I thought no way it was going to bake up right but it did, and I used two 8" cake pans, and was concerned about overbaking, but I only had to add about 5 mins on to the total time and they came out perfect!! I will definately use this as my Chocolate Cake recipe from here on out!!!
I needed to find a cake recipe to use for my son's birthday cake. The boxed cake that I made got burned on the bottom and sides and seemed too thin and I didn't have time to run to the store to get another one. So, I decided to give this one a try. I am so glad I did! I made it in a 13x9 pan and it rose really well so it was nice and thick. I was actually surprised at how much flavor it had, too. It was really delicious! I was very tempted to eat some of the leftovers for breakfast the next morning! Forget the boxed cake mix, I am going to use this recipe from now on! It is well worth the few extra minutes and ingredients!
WOW! I lost my usual recipe for chocolate cake (which I liked because it made a large 3-layer 9" cake) so I went looking here and tried this one. It made a big 12x12 cake for my niece's birthday that was chocolately and MOIST! I've never had a chocolate cake this moist before. I have stopped looking for the recipe I lost because this one is all I need!
This cake is amazing! It's super rich and moist and the deep reddish brown colour from the cocoa makes it look beautiful. I made it in a bundt shaped pan and used the buttercream frosting recipe from the deep dark chocolate cake recipe as the topping and added fresh raspberries - wow!! My friend's dog stole the cake right off the counter.
OMG. This cake, it's beyond words. Moist, chocolatey, not-too-rich-or-too-light, sweet, decadent just perfect. I won't be needing ANY other chocolate cake recipe. This is THE one.
At first taste out of the oven, I thought this recipe wasn't quite chocolatey enough. I added an egg to make cupcakes, which I then filled and glazed. The end product is a much tastier version of a Hostess Cupcake specifically for a themed office party. The cakes rose quite nicely and came out moist and tasty. I filled them with Cool Whipped Frosting from this site, then used Hard Chocolate Glaze to coat the tops. I am incredibly pleased by how this recipe turned out.
This cake was amazingly good. I used 2 pans, and this made the baking time about 15 minutes more. I also separated the eggs and whisked the whites with 1/4 of the sugar, although I don't know how much of a difference that made.
I made this recipe because I had a sweet tooth. When I mixed all the batter together there was big doughy balls, and I fallowed the recipe. But it tasted really good over all. Thanks!!!
Excellent cake!!! After reading all these great reviews, I decided to try this recipe. This cakes tastes best when it's one day old (i.e. one day after being baked). The cake was very moist and had a rich "chocolaty" flavour. I topped it with chocolate frosting and my friends devoured it!! Definitely a "must try"!!!
THIS CAKE IS LIKE CRACK!!! I could not stop eating it, it was so good. I did a bundt cake and did chocolate glaze and white glaze. Seriously I ate the entire thing in two days. SO BAD! Use a high quality cocoa and this is the best cake ever! I used Giradeli (spelling) and it was so worth it. I am now making another one to cover up my naughtiness ;) the hubby will be home in three hours from out of town haha.
Excellent homemade cake. I made a 9x13 cake and had some left over to make small individual bundt cakes in my pampered chef stone. Next time I'll make 2/3 recipe and that should fit nicely in the pan. It's a nice, dense homemade cake. Rave reviews every time I make it!
I know my way around a cake, but this was a complete fail. I followed it exactly - no changes. Baked for 27 minutes, until done. The cake tasted good, very moist, but they fell apart when they came out of the pan (greased very well per another reviewer's suggestion, AND using non-stick baking pans!). I will not be making this recipe again.
This is the BEST chocolate cake I have ever tasted. I'm a cake baker/decorator and everyone I've made this cake for so far has said it's the best. Thank you.
DID IT IN THE MICROWAVE!! I halved the recipe just to try it out (had trouble computing a fourth). PERFECT! (I did reduce the sugar to about the same weight as the flour I used). I reduced the boiling water by 1/3 its original quantity, since I'll be baking it in a microwave oven, added a teaspoon of Nescafe to the cocoa powder, then left the rest unaltered. I filled my 4-inch ramekins half-full then baked them one by one in my microwave for 2.5 minutes on Medium-Low (#3 of 7 power levels) and they came out great! This is gonna be the recipe for my daughter's birthday cake and cupcakes! THANK YOU!!!!
Great cake! Made a wonderful birthday cake for my husband who loves chocolate. It was easy to make and stayed moist. Did a crumb coat with the quick and almost professional buttercream recipe from this site and covered it in fondant. Yum!
I LOVE this recipe! The cake isn't too sweet which is great, and it goes perfectly with ganache. They freeze well, too, which is perfect for those of us who don't have enough people around to eat a whole three-layer cake. :) I would suggest mixing the cocoa powder and water an hour or more before you plan to mix up the cake batter. The longer the cocoa/water mixture is left to cool, the better, because it gets thicker as it cools. This is a recipe that I will definitely be making over and over again - thanks Carol! =)
omg! this is sooo good!! the only thing I did different was that I added instant coffee to the cocoa mixture. Chef Bobby Flay said in one of his shows that coffee intensifies the chocolate flavour. It worked!!!
My husband is German and loves blackforest cake, and this is the perfect base for it! I add half a cup of rum and a teaspoon of rum extract to the dough. It makes a moist, dark cake very suitable for cherries and whipped cream. =D
hands down, best cake ever. I made a layer cake the other night, and cupcakes tonight (baked 16 minutes at 350) and they were absolutely fantastic. moist and fluffy, could have gone without frosting (but obviously that's no fun). this will be my new stand-by chocolate cake, replacing Elizabeth's Extreme Chocolate Lover's Cake from this site. that one's also superb, but this one is just as good, if not better, with fewer, more readily-available ingredients (in my kitchen, anyway. I don't keep sour cream around, and I hate using 6 of the 8 squares of chocolate in a box). make this cake. lick the bowl. then don't share it.
Delicious! I made this for a dinner party with friends and it was a hit. The cake was still warm when I took it out of the pan so it stuck a bit, but it still came out beautiful. Next time I'll wait unitl it cools completely. It wasn't overly chocolately or sweet but had a good dark chocolate flavor and was moist. Definitely good enough to eat without frosting and good enough for this chocolate lover. Will be making this again!
Made as a sheet cake. SUPERB!
I would give this as many stars as humanly possible. I made this cake for my dad and family for father's day. I made it in a heart shaped pan with "Cream Cheese Frosting II" in between the layers and "Rich Chocolate Frosting" for the outside frosting (altered to make less). I used Hersey's Special Dark Chocolate unsweetened cocoa powder for the cocoa powder in both the cake and chocolate frosting. I was told it was better than the Factory Mud Pie at the Cheesecake Factory and that if I didn't bring it for his birthday in two weeks I would be disowned. Thanks it was an awesome cake!
I made this in a bundt pan... recipe was almost too large! I had to make a dozen cupcakes as well. It glazed very easily and was delish. thanks!
Very good and easy! The only thing I did different was to use buttermilk instead of boiling water. I just heated the buttermilk and cocoa on the stove to boil. Will be making this again.
Wonderful, wonderful, cake! Comes out perfectly if you let the first mixture cool and are sure to beat the eggs in well. Scaled it down to a one- layer cake, iced with dark chocolate fudge icing and added fondant. Doesn't have the bitter taste that is sometimes associated with dark chocolate. Delicious!
Replace 1/2 cup of the hot water with hot strong (real) espresso. It brings out the chocolate flavour like you wouldn't believe!
Nice texture and flavour, but note that this cake is not super-chocolatey. I definitely could have used a stronger flavour, but I made a layer cake with cream cheese frosting and strawberries-and-cream filling, which helped dress it up a bit. I reduced sugar by about a quarter.
I listened to the advice of other reviewers and lowered the temp to 325°. This extended the cooking time and it still came out partially uncooked. Next time I would follow the recipe as written. Good flavor, very "moist" (if you considered 1/2 baked moist..) I also added some white chocolate chips which may have been part of my problem.
The unanimous decision was that it tasted like a three brownies layered on top of each other. Followed the recipe word for word, but it came out heavy. Not sure if that's what the "dark" part is supposed to be. But I will not use this recipe again, except perhaps to make brownies. If you like heavy cakes, then this is the recipe for you. If you like a more airy cake, then look somewhere else.
Great cake! Made a wonderful birthday cake for my husband who loves chocolate. It was easy to make and stayed moist. Did a crumb coat with the quick and almost professional buttercream recipe from this site and covered it in fondant. Yum!
This recipe is overrated. It was too dry and because of its size you need 3 pans (i only have 2) so I had to wait and cook the third layer later. I make a great choc cake recipe (on the side of the cocoa box) and delicious frosting (French Silk Frosting) from the Betty Crocker cookbook. I was hoping to top those recipes but NO way. If you want a superior chocolate cake use the one on the side of the Hershey's Cocoa box with the Betty Crocker French Silk icing.
I found this recipe on another food site and it called for about four minutes of creaming the butter/sugar mixture, perhaps this would help those who had a problem with it being dry. Also there was no mention of sifting the dry ingredients and this was from someone who said their family had been making this for years.
I made this recipie into cupcakes for my cousin's 6th and he loved them! It made 24 LARGE cupcakes and they probably should have been cooked for 20 minutes, but i left mine in for 25 and the bottoms burned, just a little bit. They were really moist, even though I over cooked them :) Thanks for the recipie!
I'd never made cake from scratch before that actually turned out good until i tried this recipe! It is now my go to recipe for chocolate cake. I've made several wedding cakes with it and it is always praised to high heaven! Just make sure you beat the eggs/butter/sugar really well and you cant go wrong. Mine usually resembles yellow whip cream, and once you add the flour don't over mix. Make sure you don't over cook or it will be dry. I made that mistake once but it was easily remedied by wrapping in plastic wrap and letting it sit overnight.
Delicious! My new go-to chocolate cake recipe. I made this into cupcakes, which I iced with Satiny Chocolate Glaze. Perfect! The recipe made 24 large cupcakes (3/4 full). Also tried it in a 11x13 glass pan, which took 40 minutes.
I made cupcakes with this recipe and they came out very well. I must say this is my favorite chocolate cake recipe I've ever used. I didn't make any alterations but if you are going to make cupcakes with this recipe, you have to make sure you don't cook them too long because the edges get too brittle. Very tasty!!!
This is an EXCELLENT cake. Not dry AT ALL. I am sorry to say, but if your cake was dry it was due to error on your part. I followed a lot of the reccomendations and all of the instructions to a T! I beat the butter and sugar with a hand mixer for 2 minutes. I also replaced the water in the recipe with strong coffee. I also seperated the eggs and whipped the egg whites and folded them in at the very end when the batter was complete. I made 30 cupcakes out of this recipe. They were delicious. I baked them at 350 for 18 minutes and perfection! This cake requires effort, but it is light, fluffy, moist, and delicious!!
Awesome recipe!! If you want to make it non-fat, just replace all the butter/oil with applesauce!
I only had 1 8" round pan, and a 9" round inch pan, so decided to just make 2 rather thicker cakes instead. Was a little worried, coz the batter was still very jiggly after 20 minutes of baking - had to add an extra 20 min or so, but it turned out great! Moist and beautifully chocolatey. Due to lack of time, and the fact that I had 2 separate (very) small family gatherings to attend over the weekend, I decided to use the cakes individually. For the first one (shortly out of the oven), I just thinned out some raspberry jam with hot water, and spread all over the cake and sprinkled blanched almonds on the top. For the second cake, (the next day) I sliced the cake in 2, sandwich with cherries and whipping cream. I made chocolate ganache icing (fr this site)as topping, and again decorated top with almonds and walnuts. Big hits with my family!
this is the best chocolate cake recipe I have ever used, its moist, dark, and has a nice texture, not too light or dense, perfect crumb with no dryness. I halved the recipe and made cupcakes, they came out fantastic and did not stick to the cupcake papers
I had a bit of trouble with it cooking unevenly, but in the end it turned out wonderfully! Great recipe~!
Great chocolate cake. Made it for my daughter's birthday and it was devoured. Frosted it with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting on this site. Delish!! Thought the batter was runny and i was a bit worried, but it came out fine. Use parchment paper in your pans to make sure it comes out easily.
I served this cake for a 4th of July picnic. I couldn't believe how fast it went. This cake was very moist and very chocolatey. A chocolate lover's dream!!! I frosted the cake with "Fudge Butter Cream Frosting", a recipe I retrieved off this website. Both complemented each other very well. I will definitely make this again.
So much better than cake mix! Tastes chocolatey enough in my opinion. I baked the mix in two 9 inch round pans, filled it with dulce de leche and cream cheese mix and frosted it with Wedding Cake Icing (from this page) Thanks for the recipe!
Very good cake and easy to make. I made into a four layer cake with peanut butter frosting!
Great recipe. I use 1/2 cup butter and 1/2 cup vanilla yogurt for a moister, better tasting cake:)
Absolutely delicious. Having read some of the other comments on this recipe, I decided to grease my cake pans, then line with wax paper, then grease again, and I had no trouble getting the cakes out of the pans. To prevent the dryness a few other cooks say they experienced, I preheated the oven to 350, then turned it down to 325 after I put the cakes in. I baked them for exactly 25 minutes and they were perfect - moist, rich, wonderful texture. And Carol's Chocolate Cheese Frosting recipe was great with it!
Amazingly smooth and silky cake. My husband and I used this cake as a base recipe for cupcakes, and they turned out so moist and chocolaty! I was very pleased and my husband was too.
Make this. You'll be famous. I used the rich chocolate frosting from this site. This is my go to chocolate cake recipe. Easy and it turns out perfect every single time. I've made it 4 times. One weekend I made it twice.
this is a great recipe for chocolate cake. I've been using it for several years now, and it's my kids' choice for birthday cakes. It also works well as cupcakes too. I have substituted whole wheat flour for all-purpose with no noticeable difference - it still stays moist and delicious, and it gets even better the next day (and the day after that, if it lasts that long!).
I have tried many chocolate cake recipes from this site and THIS ONE IS MY KEEPER!!! Best one ever!!!
turned out really even, but i had to bake it for about 15 mins longer...i added in melted bits of dark chocolate to recipe...tasted great but i think i will reduce the sugar a little next time....
I used hot coffee instead of the water and oil instead of butter. I made mine in a bundt pan that was dusted with cocoa powder. I love the texture. It slices nicely and it's moist.
I was disappointed with this recipe. I think with all the positive reviews, I just had my hopes higher than they should be. To me it just tasted like a boxed cake mix. I may try again and use buttermilk in place of the milk, and try a different cocoa, hoping for a richer, and a darker chocolate taste.
I was pleased with this recipe. I'm a novice at baking cakes but this one was SOOO easy. I never made a cake unless it was a cake mix. Let's just say, I'll never go back to cake mix. This was so moist and the batter was so smooth. Good flavor too! I used a cool whip icing for it and it was a big hit with our company. I'm baking this cake for a second time right now! Very good!
Finally a chocolate cake that really tastes chocolatey! I made this for my husband's birthday with homemade cream cheese frosting and it was awesome.
I had high hopes for this cake...it way waaay too dry and tasted exactly like a box cake! NOT worth the calories. The only reason I gave it 2 stars was because it looked pretty.
This cake was amazing!! I used 1 cup of coffee in place of hot water and separated and whipped the egg whites as suggested. Turned out dense, dark and so delicious!!
The first time I made it, I wasn't too impressed by the taste of this cake. There was a lack of flavor and depth to the cake. The second time around I used 1 cup of chocolate milk with a cup of water. I also added a melted 4oz Ghirardelli 60% Cacao bittersweet chocolate baking bar to the batter along with using Ghirardelli unsweetend cocoa as well. The small tweaks to this recipe changed the entire cake! It turned out firm and moist and fudgy. Truly deserving the name of "Dark Chocolate Cake". I only gave it 3 stars for the original recipe but after my tweaks it was a 5 star cake!
This is a good recipe for cake and cupcakes. Very tasty and rich.
It's so yummy!!! I used coffee (French Toast Flavor) instead of boiling water. I gave it a 4 star instead of 5 because it is a little crumby....but still soooo good.
An incredibly good cake. Sturdy for stacking too.
This was great! I was looking for a homemade cake recipe that didn't call for buttermilk or chocolate squares, as I had neither on hand. This did the trick! Thanks for the recipe!
Followed the recipe. Makes a great three layer cake.
Not sure what happened with this one but it came out very heavy. More like a brownie than a cake which was not what I expected. I didn't change any ingredients but I did bake it in a glass 13 x 9 pan as another reviewer did. Although the taste was still VERY good, this was not what I would classify as a "cake". I used all organic ingredients, as I always do but will have to continue my search for the perfect "made from scratch" chocolate cake.
I followed the recipe exactly and it turned out perfect! I used this to make cupcakes (20 minutes bake time) frosted with Sour Cream Chocolate Frosting by Mary Beth Guba which was a perfect fudgy compliment to this moist, thick cake.
Not at all dry. I used Dutch-processed cocoa which made the cake even darker. This is definetly a new favorite with my family.
Amazing!! Even the batter was amazing! I first made cupcakes - sprinkled with powdered sugar. Makes 18 and required 25 minutes. Not sure if anyone can really answer this... but has anyone else noticed the cupcakes have a difficult time releasing from the pan? I sprayed with non stick and nothing was over cooked, I did let them cool completely before trying to remove. If someone has the opportunity, I'd love to hear how you handle this issue. I can't stress how amazing these are!!
Very good chocolate cake recipe, nice texture and flavor.
Excellent cake! I'm a Pastry Chef and I make this cake for birthdays and as an elegant 4 layer dessert cake with dark chocolate buttercream and ganache. Comes out perfectly every time.
This is my 'go-to' chocolate cake recipe. Most homemade cakes can be dry and dense, but this is very light and super moist. I highly recommend it. I also puts up to carving, if you like making 3D cakes like myself.... Enjoy!
This is the only recipe I use for chocolate cake - it is AMAZING!
I made the cake exactly as instructed except that I added 2tbsp of ground cinnamon and 1/2 tsp of chili powder in an effort to make a Mexican Chocolate cake. The spices were very subtle and delicious! Next time I'm going to add even more. I used shortening to grease a glass 11"x15" glass pan and baked for 40 minutes.
This cake STUCK to every pan I used! It tasted good. But the instructions state to only grease the pan. I used 2 types of pans(non stick & aluminum, greased) & it still stuck. I even floured & greased a pan. The recipe is simple to follow though. I just couldn't appreciate the cake to its fullest w/it faling apart.
I have made my husband many a chocolate cake, but he deemed this as "The cake I have been looking for all my life." If made a day in advance and frozen, it is even richer and more moist. I topped it with a ganache, and everyone at our party thought it was amazing. I'll be using this recipe the rest of my life.
Fabulous! I halved this recipe and made cupcakes, as I don't have any cake pans currently. Cupcakes came out light, fluffy and moist with a gorgeous rich chocolate flavor. Will definitely use this again and am looking forward to making a real chocolate layer cake with this recipe! Thanks for sharing!
I made this for a dinner at my girlfriend's parents' house. It is a very rich cake, that must be eaten in small pieces. I separated the whites from the yolks and whipped them until thick peaks, then folded them into the batter to make the cake more fluffy. here is the chocolate-almond buttercream frosting recipe I used. --1 stick butter(soft), 1/2 stick of butter shortening, 1 1/2 tsp. of almond extract, 4 1/2 cups of sifted powdered sugar, mix that all up and melt another 1/2 stick of butter in the microwave with 2 squares of unsweetened chocolate and 1/4 cup milk chocolate chips. Then add to the frosting while blending. If you think it's too thick, add 1-2 tsp. of milk to thin it out.
I was disappointed in this recipe and will not make it again. I didn't like the texture and it fell apart. I much prefer other chocolate cake recipes that use squares of chocolate and buttermilk in them.
First, my changes: I used 2c hot milk instead of 2c water. I accidentally bought medium eggs instead of the standard LARGE, so I used 5 eggs instead of 4. And I made about 36 large cupcakes instead of layers. Result? It was without question the most unbelievably moist, tender, melt-in-your-mouth cake I've ever eaten. It was super chocolatey but not overly sweet, which made it the perfect partner to a rich buttercream frosting. I will definitely make this again, if only to meet the ever-increasing demands of my friends and colleagues.
Lovely cake! Moist, rich, tasty and indulgent! I paired this cake with Hershey's "Perfectly Chocolate" Chocolate Frosting and it was a match made in heaven! It was definitely a crowd-pleaser!
Turned out very good!!
Very good cake. I was about 3 TBSP short of butter so I threw in about 1/2 C sweetened apple sauce. Since I thought that 2 1/4 C sugar seemed like an awful lot, I decreased it to 2 C. Frosted with store bought cream cheese frosting. I received many compliments at work about how moist the cake was. I will use this again!
No alterations needed! This turns out a very moist and flavourful cake.
Fantastic recipe. I followed it just as specified and it turned out great!! Will definitely make it again!!
I made this cake for a shared birthday between two of my roommates. They were both surprised that I had made it and surprised at how well it had turned out. Amazing recipe. I paired it with "Best Buttercream Frosting" by Jennifer. It was a hit. I will definitely make this again the next time I need a great birthday cake recipe or need to impress someone.
I made this for Christmas and it was delicious. I used white chocolate ganache and raspberry filling between the layers and I poured a semisweet chocolate ganache over the top layer. Three fresh raspberries garnished the top. My stepson gave it 2 thumbs up. I had it for breakfast the day after Christmas. I did have a challenge getting the layers out of the pans. Two of the 3 pans had a lever that loosens the cake sides & bottoms. One of these layers cracked when I tipped the pan onto my hand to remove it. I had to place the rack over the top of the pan and flip it to get it out safely. The layer in the pan without the lever stuck to the bottom of the pan. I scraped the stuck part and pieced it back onto the layer. The recipe only says to grease the pan. Next time, I will dust with cocoa as well. I just watched the video and it says to cool the cake completely before removing from the pan. The recipe doesn't say this and I cooled 15 minutes (like many cake mixes instruct). Perhaps this is why I had the cracking, but I don't think this caused the sticking.