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Chocolate layer cake

Updated: Sep 8, 2020

Time: 2.5-3 hrs

Yield: 3 6-in layers or 2 8-in layers


Ingredients/Baker's Percentages:

*Spelt + AP flour = 100%

  • Dutch process cocoa: 85g / 60%

  • AP flour: 72g / 53%

  • Spelt flour: 70g / 47%

  • Sourdough discard: 284g / 200%

  • Brown sugar: 153g / 106%

  • Granulated sugar: 201g / 142%

  • Baking powder: 6g / 4%

  • Baking soda: 2g / 1%

  • Salt: 6g / 4%

  • Eggs: 150g / 106% (3 large)

  • Milk: 200g / 141%

  • Vanilla extract: 14g / 10%

  • Cider vinegar or white vinegar: 1 tbsp

  • Vegetable oil: 100g / 70%

Cream cheese icing:

  • Cream cheese: 1 cup

  • Unsalted butter, room temp: 1 stick, 8 tbsp

  • Powdered sugar: 3-4 cups

  • Vanilla extract: 1 tsp

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Butter and flour three 6-in pans or two 8-in pans, set aside.

  2. Mix cocoa, AP + spelt flours, brown and granulated sugars, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Set aside.

  3. Mix discard, eggs, milk, vanilla extract, vinegar, and vegetable oil together.

  4. In thirds, pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Mix slowly, until all incorporated. DO NOT OVERMIX (if you overmix, your cake will turn out rubbery from too much gluten developing). It is ok if the mix still looks a little clumpy; just make sure there aren't any dry clumps of flour floating around.

  5. Divide mix evenly between pans. Bake for 30-35 min OR until toothpick or paring knife comes out clean from middle of cake.

  6. Cool for 10 min on rack in pans, then remove from pans. Do not handle until completely cool.

  7. Make icing: beat cream cheese and butter together until light and airy. Add vanilla extract, beat to combine. Gradually add powdered sugar until icing reaches the texture you desire.

  8. Decorate cake. I choose to ice mine as a naked cake, mostly out of laziness, but you can use this for any basic design. Caution: cream cheese icing doesn't hold up as much as Swiss or Italian meringue, so I wouldn't recommend doing fancy piping.

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