Everything Chocolate: Black-and-White Layer Cake

This month brings another delicious recipe from my Year of Chocolate challenge. While Mexican Chocolate Brownie Sundaes are my go-to comfort food, this next dish is my ultimate weakness — Black-and-White Layer Cake. Since the start of this chocolate journey, I’ve been waiting in anticipation to make this delectable dish. The reason being? White chocolate, plain and simple. White chocolate is my Kryptonite, but mostly in a good way. Any time I see something containing white chocolate, I have to try it. Whether it be in a yummy Starbucks drink, covered over a cake pop or transformed into mouth-watering fudge, I have a hard time holding back my love obsession for it. While this dessert actually fell under the April selection, I decided to move it back a few months and make it the feature dish of mine and Jacob’s recent engagement party. And I’m glad I did. The cake was a huge hit with all our friends and family, with most comments being, “You made this from scratch?!” Majority rules in the case of this cake — it’s pretty much the best thing ever.

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INGREDIENTS
The Cake
● 1 1/2 sticks butter
● 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
● 1 cup milk (preferably whole or what you have in the fridge)
● 1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
● 2 1/4 cups flour
● 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
● 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
● 3 eggs
● 1 teaspoon almond extract
The Icing
● 8 ounces white chocolate chips, plus more chopped/shaved (yum!)
● 3 sticks room temperature butter
● 2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
● 1 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
● Shaved dark chocolate

DIRECTIONS
whitecake2whitecake41. Cake batter: Part I. Start by preheating your oven to 325 degrees and spraying two 8-inch-round cake pans with cooking spray. Set aside. Before you start the dry ingredients, place the butter, milk and about 1/2 cup water in a small sauce pan and bring to a simmer (not pictured). While that’s cooking, add the cocoa powder and granulated sugar, mixing until well incorporated. Once the chocolate is simmered, add it directly into the cocoa mixture, whisking until smooth and blended together. Allow the chocolate to cool about 5 minutes before beginning the next step.

whitecake3whitecake5whitecake62. Cake batter: Part II. In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and baking soda, mixing until well blended. Set aside. Take the cooled chocolate mixture and whisk in the eggs and almond extract. It’s important to allow the cocoa to cool first so the eggs don’t become scrambled. Nothing sounds delicious about scrambled eggs and chocolate. Once the eggs and extract are added, pour the flour mixture into the batter in two batches. This prevents the liquid ingredients from becoming overwhelmed and makes for a smoother, creamier batter. If a few small lumps appear in the process, it’s perfectly fine.

whitecake7whitecake83. Cake batter: Part III. Once your cake batter is finished, separate it evenly between the two prepared cake pans until about halfway up the edge. You can also tap the bottom of the pans against the top of the counter to get rid of any air bubbles that pop up. This’ll help keep the cake flat and easier to stack once you’re ready to frost them. Place the pans in the oven and bake for about 35 minutes or until the cakes have risen and an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Wait about 10 minutes to cool before taking the cakes out of the pan and placing them on a cooling rack.

whitecake9whitecake12whitecake13whitecake144. The Best Part: The Icing. While the cakes are baking, you can start preparing the frosting. Take the white chocolate chips and place them in a microwave-safe bowl, microwaving in 30-second intervals until melted. Be careful not to cook them too much, otherwise it’ll harden and bunch up instead of creating a creamy, smooth texture. If this does happen, add some water into the chocolate to loosen it up a bit. In a large bowl, add the softened butter and beat it with a hand mixture until smooth. Continue by beating in the melted white chocolate until fluffy for about 3 minutes. Finally, beat in the confectioners’ sugar in intervals until well combined. Top it off with the almond extract and beat until everything is combined, smooth and fluffy. My frosting was a bit too soft once I finished, so placing it in the fridge for about 15 minutes helped stiffen it up a bit and made it easier to spread.

whitecake16whitecake17whitecake195. The final product. Take one cake layer and place it on a flat surface, like a cake stand or even a round cardboard cut out. This will help when you need to ice the edges, which can become tricky on a normal plate. Take about 1/3 of the frosting and spread it on top of the cake. Once that’s finished, add the other cake layer on top and add the remaining icing. Work by spreading the icing around the edges of the cake and filling in the gaps between the two layers. Smooth out the frosting on top and cover up any see-through spots with the remaining icing. Place back in the fridge until read to serve.

And there you have it! Just add the chopped/shaved dark and white chocolate on top and it’s complete. I included a cute bunting cake topper with our initials for an added touch and labeled it with a mini chalkboard plaque. Plus it made for great cake-cutting practice. Decorating with our engagement photos (both with picture frames and balloons), painted mason jars and some colorful flowers made this dessert table gorgeous. But the cake really did take the cake — see what I did there? I highly recommend making this cake for your next party. Whether it’s for a birthday, baby shower or even your own engagement party, you (and your guests) will be glad you did.

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To see the original version of this recipe, click here.

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