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Question about the famous epicurious double layer chocolate cake

flzhang Apr 18, 2011 04:57 PM


I've been wanting to make this cake for a long time, but I definitely don't want to make something that big since it would just be for my girlfriend and me.

Is there any reason why I can't divide the batter recipe by 3 and make a single 9-inch layer instead of three 9-inch or two 10-inch layers?

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  1. v
    Val RE: flzhang Apr 18, 2011 05:18 PM

    flzhang, I'm one of the biggest fans of this cake however, I've never tried to decrease the size of it...but I *believe* some of the reviewers have done this and I would therefore suggest that you peruse the reviews there on epicurious if you have not already done so...hope this helps!

    1. l
      Liz K RE: flzhang Apr 20, 2011 11:30 AM

      I routinely make 2/3 of the recipe in 2 9" pans. Works great!

      4 Replies
      1. re: Liz K
        Double Gloucester RE: Liz K May 9, 2011 02:39 PM

        For 9" pans, what is the appropriate depth? 1.5" or 2"? Thanks!

        1. re: Double Gloucester
          Val RE: Double Gloucester May 9, 2011 04:33 PM

          Mine are 2", DG...you'll need three 9" pans easily...this recipe makes a ton of batter for a humongous cake!

          1. re: Val
            Double Gloucester RE: Val May 9, 2011 06:46 PM

            Thanks for the warning! I made some weird miniscule fraction of this recipe a couple years ago, and it came out very well, but I would like to attempt the whole recipe for an event this summer.

            1. re: Double Gloucester
              Val RE: Double Gloucester May 9, 2011 07:14 PM

              I think the important thing is to just try to divide the batter as equally as you can between the three 9" pans; you should be fine!

      2. chowser RE: flzhang May 9, 2011 03:01 PM

        You could also make the black magic cake which is essentially 2/3 the recipe (other than the leavening agent) if you want a layer cake and add the additional 2 oz chopped chocolate to the hot coffee.


        6 Replies
        1. re: chowser
          Double Gloucester RE: chowser May 9, 2011 06:46 PM

          Great tip--thanks!

          1. re: chowser
            middydd RE: chowser May 12, 2011 10:24 PM

            I'll second that, I do that often. I make the Epicurious recipe if I want a "big" chocolate cake and the Black Magic recipe for a "medium" size cake.

            1. re: chowser
              jalapenocheese RE: chowser Aug 31, 2011 08:56 PM

              I made the Black Magic Cake last night and had a taste of it today. It was very moist, not too sweet although I didn't feel it had enough chocolate taste. Does the Double Chocolate Layer Cake taste the same as the Black Magic Cake (frosting aside)?

              1. re: jalapenocheese
                chowser RE: jalapenocheese Sep 1, 2011 05:40 PM

                More chocolate taste because it has chocolate in it, not just cocoa. But, it's not a super chocolate cake, imo.

                1. re: chowser
                  jalapenocheese RE: chowser Sep 1, 2011 05:55 PM

                  Oooh... so what recipe would you consider a super chocolate cake? I'd like to hear your recommendations!!

                  1. re: jalapenocheese
                    chowser RE: jalapenocheese Sep 1, 2011 06:04 PM

                    I think the most chocolatey cakes are the ones w/ less flour, more like the molten chocolate cakes but if you want to be bowled over with chocolate, this triple chocolate celebration cake would do it:


                    I don't do the fruit on top because it's too hard to cut, as pretty as it is. I use a pastry bag and pipe rosettes all over the top of the cake w/ the mousse.

            2. j
              jules127 RE: flzhang May 12, 2011 02:11 PM

              I always make a half recipe, and bake it in 2 8" pans and it works perfectly for me.

              1 Reply
              1. re: jules127
                chowser RE: jules127 May 12, 2011 06:19 PM

                Whatever you do, don't use the regular recipe and use three 8" pans. It makes one heckuva tall cake. Taller than it is wide.

              2. Hank Hanover RE: flzhang May 13, 2011 03:03 AM

                These are the ingredients in your cake.

                3 ounces fine-quality semisweet chocolate such as Callebaut
                1 1/2 cups hot brewed coffee
                3 cups sugar
                2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
                1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
                2 teaspoons baking soda
                3/4 teaspoon baking powder
                1 1/4 teaspoons salt
                3 large eggs
                3/4 cup vegetable oil
                1 1/2 cups well-shaken buttermilk
                3/4 teaspoon vanilla

                Because you want only about a third as big a cake, I think you can get away with dividing everything by 3 except for the vanilla. I would only take it down to 1/2 a teaspoon. The salt should be down to about 1/3 of a teaspoon.

                That will keep all your ratios correct. It should fit in 1 9inch round cake pan.

                3 Replies
                1. re: Hank Hanover
                  smilingal RE: Hank Hanover May 13, 2011 10:48 AM

                  I am wondering - with the reduced ingredients, would you split the one 9" round and frost the middle of the layers?

                  I just made this cake for Mother's Day - I used 2 9" pans and then used the rest to finish in 11 cupcake molds (these went into the freezer - after frosting and flash freezing).

                  It was a very good cake - but I think I was particularly taken in with the Callebaut chocolate. It was my first experience with this chocolate.

                  It also reminded me how I need to get a rotating cake stand to make the frosting application a little easier. one more thing to store!

                  1. re: smilingal
                    Hank Hanover RE: smilingal May 13, 2011 11:11 AM

                    Well, the OP really seemed to want to reduce the size of the cake dramatically so I gave them a way to do it. If I wanted 2 layers, I would cut the recipe in half and make 2 8 or 9 inch layers.

                    If I wanted to slice a layer in half, I would cheat and use a leveler like this one: http://www.amazon.com/Wilton-415-815-....

                    I don't trust myself to cut a flat level slice. Although it would be a lot easier with a rotating turntable.

                    Callebaut is my "go to" chocolate. I really like the "Callebaut 835" 54% semisweet chocolate. It has a lot of cocoa butter so I can use it as a dip or I can make my truffles with it in a ganache. I know it is highly fashionable to use 70 and even 80% for ganache but you have add a bunch of sugar to make it edible and it tends to get grainy.

                    By the way, a whole bunch of people are going to disagree but I'm used to it and nobody objects to my truffles.

                    Anyway, Callebaut 835 would go very well in this cake.

                    I have been seriously thinking about splitting two layers and making a 4 layer coconut cake with pineapple curd filling.

                    1. re: Hank Hanover
                      smilingal RE: Hank Hanover May 13, 2011 11:16 AM

                      yes, that is what I had used as well.

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