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Apr 18, 2011 04:57 PM

Question about the famous epicurious double layer chocolate cake

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

      4 Replies
      1. re: Liz K

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

        1. re: Double Gloucester

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

          1. re: Val

            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

              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. 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

            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

              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

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

                1. re: chowser

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

                  1. re: jalapenocheese

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

              1 Reply
              1. re: jules127

                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. 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

                  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

                    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:

                    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

                      yes, that is what I had used as well.