A soft, fluffy layer cake that bakes up taller than your average cake with mini chocolate chips speckling the batter and chocolate frosting all around.
I can’t tell you how long I’ve been searching for a good chocolate chip layer cake recipe.
One where the chocolate chips actually stay suspended in the batter and don’t sink to the bottom so when you turn out the cake you have a sticky, chocolate mess stuck to the bottom of the pan and a broken, crazy looking cake that is utterly impossible to save.
I gave up on them.
Then I saw this recipe in my Tate’s Baking for Friends and all those cake fails were quickly forgotten.
It’s imperative that you use mini chocolate chips. The big ones will sink, even if you coat them with flour, too heavy even for this batter.
This cake works because the batter is thick enough to hold up those lightweight, little chips. It’s made with two eggs and two yolks, entirely with brown sugar – no white, and buttermilk, all giving it a wonderful rich flavor.
Plus, there’s lots of it. Cake, that is. Lots of cake.
The recipe makes a ton of batter that is best baked off in springform pans where it can bake up as high as it wants without fear of overflowing. If you don’t have two springform pans you can bake it in three or four smaller pans or use the extra batter for cupcakes.
The frosting is my favorite cocoa frosting, the one I always turn to. You can easily turn it into a mocha frosting that would complement the cake nicely by adding a few teaspoons of espresso powder and you can also add some mini chocolate chips in keeping with the theme.
Here’s the chocolate chip cake of my dreams.
- softened butter and flour for the pans
- 3 + ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups buttermilk (I like Saco powdered buttermilk )
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups firmly packed light or dark brown sugar
- 16 tablespoons (1/2 pound) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 large eggs plus 2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
- 1 + ½ cups (9 ounces) miniature chocolate chips (I like Ghirardelli )
- ½ cup light heavy cream
- ½ cup butter, softened
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons espresso powder, optional
- 4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. with oven rack in the center. Butter and flour the sides of two 9x3-inch round cake or springform pans or three 8x2-inch round pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Measure the buttermilk with a glass measuring cup and add the vanilla to it.
- In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer beat the brown sugar and butter together on medium speed 4 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time beating well after each addition.
- On low speed add the flour mixture in thirds alternating with buttermilk in 2 equal additions, beating until smooth after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl a few times.
- Gently fold in the chocolate chips.
- Divide the batter between the prepared pans and smooth out the tops. I scoop up the batter with a one cup measure to get them as evenly as possible. (If using regular cake pans don't overfill them - use the excess to make cupcakes and place a baking sheet on your bottom rack to catch any drips.)
- Bake until a wooden toothpick in centers of cakes comes out clean, about 38 - 40 minutes for the 9-inch pans and 30 - 34 minutes for the 8-inch size.
- Cool on wire racks for 10 - 15 minutes then run a butter knife around the edges and turn out from the pans or remove the rings, if using springform pans. Turn cakes right side up and cool completely on wire racks.
- In a small saucepan heat the cream over medium heat until it starts to bubble around the edges. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
- In a medium mixing bowl on medium speed beat the butter, salt, cocoa, vanilla, the espresso, ⅓ cup of the warm cream and half the sugar until smooth.
- Gradually add the remaining sugar beating on medium speed until smooth and fluffy 5 - 6 minutes - if the frosting seems too thick to spread then beat in the remaining cream a teaspoon at a time until you reach a spreadable consistency. Frost the cake right away.
Copyright Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved