layer cake

Chocolate Layer Cake

For the Icing:

  • 3 cups sugar
  • 3 ½ blocks of unsweetened baking chocolate
  • 2 5oz. cans evaporated milk
  • ½ cup of butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla

(I add a little more sugar and a bit of cocoa powder to make it extra chocolate for a friend who just can’t ever get enough chocolate. Lol! So once you’ve made this a time or two…you can play with how sweet and how much chocolate to suit your taste)

For the Cake:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 3 ½ cups self-rising flour
  • 1 ¾ cups water
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Solid shortening for greasing the pans


  1. Start with everything at room temperature. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease 8” or 9” cake pans.
  2. Make the Icing:
    • Add everything at once to a heavy-bottomed pot.
    • Stir.
    • Cook over medium-low heat until sugar is completely dissolved and no grainy texture remains.
    • Stir often and do not let boil.
  3. Make the Batter:
    • Cream together butter and sugar.
    • Add eggs one at a time. Beat well.
    • Add flour and water alternately, beginning and ending with flour.
    • Mix in vanilla.
    • Pour approximately ¾ cup batter into each well-greased pan. Smooth to edges.
    • Bake until layers are barely golden on top.
    • Remove from oven and turn out on cooling racks.
    • Clean pans, grease well and repeat baking.
  4. Assemble the Cake:
    • Start frosting when the first batch of layers is done.
      Cover a still-warm layer with a cardboard round that has been placed on top of a cooling rack inside a baking sheet.
    • Over the layer, spread ¼ cup of frosting. Layer the next on top and keep going.
    • Spoon any leftover frosting over the top and sides after stacking and decorating every layer.
    • Return the icing to very low heat and stir until it regains spreading consistency if it thickens.


  • Cook as many layers at a time as your oven will hold without the pans touching.
  • Cover your cardboard round with tinfoil. Scoop up the extra icing as it pools around the bottom and return it to the pot.


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