Award Winning Baking & Dessert Video Recipes

breakfast & brunch bars & squares cupcake recipes shortbread recipes bread recipes youtube channel
about us
weight vs volume
christmas cookies
christmas baking
christmas candy
apple recipes
pumpkin recipes
cranberry recipes
healthy baking
candy recipes
chocolate recipes
biscotti recipes
pudding recipes
comfort foods
english tea party
lemon recipes
trifle recipes
ice cream recipes
strawberry recipes
blueberry recipes
easter baking
thanksgiving baking
valentine's baking
halloween baking
baking history


Join Our New  Recipes & Videos Email List


4 Time Winner

The "Chocolate" in Chocolate Layer Cakes Recipe

Printer Friendly Page

Chocolate Layer CakeIn making a dense and fudgy American-style chocolate butter cake three types of chocolate can be used: cocoa powder, unsweetened chocolate, dark chocolate (semisweet or bittersweet) or a combination thereof.  All three of these chocolates make delicious butter cakes but having a basic understanding of them will help you in choosing a recipe or to simply explain why one chocolate cake recipe is different from another. 

When used alone in cakes, cocoa powder imparts a full rich chocolate flavor and dark color.  Cocoa powder can also be used in recipes with other chocolates (unsweetened or dark) and this combination produces a cake with a more intense chocolate flavor than if the cocoa wasn't present.  

Most recipes call for sifting the cocoa powder with the flour but to bring out its full flavor it can be combined with a small amount of boiling water.  (If you want to try this in a recipe, substitute some of the liquid in the recipe for boiling water.)  Often times, you may notice that more butter and leavening agent are used in recipes containing cocoa powder.  This is to offset cocoa powder's drying and strengthening affect in cakes.  There are two types of unsweetened cocoa powder: natural and Dutch-processed and it is best to use the type specified in the recipe as the leavening agent used is dependent on the type of cocoa powder.   Some prefer using Dutch-processed cocoa as a slight bitterness may be tasted in cakes using natural cocoa and baking soda.

Unsweetened chocolate imparts an intense pure chocolate flavor in cakes.  This is chocolate in its purest refined form which has no sugar added hence its strong and bitter flavor that cannot be eaten out of hand.  Mainly used in American style cakes and in recipes that contain lots of sugar and fat.  Sometimes it is combined with dark chocolate or cocoa powder in recipes to further intensify the chocolate flavor in the cake.  The most common and readily available unsweetened chocolates are found in grocery stores (Bakers and Hershey's).

Dark chocolate gives a less intense chocolate flavor in butter cakes than unsweetened chocolate and cocoa powder.  The flavor of the chocolate in a cake is  dependent on the brand used as each has its own unique formula (type of beans, processing technique, amount of sugar added).  In making an American style layer cake where there are so many other competing flavors, brands found in grocery stores (Baker's, Hershey's, or Ghirardelli) are adequate.  The more expensive American brand (Scharffen Berger) or European brands (Lindt, Callebaut, Valrhona, Cacao Barry) have such depth and nuances of flavor that are better showcased in cakes or tortes that have less ingredients that won't diminish or mask their fine taste.  I would recommend saving the expensive chocolate for the cake's filling and/or frosting where you can appreciate the smooth and creamy texture and complexity of flavors.

No matter what chocolate you choose for your chocolate butter cake, good ingredients and proper technique will always ensure excellent results.




New Videos



Rick Jaworski's 2018 Campaign for Congress


Top 40 Video Recipes of 2015

Watch them all here on YouTube

1. Simple Chocolate Cake

2. Cake Pops

3. Red Velvet Cake

4. Pancakes

5. Pound Cake

6. Brownies

7. Red Velvet Cupcakes

8. American Sponge Cake

9. CrĂªpes

10. Cake Doughnuts

11. Chocolate Chiffon Cake

12. Carrot Cake

13. Orange Chiffon Cake 14. Homemade Doughnuts 15. Peanut Butter Balls
16. New York Cheesecake 17. Spritz Cookies  18.Banana Chocolate Cupcakes 19. Royal Icing 20. Black Forest Cake
21. Caramels 22. Vanilla Cupcakes 23. Vanilla Cake 24. Cream Puffs 25. Shortbread Cookies
26. French Macarons 27. Chocolate Cupcakes 28. Cinnamon Rolls 29. Cream Cheese Pound Cake 30. Peanut Butter Cups
31. Apple Pie 32. Rice Krispies Treats 33. Chocolate Chip Cookies 34. Biscuits 35. Whipped Cream Frosting
36. Fruit Tart 37. Chocolate Banana Cake 38. Chocolate Cake 39. Cocoa Brownies 40.Chocolate Eclairs

Contact Us   Privacy Policy Joyofbaking On Twitter Stephanie Jaworski+Find us on Google+

Use of materials on all pages on the domains,, the Facebook Page, @joyofbaking on Twitter, the RSS Feed, the email list the Joyofbaking1 YouTube Channel and any emails sent from are entirely at the risk of the user and their owner, iFood Media LLC will not be responsible for any damages directly or indirectly resulting from the use.

References cited may include a link to purchase the referenced book on receives a commission on any purchases resulting from these links.

This website and the contents are not endorsed or sponsored by the owner of the "Joy of Cooking" series of books or its publisher Simon & Schuster, Inc. and is not related to the  "Joy the Baker" books and website. Video icons by Asher.

Content in any form may not be copied or used without written permission of Stephanie Jaworski,  Students and non profit educators may use content without permission with proper credit. 

A baking resource on the Internet since 1997

Copyright  1997 to 2016 iFood Media LLC