Chocolate layer cake from The Preservatory cookbook

Chocolate layer cake recipe

What's more satisfying than baking a chocolate cake when you have time at home over the weekend? Though it may look like a lot of work, this beautiful cake from The Preservatory, a new cookbook by Lee Murphy from Vista D’oro Farms & Winery, is easy to make. Buttermilk and sour cream make this cake ultra moist, as do preserves. Try the raspberry, merlot and peppercorn preserves or the Rainier cherry and kirsch preserves from the cookbook.

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups cocoa powder
1¼ tsp salt
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tbsp baking soda
5 large eggs
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup sour cream
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups warm strong coffee or espresso
1 cup preserves
chocolate ganache or your favourite classic buttercream
fresh fruit, for garnish, optional

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans.

Whisk dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. In a smaller bowl, whisk eggs and vanilla, then combine into the dry mixture. Incorporate the buttermilk, sour cream, melted butter, and coffee into the batter. Divide batter evenly into the prepared pans.

Bake 30 to 40 minutes, until tester comes out clean. Cool cakes on a rack and remove from pans once cool enough to handle.

To assemble, slice each cake in half horizontally. Spread ⅓ cup of preserves evenly on three of the cake rounds. If using buttercream, spread a layer on top of the preserves. Stack the layers, with the last layer having no preserves on  the top. If you like, pour warm ganache evenly over the cake or frost cake with buttercream. Garnish with fresh fruit.