It is not often that I get to go all out on desserts. Mostly it is when I am baking for others – which hasn’t happen very much lately. Maybe because we are just so darn busy?? Yes, I think that is exactly it. Combine that with the fact that we have even been too busy to go to book club, and my baking has definitely suffered. Now, one would say that is a good thing, but in our house, I think the girls were starting to get discouraged. Cookies for lunch is one thing, but a real dessert is something else. There is also something to be said for a multi-layer cake. It somehow gives you the impression that you are getting more dessert than usual. Two pieces of cake instead of one – and yes, since it is hard to cut very small pieces of a tall cake – that is exactly what happens.
So last week we actually able to make it to book club, and I happened to see the email asking people what they wanted to bring rather quickly – so the stars aligned for me to make that double layer cake the girls had been eyeing for months in my recipe stack. This was one that I found in Cooking Light – but it was in their favorites edition. Well, are you surprised? Chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting? What could be better? Even if you screw up on the cake, the frosting is so over the top delicious, it can hide any disasters that might happen.
The cake was slightly dry, but as I mentioned, the cream cheese frosting covered that up completely. This was no ordinary cream cheese frosting either – it had a cup of marshmallow cream – which made it even fluffier. Of course there was a little left over after I frosted it, and I just couldn’t help myself. I swear, I would be fine if someone just served me a bowl of cream cheese frosting for dessert… I also gave a spoon to my younger daughter, who basically devoured it in a matter of seconds. So here’s to double layer cakes…which offer you double the pleasure – particularly when it has a cream cheese frosting on top!
- 1/4 cup Dutch process cocoa
- 1/3 cup boiling water
- 1 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 6.7 ounces cake flour (about 1 2/3 cups)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup nonfat buttermilk
- 1/3 cup canola oil
- 3 large egg whites
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- Baking spray with flour (such as Baker’s Joy)
- 3/4 cup (6 ounces) cream cheese, softened
- 1 (8-ounce) package 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
- 2 tablespoons cake flour
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1 cup marshmallow cream
Preheat oven to 350°.
To prepare cake, combine first 3 ingredients in a small bowl; let stand 1 minute. Stir until smooth; set aside.
Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a bowl, stirring with a whisk. Place granulated sugar, buttermilk, and oil in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at low speed until blended. Add chocolate mixture; beat at low speed 1 minute. Add flour mixture; beat at low speed just until combined.
Combine egg whites and cream of tartar in a medium bowl. Using clean, dry beaters, beat egg white mixture with a mixer at high speed until stiff peaks form (do not overbeat). Gently stir one-third of egg white mixture into chocolate mixture. Fold in remaining egg white mixture. Divide the batter evenly between 2 (8-inch) round metal cake pans coated with baking spray. Bake at 350° for 18 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs clinging. Cool for 10 minutes in pans on a wire rack. Remove cake from pans, and cool completely on wire rack.
To prepare frosting, place cream cheeses, 2 tablespoons flour, vanilla, and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Beat with a mixer at medium speed for 2 minutes or until smooth. Add powdered sugar; beat 1 minute or until well combined. Gently stir in marshmallow cream just until combined.
Place 1 cake layer on a plate; spread with 1 cup frosting, leaving a 1/2-inch border around edge. Top with remaining cake layer. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake. Refrigerate the cake until ready to serve.
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