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7-Layer Chocolate Cake

  • Prep Time: 45m
  • Cook Time: 12m

Ingredients

Cake Layers

  • Floured baking spray
  • 1 1/3 c unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 2/3 c granulated sugar
  • 5 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 4 c cake flour
  • 4 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 c whole milk, at room temperature
  • 1 1/3 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Chocolate Icing (filling)

  • 1 c unsalted butter
  • 1 c Hershey’s cocoa powder, sifted
  • 8 c confectioners sugar, sifted
  • 2/3 c whole milk
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. pure vanilla extract

Milk Chocolate Icing (outer)

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 16 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 c milk chocolate
  • 1 tbsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 2 lb confectioners sugar

Instructions

Cake Layers

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease and flour seven 9-inch pans lined with parchment paper.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed for 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy.
  3. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  5. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl again.
  6. Combine the cake flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and mix with a wire whisk.
  7. Combine the milk and vanilla extract in a liquid measuring cup.
  8. With the mixer on low, alternately add the flour mixture and the milk mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture, beating until well blended.
  9. Beat the batter for 7 minutes on medium speed.
  10. Divide the batter evenly between the 7 prepared pans. Tap the pans on the counter to ensure there are no air bubbles.
  11. Bake for 11 to 12 minutes.
  12. Cool the cakes for at least 10 minutes on a cooling rack before removing from the pans.

Chocolate Filling

  1. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add the cocoa powder and whisk until all the lumps are dissolved.
  3. Add ¼ of the confectioners’ sugar and then ¼ of the milk. Alternate until all the sugar and milk are incorporated.
  4. Remove from the heat.
  5. Add the vanilla extract and mix until well blended.
  6. While the filling is still warm, spread it between the cake layers. The filling will set up like fudge as it cools.
  7. If the filling hardens while icing the layers, warm the filling in the microwave in 10-second intervals until the smooth, velvety texture has returned.

Chocolate Icing

  1. Cream the butter and cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer for 3 minutes. At the end of the 3 minutes, scrape the bowl extremely well.
  2. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate in the microwave in 10-second intervals until smooth.
  3. Add the melted chocolate to the butter and cream cheese with the mixer on low speed.
  4. Add the vanilla and beat well.
  5. Slowly add the confectioners’ sugar, beating on low to ensure the sugar does not fly out of the mixing bowl.
  6. After each addition of confectioners’ sugar, scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl extremely well.
  7. Once all the confectioners’ sugar is incorporated, beat on low speed for 3 minutes.
  8. Spread over the top and sides of the filled, stacked cake layers.