Rich & Ruffled Chocolate Celebration Cake
Ingredients
For the cake:
  • 1 3/4 cups 220 g all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups 400 g granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup 90 g Cacao Barry Cocoa Powder - Extra Dark
  • 2 teaspoons 10 g baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon 5 g baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon 9 g salt
  • 2 eggs at room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup 237 mL strong, hot black coffee or espresso
  • 1 cup 237 mL buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup 119 mL vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon 15 mL pure vanilla extract
For the Swiss Meringue Buttercream
  • 5 large egg whites 150g
  • 1-1/4 cups 250 g granulated sugar
  • 1 pound 4 sticks unsalted butter, softened, cut into cubes
  • 2 teaspoons 10 mL pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
Instructions
For the cake layers:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare 2 x 9" (or 3 x 8" for slightly shorter layers) cake pans with butter and flour or parchment paper.
  2. In bowl of electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, sift all dry ingredients. Add remaining ingredients to mixture and mix for 2 minutes on medium speed (you may need the plastic splashguard that comes with mixer).
  3. Divide among prepared pans. Batter will be liquidy.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes and rotate pans in oven. Cakes are done when toothpick or skewer comes clean, about 35 minutes. Try not to overbake.
  5. Cool on wire racks for 20 minutes then gently invert onto racks until completely cool.
For the Swiss Meringue Buttercream:
  1. Wipe the bowl of an electric mixer with paper towel and vinegar, to remove any trace of grease. Add egg whites and sugar, and simmer over a pot of water (not boiling), whisking constantly, until temperature reaches 140°F, or if you don't have a candy thermometer, until the sugar has completely dissolved and the egg whites are hot.
  2. With whisk attachment of mixer, begin to whip until the mixture is thick, glossy, and cool. Switch over to paddle attachment and, while mixing on medium speed, gradually add softened butter in chunks until incorporated, and mix until it has reached a silky smooth texture (if curdles, keep mixing and it will come back to smooth).
  3. Add vanilla and salt and mix well.
  4. Keep in airtight container in refrigerator for up to one week, leaving out at room temperature when needed, rewhipping in mixer for 5 minutes.
  5. Can freeze for up to 6-8 weeks.
Sweetapolita's Notes

*If doing the ruffly cake, you can increase the cake recipe by 50% for a 3-layer cake (or 6, if you slice each in 2) and make the buttercream x 3. It requires tons and tons of buttercream. Trust me!

**This cake is sturdy enough to be used under fondant, stacked, etc. but also moist and tasty enough too go on its own with almost any type of frosting, glaze, etc.

[Swiss Meringue Buttercream recipe adapted from Martha Stewart]