This delicious (and big!) celebration cake is a staple at Bake Chicago and a particular favorite at the holidays. It has a wonderfully fudgy, old-fashioned, homemade texture. The frosting has an unusual method that may feel initially like it's failing, but stick with it. Laced with sour cream, it's creamy and utterly delicious.

Source: Midwest Living


Credit: Kelsey Hansen

Recipe Summary

40 mins
3 hrs 20 mins
one 9-inch 3-layer cake




Instructions Checklist
  • For cake: In a small saucepan, combine the water and cocoa powder. Bring to a boil over medium, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; let cool.

  • Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly grease the bottoms of three 9-inch round cake pans. Line bottoms of pans with parchment paper; grease and lightly flour pans.

  • In a medium bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl, stir together buttermilk, oil, eggs and vanilla. Fold in flour mixture until combined. Add cooled chocolate mixture, stirring until combined.

  • Divide batter among prepared pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool in pans 10 minutes. Turn cakes out onto wire racks; peel off paper. Cool completely.

  • For filling: In a medium saucepan, combine sweetened condensed milk, sugar, egg yolks and butter. Cook and stir over medium until slightly thickened and mixture just bubbles, about 7 minutes. Stir in coconut and pecans. Cover and cool at least 1 hour before using.

  • For frosting: In a medium saucepan, combine butter and chopped chocolate. Cook and stir over low until chocolate is melted; transfer to a large bowl. Add half of the powdered sugar and beat with a mixer on low speed. Add remaining powdered sugar and beat on low until powdered sugar is evenly incorporated. (Mixture will be crumbly.) Add sour cream and vanilla; beat until creamy.

  • To assemble: Place one cake layer on a serving plate. Spread with one-third of the filling. Repeat with remaining two layers and filling, leaving a 1-inch border around the top edge. Chill cake 1 hour.

  • Frost sides of cake. Using a pastry bag, pipe the remaining frosting around the cake's top edge.

Nutrition Facts

1134 calories; fat 57g; cholesterol 163mg; saturated fat 25g; carbohydrates 155g; mono fat 14g; poly fat 13g; trans fatty acid 1g; insoluble fiber 6g; sugars 126g; protein 12g; vitamin a 874.8IU; vitamin c 1.3mg; thiamin 0.3mg; riboflavin 0.4mg; niacin equivalents 2mg; vitamin b6 0.1mg; folate 71.1mcg; vitamin b12 0.4mcg; sodium 501mg; potassium 411mg; calcium 176mg; iron 4.4mg.