Sour Cream Triple Layer Chocolate Cake

3/4 cup cocoa
2 3/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups butter
2 3/4 cups granulated sugar
2 cups sour cream
4 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/2 cup milk
1 package (12 oz) semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups cream
3 cups powdered sugar

Combine cocoa, flour, baking soda, salt, and baking powder. Stir. Set aside. Beat together granulated sugar and 1 cup butter until creamy. Add sour cream and eggs, beat. Add eggs and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Beat until fluffy. Stir in 1/3 the flour mixture, add 1/2 cup milk and stir again. Gradually add remaining flour mixture and beat until smooth and creamy. Stir in 1/2 the chocolate chips. Grease 3 nine-inch round cake pans (if an 8 inch pan is used, batter may run over top of pan – do not overfill 8 inch pans). Sprinkle pans with 2-3 tablespoons flour and shake while tilting to coat sides and bottom of pans with flour. Tap pans to remove excess flour. Evenly divide cake batter between pans. Smooth tops. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until cake springs back when touched in center and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes, then remove cake from pans and finish cooling on a rack.

Melt remaining 6 ounces of chocolate chips with remaining 1 cup butter in microwave. Stir in 1/2 cup cream, add 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar and beat until smooth and creamy. Place frosting bowl over ice water and continue to stir until mixture stiffens to spread able consistency.

Beat 1 cup cream with 1/4 cup powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla until stiff. Place one cake on serving plate, top side down. Spread cake with 1/2 the whipped cream. Add second layer and spread with remaining whip cream. Place last layer on cake, top side up. Frost sides of cake first, covering whip cream. Use remaining frosting to frost top. Swirl frosting decoratively. Decorate with flowers, chocolate curls, sprinkles, etc., as desired. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.

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