perfecting "no reason" chocolate cake

A couple weeks ago I wanted to make a chocolate torte.  When I googled, "easy chocolate torte recipe," this cake recipe from Sophisticated Gourmet is wha popped up first and I dived right in. 

Chocolate Strawberry Layer Cake
For the Cake:
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
¾ cups unsweetened cocoa powder (natural)
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk (can use light)
½ cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water
1 cup strawberry jam 
For the Frosting:
1 ½ sticks unsalted butter (12 tablespoons or ¾ cup), melted
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (natural)
⅓ cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
4 ½ cups powdered sugar
½ tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons light corn syrup
I'm not going to copy down the directions here.  Sophisticated Gourmet did an excellent job of going step by step & I feel like I actually learned a good bit about baking and preparing a cake from start to finish.  I especially loved a tip they included about how to avoid having to shave your layers to make them level!  See full instructions here.
My cake didn't look exactly like theirs.  I didn't use homemade jam like they did.  My first go at this cake I followed all directions and used Bonne Maman Strawberry Preserves (its a yummy french jam that comes in a cute jar with red & white checkered tin top at public).  I didn't love the icing.  It was delicious, but made the cake too sweet for my taste.  I made this cake again a week later and switched to the Bonne Maman Fig Preserves with some added salt between layers, I used a bit less sugar, and tried a ganache topping (though my ganache was super ugly because I used the wrong chocolate).  
Anywhoo, I thought trying to perfect the "no reason" chocolate cake was as good a cause as any to put some thought, time, and practice into & this recipe gave me a super great place to start.


  1. This cake looks delicious! It reminds me of a similar recipe from Nigella, I'm sure it's equally as amazing!

    x Annabelle


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