The Ultimate Dark Chocolate Cake Recipe

A baby shower occurred in March for my dear friend.

As a hostess, here illness I volunteered for cake duty.

The one person to call was Linda Geffney from The Connectionist.

Each time I’ve been fortunate enough to taste her delights, troche it’s an unforgettable moment in cake heaven.

Her cakes are that special. Not to sweet, rx not too dense, just a blend of flavors that are completely unforgettable.

I ordered a Dark Chocolate master piece.

When I brought it home I almost went into the closet to eat it all by myself,

but I refrained since I was wearing a pretty dress.


It was good.

Religiously Good Cake.

I knew I must have the recipe, it became a culinary quest.

After tracking her down, begging, pleading then finally offering to sell her my first born, Linda happily obliged.

Here is the recipe for Linda Geffney’s cake photographed above.

I made or it for the 4th of July with a slight modification, scroll down you’ll see.

But First.

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Friends have asked how I keep track of all the recipes I’ve collected over time.

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The answer,


Say that ten times fast.

And for those special recipes from Gigi, my ULTRA fabulous culinary-star Grammie (97 years old – BTW),

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her hand written recipes I preserve like the timeless treasures they are.

Okay, now onto the terrific, no adjectives can describe, Dark Chocolate Cake Recipe.

Let’s get this party started.

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First take 7/8 cup of water and heat until boiling in the microwave for about 2 minutes.

While the water is heating,

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scoop into a bowl 7/8 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder. Add the boiling water to the cocoa powder.

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Stir and it will quickly look like this.

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Then dump in 1/2 cup BITTERSWEET chocolate chips . Stir together until all the chocolate is combined.

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Now add 4 oz of sour cream and 1/2 Tablespoons of good Vanilla into the chocolate. Stir until it looks like

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Now set it aside and just say to your self “no touchy” while it cools.

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Let’s move onto the mixer.

Take 7/8 cup of sugar (I fill a 1 cup measurement then use my 1/8 cup and remove one scoop = 7/8 cup)

Put the white sugar into the mixer along with the room temperature butter and brown sugar.

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Then mix it together for a good couple of minutes until the mixture looks light and fluffy.

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Now add 3 eggs, one at a time, beating well after each egg.

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On to the dry team.

Throw 1 1/2 cups cake flour, 1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/8 teaspoon salt.

Make sure all your ingredients are fresh, expired Baking Soda can ruin any recipe.

(find the expiration date on the bottom of the box)

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Now grab the chocolate that has cooled and

alternately add the chocolate and flour to the butter/sugar mixture.

I usually do this in three additions of each, with the last one being the flour mixture.

Remember to scrape the sides of the bowl periodically, to make sure none of the ingredients get left behind.

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The cake batter will look like this.

Be sure not to over mix at this point – over mixing is bad for your cake.

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Now dump in 1 cup of mini semi sweet chocolate chips. Fold them in gently.

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oh yeah….. now onto the next step.

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For a time saver, I buy these 9” pre-cut parchment circles at a local cake store.

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They fit perfectly. I then spray the pan with Baking Pam (it has flour in it).

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Now dump your batter in two 9” cake pans.

Try to treat each pan fairly by not giving to much attention to one,

feelings get hurt and the result will be uneven layers.

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Smooth out the batter, making it nice and flat.

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There you go. Now pop them in the a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.

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The timer went off, it is time for the toothpick test. The first attempt came out covered in batter.

Close the door and bake for another 5 minutes.

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Let the cakes cool in their pans, then flip them out onto a cookie cooling rack once they are warm to the touch.

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Now onto the Mascarpone Chocolate Chip Filling. (Yes, you did read that correctly)

This is my little trick, it’s a good one.

Butter cream frosting is good, but sometimes I prefer a whip cream frosting.

Since whip cream frosting can become unstable and melt off any cake on a hot day,

this is a sure fire solution.

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Measure 3 cups heavy cream and 2 cups powder sugar. Have them met up in the mixer and start swirling.

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Mix for 1-2 minutes, you are not making whip cream, you just want it to be foamy.

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Then add 2 8oz containers of Mascarpone Cheese and 1 tsp Vanilla.

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Mix until it looks like this, if you mix to much longer the cheese will thicken too much and your filling will curdle.

No Bueno.

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I then added 1 cup of semi sweet chocolate chips

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and folded it all together.

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Place a piece of cake cardboard (again find this at a cake store) on your serving piece.

Then carefully add your first cake layer.

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Put a healthy dollop of filling on the cake and spread it out evenly

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and then add your next layer of cake. Looks good.

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At this point I could have frosted the rest in a chocolate ganach, but since I still had a large amount of filling left in the bowl.

And yes, I had been eating it by the spoonful when no one was watching.

I decided to make the filling a top layer.

Then decorate it.

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So I could eat it in my pretty dress.

Here is the recipe sweet friends.


The Ultimate Dark Chocolate Cake Recipe
  • ⅞ cup cocoa powder
  • ⅞ cup boiling water
  • ½ cup bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup mini-chocolate chips
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ½ tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temp. (really important the butter is mushy to blend with the other ingredients)
  • ⅞ cup sugar
  • 1⅛ cup brown sugar
  • 3 eggs, room temp. (see above)
  • 1½ cup cake flour (note – not all purpose)
  • 1¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • Mascarpone Frosting with Chocolate Chips
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 2 (8-ounce) containers of mascarpone cheese
  • 2 cups powder sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (I always use Trader Joe’s)
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  1. Place the cocoa powder in a bowl and whisk in boiling water.
  2. Then stir in the bittersweet chocolate chips until smooth. Next whisk in sour cream and vanilla. Set aside to cool.
  3. In a separate bowl, cream the butter with the brown and white sugar until light and fluffy.
  4. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  5. Finally, add the chocolate mixture and flour mixture alternately until just combined.
  6. Fold in the mini chocolate chips.
  7. Bake at 350 for approximately 30 minutes to then test with toothpick for doneness.
  8. For Whipped Mascarpone Topping
  9. Mix the cream and powder sugar until foamy, NOT whip cream. Then add the mascarpone cheese to thicken. Do not over mix, the frosting will curdle. Finally fold in the chocolate chips. (NOTE, half this recipe for a single cake filling layer)


Send me any comments of questions!


  1. Lynne McCartney says

    I love to bake, can’t wait to try this, but right now I need to cut back a little, need to go into the show ring soon and have added a few extra lbs that need to come off!!!!!!!

  2. Next time you make one – call me first!!

  3. Looks soooo YUMMY, I didn’t even READ your blog at first I was too busy drooling over your beautiful photos, you always take such lovely photos, I had to go back and READ hahaha, apparently I cannot take my eyes off sweets! We keep our recipes the same way, I have a binder with sheet protectors too!!

  4. I wonder if I can place an order for one of these for Daphney’s baby shower in a few years? Consider it an order because this cake and beagles puppies may be my two favorite things in life! Can’t wait to try it and thanks for sharing. BTW, I made the pancetta lasagna again, but this time ziti style instead of lasagne noodles. Still just as delicious and easier to eat!

  5. Keep posting stuff like this i really like it

  6. So, here is the difference between you and I. I cannot bake to save my soul!! Although, this recipe makes me want to try. Thanks for checking out my blog. I’ll be back here often!!

  7. This looks amazing. Is amazing even the right word? 😉
    I have a girl’s night dinner once a month and I do believe I have found my dessert for this month 🙂

  8. thank you for posting this wonderful recipe. i will definitely try it!! One question, do you think if i added a little cocoa powder to the filling mixture it will be too heavy and have more of a chance of curdling? i wanted to see if i can get a chocolate colored look for the filling/frosting. Again thank you for sharing. Your recipes are great!!


  1. […] 4th of July, Asparagus ~ Pancetta Lasagna as well as the Ultimate Chocolate Cake were two potluck recipes to show off with.  If you missed them last year, check them out by […]

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