European Chocolate Cake

This old-fashioned, from-scratch cake is remarkably easy to make.
Servings 11
Prep Time


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • 2 cups Water
  • 1 tablespoon instant espresso coffee powder
  • 2 ounces semi sweet chocolate
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 Eggs slightly beaten


  1. Line two 9-inch round cake pans with parchment paper. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in mixing bowl. In saucepan, combine sugar, water and espresso coffee powder; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and stir until sugar dissolves. In another bowl, place chocolates and butter; pour sugar mixture over chocolates and stir to melt. Cool slightly (about 10 minutes); stir in vanilla. Beat the eggs into the chocoalte mixture at medium speed until well combined. Add all of the dry ingredients at once and beat at medium speed until smooth. Pour batter into lined pans. Bake in a prehated 350 F oven until cakes test done with wooden pick (25-30 minutes). Cool on rack for 20 minutes; invert cakes onto rack and cool completely.
  2. Fudgy Frosting: In a saucepan over medium-high heat bring 1 1/3 cups grourmet whipping cream and 1 1/2 cups sugar to a boil; stir in 2 teaspoons instant espresso coffee powder; reduce heat to low and simmer 6 minutes, until liquid reduces, stirring occasionally. In medium bowl, place 6 ounces unsweetened chocolate and 10 tablespoons unsalted butter; pout hot cream over chocolate; stir to melt. Stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and a pinch of salt. Place bowl in a larger bowl of ice water; beat on medium speed until thick and glossy; about 5 minutes.
  3. To Assemble Cake: Set one cake round, right-side up on serving plate. Spread one-third of frosting over cake; top with second layer and frost the top and sides of the cake.