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Deluxe Chocolate Split Layer Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Active Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes plus cooling • Serves: 16

3/4 cup Schnucks unsalted butter (1-1/2 sticks), plus additional for greasing pan, softened
2 cups Schnucks all-purpose flour, plus additional for dusting pans
1 cup unsweetened cocoa
1-1/2 teaspoons Schnucks baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups buttermilk or Schnucks vitamin D whole milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1-3/4 cups Schnucks granulated sugar
3 Schnucks large eggs

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
1 pound Schnucks unsalted butter (4 sticks), softened
3 tablespoons Schnucks vitamin D whole milk
1-1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 cups plus 2 tablespoons powdered sugar, sifted

1. Prepare Cake: Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease two 9-inch round cake pans with some softened butter. Line bottom of pans with parchment paper; grease parchment with butter. Dust lined pans with flour. Onto sheet of waxed paper, sift flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In 2-cup liquid measuring cup, combine buttermilk and vanilla.

2. In large bowl, with mixer on low speed, beat granulated sugar and butter until blended. Increase speed to high and beat 4 minutes or until creamy, occasionally scraping bowl with rubber spatula. Reduce speed to low; add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition and occasionally scraping bowl.

3. Beat in flour mixture alternately with buttermilk mixture just until blended, beginning and ending with flour mixture, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour batter evenly into prepared pans. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Cool in pans on wire rack 10 minutes. Run plastic knife around edges of pans to loosen cakes. Invert cakes onto racks. Remove parchment. Cool cakes completely, 1-1/2 to 2 hours.

4. Meanwhile, prepare Chocolate Buttercream Frosting: In microwave-safe medium bowl, heat chocolate in microwave oven on high 1 minute; stir. Heat 1 minute longer. Let stand a few minutes, then stir until smooth. Let stand 15 minutes to cool slightly. With mixer on medium speed, beat butter 3 minutes or until creamy. Reduce speed to low. Add milk and vanilla and beat until blended. Increase speed to medium and beat 1 minute, occasionally scraping bowl with rubber spatula. Add cooled melted chocolate and beat 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low; gradually beat in powdered sugar. Increase speed to medium and beat 2 minutes, occasionally scraping bowl. Makes about 7 cups frosting.

5. With long, serrated knife parallel to work surface, split each cake layer horizontally in half to make 4 layers. Place 1 cake layer, cut side down, on cake plate. With narrow, metal spatula, spread 1-1/4 cups frosting over layer. Repeat with second and third layers, spreading 1-1/4 cups frosting between each layer. Top with fourth cake layer; spread remaining frosting on top and sides of cake. If not serving cake right away, cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 1 day ahead.

Each serving: about 670 calories, 39 g total fat (26 g saturated), 124 mg cholesterol, 264 mg sodium, 76 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 58 g sugars, 6 g protein

Cook’s Wisdom

Prepared batter can also be poured into 24 lined standard muffin cups. Bake at 325°F for 20 to 25 minutes, rotating pans between upper and lower racks halfway through baking.