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Chocolate Tiered Cake with Berries

If you think you can't make a special cake for a birthday... 
think again.

I baked this cake for my brother Gerry's 60th birthday back in May. 

This cake is barely frosted and you could use cake mixes to achieve the look or use the recipe that I've posted below.  Use your favourite chocolate frosting and whip some cream and the rest is all fun in placing berries around the cakes to give it a special 

My favourite Chocolate Cake is from the cookbook Eat, Shrink & Be Merry by Janet & Greta Podleski.  I've done a bit of tweaking in today's recipe.  You can find the original in their cookbook that was published ten years ago but is still available for purchase today.    

Chocolate Tiered Cake  
You will need two recipes to make  two 9" X 1 1/2" inch cakes,  one 6" X 3" cake and one 4" X 4" cake.

  • 3 ounces good quality unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup hot strong brewed coffee
  • 3 cups white sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  1. Prepare pans by greasing them and lining with parchment paper.
  2. Preheat oven to 325 F.
  3. Combine chopped chocolate and hot coffee, stir to melt and allow to cool.
  4. Sift dry ingredients and set aside.
  5. In a large bowl, beat eggs until thick and lemon colored. 
  6.  Add wet ingredients. Beat well.
  7. Slowly add dry ingredients into wet ingredients and mix until smooth.
  8. Fill pans 2/3 full. 
  9. Bake until toothpick tests clean in center of pan.  For the taller pans, use a skewer. The 9 inch pans will take about 25 minutes.   The taller pans will take longer. 
  10. Once baked, cool cakes right side up on wire racks with parchment paper still on the bottom of the cake.
To assemble you will need about 4 - 5 cups of chocolate frosting of your choice.  

  1.  Split cakes in half and fill with a thin layer of frosting. Place the two 9 inch layers on cake pan.
  2. Split 6 inch cake into two layers and put a thin layer of frosting between layers. Place 6 inch cake immediately on top without frosting between the 9 inch and 6 inch cakes.  Keep parchment paper on the bottom of the 6 inch cake to make removing it easier for cutting.  
  3. Split 4 inch cake into two layers and put frosting between those two layers.  Place 4 inch cake immediately on top without frosting between the 6 inch and 4 inch cakes.  Again, keep parchment paper on the bottom of the 4 inch cake.
  4. Put a very thin layer of icing around the outside of cakes, scraping the sides to give it a rustic look.  This cake in not meant to be perfectly frosted.  This is what makes it easy for those of us who are not cake decorators. 
Now you are ready to garnish with whipped cream and berries, cherries and kiwi.

  1. Fill two piping bags, one with sweetened whipped cream and one with frosting. Starting at the base of the  bottom layer,  pipe whipped cream around edge and decorate with fruit, piping frosting on as needed to anchor fruit.
  2. Repeat with each layer.  


  1. That is a beautiful and impressive cake Lovella!!!! It could easily serve as a wedding cake. It's a perfect milestone cake (happy 60th to your brother). I love the Podleski sisters' delightful cookbooks too.

  2. What a beautiful cake, Lovella - you are proving to be the cake queen!

  3. So lovely! Fit for a queen or a king!

  4. Do you ever have problems with the whipping cream melting on this cake?

    1. I usually use a whipping cream stabilizer which works so well for keeping it firm a few hours. The one I use is made by Dr. Oetker called WhipIt


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