Rustic Chocolate Cake

All the great holiday prices on baking ingredients has inspired me to think outside of the box and try some new things.  Typically, we like our chocolate cakes to be on the super moist side.  This time, I wanted to have a more rustic layer cake with a decadent frosting.  The outcome was perfect!  The cake was dry, but it wasn’t overly dry.  The crumbly texture, enhanced by the addition of ground almonds, helped to bring out the sweet chocolate flavor in the creamy ganache-like frosting.  This isn’t a child’s chocolate cake.  It is for adults or those with a more refined palate.



  • 8 oz semisweet bakers chocolate
  • 1/4 dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 5 Tbsp evaporated milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla


  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 Tbsp light corn syrup
  • 1 Tbsp light molasses
  • 1/2 ground almonds
  • 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 6 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder


Start by making the frosting.  Place all the frosting ingredients in a medium saucepan.  Heat on low, stirring frequently, until all the ingredients are melted.  If necessary, cut the butter into smaller pieces to help with the melting process.  Do not let the mixture burn.  Once fully melted and the mixture appears smooth and glossy, place entire pan in the refrigerator and allow to fully cool.  This process takes 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

While the frosting is cooling, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Spray two 8 inch round cake pans with Baker’s Joy or another similar non-stick bakers spray. (if that spray is unavailable, you can grease the pans with unsalted butter and line them with parchment paper).  In a medium bowl, cream the softened butter and sugar on medium speed about 2 to 3 minutes until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs, one at a time, until fully combined.  On low speed, add the corn syrup, molasses, and almonds.  Mix until combined.

In a small bowl, combined the flour, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder.  Sift together or stir lightly until combined.  Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix on low speed until combined.  Do not over mix.  Batter will be thick, and you will likely need to add a bit of water (1/4 cup or less) to thin the batter out so that it’s spreadable.  

Spoon 1/2 of the batter into each cake pan, and using a spatula, spread the mixture evenly throughout the pan.  Bake 25-30 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.  (start checking at about 22 minutes for doneness- do not allow cake to burn)  Cool the cakes for 10 minutes and then turn onto a wire rack to finish cooling.  

When the cakes are fully cooled and the frosting has thickened, spread a little less than half of the frosting on top of one of the layers.  (if the frosting is extremely cold, you may need to stir it for a minute to soften)  Place the other layer on top and use the remaining frosting to frost the top and sides of the cake.  Serve.

L: Frosting ingredients melting in the saucepan. R: Cake batter spread evenly in the prepared cake pans.

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