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Ruth Reichle's Chocolate Cake

Rectangular Chocolate Layer Cake

A chocolate layer cake filled with chocolate flavored cream cheese filling. For a larger cake, double the recipe and bake in two 9x13 inch pans.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 8
Author Cookie Madness


  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons 50 grams unsweetened natural cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup boiling water
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups 190 grams flour
  • A teaspoon baking soda 5 grams
  • 3/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks or 3/4 cup 170 grams unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup 180 grams dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup 150 grams granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs


  • 4 oz 115 grams unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 3/4 cup 170 grams unsalted butter
  • 1 cup 175 grams whipped cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups 300 gramsconfectioners’ sugar


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 inch baking pan and line with parchment paper or wax paper**. Grease the paper and dust with flour or cocoa powder.
  • Whisk the cocoa powder and boiling water in a bowl until smooth and glossy, then whisk in the milk and vanilla.
  • In another bowl, whisk the flour with the baking soda and 3/8 teaspoon salt.
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar until light and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating for 30 seconds after each egg is added. Continue beating and scraping bowl for about 3 more minutes or until light and creamy.
  • On low speed or by hand using a heavy duty scraper, beat in the flour mixture and cocoa mixture alternately.
  • Pour batter into the pan and smooth the top. Bake in the middle of the oven until a tester comes out clean, 25 to 35 minutes.
  • Let rest on a cooling rack for 2 minutes, then turn onto a rack to cool completely before frosting.
  • Frosting: Melt the chocolate in a microwave on high power, stirring every 30 seconds. Let it cool. Meanwhile, mix the butter with the whipped cream cheese. Add the melted chocolate, the vanilla and a dash of salt, and mix in the confectioners’ sugar. Beat until light and fluffy.
  • Divide the cake. Spread frosting on top of one square and stack the second layer on top. Frost the entire cake.


I use parchment paper for most baked goods, but lately I've been using wax paper for cakes. It does smoke a little, but it's less expensive and easier to work with. The key is to use it only underneath batters and have as little exposed wax paper as possible.