Reynita’s Chocolate Cake aka Chocolate Stack Loaf

Every now and then you really get lucky and the dessert you bake receives unanimous kudos and instantly becomes a standard in your baking repertoire. This Chocolate Layer Cake is one of those. When SWEETTABLESCAPES first made it for a friend’s birthday dinner, not only did she love it but the rest of my family also approved. So it has become a go-to recipe; originally found in BHG Magazine, February 2010, it is only fitted that I  revisit this recipe for my husband’s February birthday. (he is also a huge fan!) I also think it is a perfect chocolate cake for Valentine’s Day which is coming up…

I am still struggling with the frosting/ganache which always is a bit too soft when I spread it…hence the slightly lopsided cake…but the result is rich and chocolatey and delicious, so who cares!!?

You’ll need:

  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup hot tap water
  • 1 recipe Easy Fudge Frosting, recipe below
  • Natural unsweetened cocoa powder


  • Step 1

    Position rack in lower third of oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease sides of 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper; set aside.

  • Step 2

    In large mixing bowl whisk together flour, brown sugar, 1/3 cup cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.

    Add butter, eggs, and vanilla.

    Whisk gently until dry ingredients are moistened and mixture resembles a thick paste. Whisk briskly about 30 strokes. Tap or shake any batter from whisk.

    Use rubber spatula to stir in hot water, scraping sides as necessary, just until batter is blended and smooth.

    With spatula scrape batter from bowl into prepared pan and spread to make a thin even layer.

  • Step 3

    Bake 14 to 16 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack 10 minutes.

    Slide a thin metal spatula or knife around cake edges to loosen from pan. Invert cake onto rack. Remove paper liner; carefully turn cake right side up. Cool completely.

  • Step 4

    Cut cake crosswise in three equal rectangles.

    Thickly spread frosting on one piece, top with a second piece and spread with frosting.

    Leave top unfrosted. (I frost the top too, because there is way too much extra frosting otherwise!!) Thickly frost long sides. Before serving, dust top with cocoa powder. Makes 12 servings.

    Easy Fudge Frosting ingredients:

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  • Step 1

    In medium saucepan melt butter.

    Stir in sugar, cocoa powder, and salt.

    Gradually stir in whipping cream.

    Heat, stirring constantly, until smooth and hot but not boiling.

    Remove from heat; stir in vanilla extract. Set aside; cool until thickened and spreadable. To cool quickly, loosely cover and refrigerate 1 hour. Store up to 1 week in refrigerator. Makes 2 cups.

    Bring cake to room temperature before serving. Don’t be shy if you want some whipped cream with it!:-) but it delicious on its own…

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