13 Layer Butter Cake with Chocolate Ganache Icing

This recipe is one of my husband's favorite desserts.
He absolutely loves chocolate, so I made this for his birthday back in April.
I said I'd post the recipe, and several of you have asked for it.
I compared several recipes for this cake, and ultimately came up with one on my own, which means I had to find the notepad I scratched down all my measurements and ingredients on.
Well, 5.5 months later, I finally found it!
3 cups cake flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened at room temperature
2 cups sugar
5 eggs
1 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup water
2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Ganache Icing
2 cups sugar
1 cup milk
6 oz. Ghirardeli dark chocolate morsels
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened at room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350F.
In a bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients EXCEPT the sugar, and mix well.
Using an electric mixer (preferably a K.A. Stand Mixer), cream the butter and sugar until well blended and creamy.
While the mixer is running on low, add eggs 1 at a time making sure it is well mixed after each addition.
Add the dry ingredients 1 cup at a time while the mixer is running.
Add milk, water, and vanilla while the mixer is running and mix well.
Spray 8" or 9" round cake pans with nonstick spray for baking.
**I only had 2 round cake pans, so I had to keep repeating the process all afternoon.
It was quite a process.
So, either try to borrow some additional cake pans from friends and family or get one of those gadgets that slices the cake into multiple layers for you.**
Add 3 serving spoonfuls of cake mix into each of the cake pans and spread it out with the spoon.
Bake at 350 for 8-9 min. depending on your oven.
Repeat the process until you've used up all of your cake batter.
You may need to wash the pans between uses.
Then lick the bowl. Seriously, the taste of the batter is well worth and risk of 5 raw eggs. 
I always like the bowl-using a spatula, of course!
**You may end up with more or less layers than I did-the number of layers just depends on how much batter you use each go round, so don't be alarmed if you don't end up with exactly 13.*
Cut strips of wax or parchment paper and layer over the edges of your cake plate to prevent a mess when you ice the cake.
After the cakes are baking and they've cooled a bit, turn them out on cooling racks, or directly onto your cake if you have the icing ready to go between layers.
Be gentle with the layers, they will be thin and delicate!

In a medium saucepan on medium heat, add the milk and the sugar.
Once sugar has dissolved, add the chocolate and the butter.
Stir regularly over the next 10-15 minutes or until your icing has formed.
Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.

Spoon the icing between each cake layer and then over the top.
It will be a little runny to begin with, so let it run down the sides.
I'm not going to lie-it made a little bit of a mess.
As the icing hardens on the cake, keep adding more until you've used it all up and the top and sides are drenched.
If you prefer extra, make another batch of icing and layer it on!

This cake took me an entire afternoon to make, then another hour to clean up and do all the dishes.
If you're in a hurry, this is not the recipe for you.
Take your time, put on some music, pour yourself a drink of choice and do it right!
You won't be sorry.
Well, you may be sorry about the calories, but you won't be sorry about the way it tastes!


  1. I feel like I've been following you a while on Pinterest, good to know you have a blog too! This cake looks delicious!

  2. This is like the best southern cake ever. I only got it at Christmas when someone from church baked it for my grandmother. I'm so happy I found this recipe!!

  3. Thank you SO MUCH!! <3

  4. Hello! I just finished making this tonight. =D When I lived in Clayton NC, I used to go to this mom owned cake shop/fruit stand, she made the best southern cakes and PIES OMGOSH! I hope she's still there. I'd pay 20-30$ each cake for when guests came over. We'd all died and gone to heaven. Her chocolate chess pie was also to die for! <3 Ok so ... I did ok for my first time. I am thinking if I want to put a fluffy chocolate crème on the top and sides to even the appearance. I read some other people have done that. Not sure what would compliment it. A chocolate buttercream, fluffy might be the best choice. Any opinions? Thank you!


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