Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Magleby's Chocolate Cake

If you live in Utah you probably know about Magleby's chocolate cake.  It is absolutely delicious!  I love how it is dense, moist, and chocolaty but not too rich.  There are a lot of blogs that have a copycat recipe for this cake and they taste IDENTICAL to Magleby's chocolate cake.  As I have been playing around with this recipe for a few years I have come up with a few alterations that I think make the cake even that much better.  My family agrees that the alterations make the cake better but it still has the signature Magleby's flavor and texture it is just a little more moist and has a little richer flavor. 

If you like dense and moist cake then this is the recipe for you!  If you don't think you like dense cake then you should still make this cake and I promise you will fall in love!  One of my favorite things about the cake is that it is so dense that it holds together really good after it is baked making it easy to layer and frost.  Another great thing about this cake is you don't need to use a mixer and it is so easy to make you really can't mess it up.  

Here is my version of the recipe that I prefer to make, it makes a lot of cake so if you just need one 9 by 13 pan you can half the recipe.  Usually when I make cakes I use round pans and I always make three layers, not only do I like the way it looks when it is cut but I also like that it gives the cake some height.  So this recipe will make three 9 inch round cake layers. 

Magleby's Chocolate Cake

2 cups unsalted butter
2 cups water
3/4 cup cocoa powder plus 2 heaping tbsp
4 cups all purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
4 eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups light brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup sour cream

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees and prepare cake pans. 

2. In a small sauce pan heat butter until melted on medium heat.  Add water and cocoa powder and whisk until smooth, then bring to a boil and let boil for 30 seconds.  Then set pan to the side and let the mixture cool.

3. In a separate bowl sift together flour, granulated sugar, and salt.  I like to sift it together twice.  Add cooled chocolate mixture and stir until just combined and smooth.  

4. In a small separate bowl add eggs, baking soda, baking powder, and whisk until smooth.  The mixture will start to foam, but that is normal.  Then stir in the brown sugar and vanilla and whisk until smooth.  Pour the egg mixture into the batter and gently stir until all combined.

5. Fold the sour cream into the batter gently.

6. Divide into 3 greased 9 inch cake pans and bake at 325 degrees, for about 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick is inserted and comes out with only a few crumbs.  Cover with parchment paper and let cool.  I prefer to cover the layers with parchment paper then with a clean dish towel and pop them right into the freezer.  I always frost my cakes while they are frozen it makes it so much easier!

Chocolate Buttercream Frosthing

1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature 
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
3 1/2 cups powder sugar 
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup milk

1. Beat butter, cocoa powder, powdered sugar, and salt in mixer with paddle attachment until smooth.  Add vanilla and milk and beat until fluffy.  This doesn't make enough frosting to cover and fill the cake, so if you plan on putting this frosting in between the layers I would double the recipe.  I prefer to use my favorite filling in this cake then just frost the top and sides of the cake with this frosting.  

Here are step by step instructions with pictures:

 Ingredients you'll need...

Melt the butter in small saucepan. 

Stir in water and cocoa until smooth and bring to a boil, then let boil for 30 seconds, and set aside to let cool. 

Sift flour, granulated sugar, and salt together into a large bowl.  I like to sift twice to make sure all the ingredients are well mixed. 

Pour chocolate mixture over flour mixture and mix gently until smooth. 

It should look like this...

Then add baking soda and baking powder to slightly beaten eggs and whisk until combined. 

Add the brown sugar and stir until smooth. 

 Add egg mixture to the batter and stir gently until smooth. 

 It will look like this... 

Gently fold in sour cream.  

It will look like this when it is ready to pour into prepared cake pans.  

Divide evenly into three 9 inch cake pans, then bake at 325 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick is inserted into the center and comes out with just a few crumbs. 

I didn't take pictures of the frosting but it is so easy to make, I am sure you can figure it out.  There are a lot of different tips and tricks that I have discovered over the years that I use when I make this cake and every cake that I make.  So in a upcoming post I am going to share those tips and tricks so be sure to read that post and use them when you make this cake.  


  1. Love that you're blogging about yummy things! Don't stop! I'm totally going to make this... or just come visit the next time you make it!

  2. Love Maglebys cake. I have a very similar recipe except for the brown sugar. Wow, that doubles the sugar, I am definitely going to have to try your version. I am good friends with Doc's daughter and she has often made the cake for me but never gave me the recipe, just saying it was a typical buttermilk cake but they used sour cream instead. I can't wait to try yours. I love to stack mine high too.

    Saw this on Pinterest. Come and visit. I have a huge giveaway going on. Ends Sunday.

    1. I am glad that you are going to try my version! I think the reason it has double the sugar that similar recipes have is because this recipe makes A TON of batter! I hope you like it! I am going to need to check out your site for sure, gotta love give aways!

  3. Pictured, it looks like you are using half-sticks of butter. Is the picture correct using only one cup of butter (4 half-sticks) or is the recipe correct in saying 2 cups of butter? (4 sticks)

    1. It does look like they are half sticks in the picture but they are full sticks of butter. So yes it is 4 sticks of butter. This recipe makes a lot of batter. :)

  4. Also should it be natural unsweetened cocoa powder like Hershey's or dutch-process cocoa? Thanks!