Show-stopping Triple-Tier Cake


  • Makes4 to 4 servings

No, it's not from a bakeshop. While this shouts, "Special occasion!," with a little help, kids can bake it from scratch, no motorized appliances or sharp tools required


  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 2 tsp baking soda

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 3 28-g squares unsweetened chocolate, (3 oz)

  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil

  • 2 large eggs

  • 2 tsp vanilla

  • 3/4 cup milk

  • 1 tsp white vinegar

  • 2 450-g cans ready-made frosting, (you won't use it all)

  • candies, for decorating


  • Baking: Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter a 9 x 13 in (22 x 32 cm) metal baking pan, then line the bottom with parchment paper.

  • To measure flour, give it a stir, then spoon it into a measuring cup and level the top with the flat side of a knife. Sift flour, baking soda and salt into a large bowl. Mix well.

  • In a microwave-safe dish, heat chocolate squares in the microwave at 50% power until completely melted (1 to 3 minutes). Stir.

  • In another large bowl, use back of wooden spoon to mash together sugar and butter until blended. Mix in oil, eggs, vanilla and cooled chocolate. Using a whisk, gradually add flour mixture and milk to the butter mixture. Stir until batter is smooth. Mix in vinegar (it's what makes the baking soda fizz and the cake rise).

  • Use a rubber spatula to scrape batter into the prepared pan. Bake on middle rack of oven about 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into middle comes out clean. Cool completely and invert onto a large cutting board.

  • Assembling: From clean sheets of paper, cut 3 circles, diameters 7, 5 and 3 in (17, 12 and 7 cm). Arrange circles so they don't overlap or go over the edge of the cake. Push a few toothpicks through each circle to secure them to the cake. Using a serrated knife, cut around the paper templates to create the 3 cake rounds (job for an adult!). Using a dinner knife, lift the biggest cake round onto a serving plate. Spread frosting over the top and sides. Centre the mid-sized cake on top, frost, then add the last little cake to the top and frost it. (Young chefs can snack on the scraps or use them to make Cake Truffles; go to Decorate the cake by sprinkling candies overtop and enjoy!

This article was originally published on May 01, 2009

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