Reduced-Guilt Chocolate Layer Cake with Meringue Frosting

Be the first to
rate this recipe!
member ratings
Create a Recipe Makeover
Nutritional Info
  • Servings Per Recipe: 12
  • Amount Per Serving
  • Calories: 313.2
  • Total Fat: 10.0 g
  • Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
  • Sodium: 247.5 mg
  • Total Carbs: 55.3 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 2.0 g
  • Protein: 3.9 g

View full nutritional breakdown of Reduced-Guilt Chocolate Layer Cake with Meringue Frosting calories by ingredient
Submitted by:


From Cook's Illustrated From Cook's Illustrated
Number of Servings: 12


    -Reduced-Guilt Chocolate Layer Cake-

    1/2 cup natural cocoa powder
    2 teaspoons instant espresso powder , or instant coffee
    1 cup boiling water
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    1/2 cup vegetable oil
    1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
    1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon table salt
    4 large egg whites
    1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
    1.5 cups strawberries, sliced

    -Meringue Frosting-

    3 large egg whites
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
    Pinch table salt
    1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
    1/3 cup water


1. For the Cake: Adjust oven rack to center position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 8-by-1 1/2-inch round baking pans with shortening. Line pan bottoms with waxed or parchment paper; grease paper as well. Dust pans with flour; tap out excess.
2. Mix cocoa and instant coffee in small bowl; add boiling water and mix until smooth. Cool to room temperature, then stir in vanilla and oil. Add 1 cup of sugar to medium bowl, followed by remaining dry ingredients (you should have 1/4 cup of sugar remaining). Mix thoroughly, then mix cooled cocoa mixture into dry ingredients.
3. At slow speed in an electric mixer, beat egg whites until foamy. Add cream of tartar, increase mixer speed to medium and beat to soft peaks. Increase mixer speed to high; beat whites until stiff and glossy. Slowly sprinkle in remaining 1/4 cup sugar and beat 15 seconds more. Fold egg whites gently but thoroughly into cocoa batter base.
4. Divide batter evenly between pans. With rubber spatula, run batter to pan sides and smooth top. Bake cakes until they feel firm in center when lightly pressed and skewer comes out clean or with just a crumb or two adhering, 20 to 25 minutes. Tranfer pans to wire racks; cool for 20 minutes. Run knife around perimeter of each pan, invert cakes onto racks, and peel off paper liners. Reinvert cakes onto additional racks; cool completely before frosting.
5. For the Meringue Frosting: Beat egg whites at slow speed in electric mixer until frothy. Add vanilla, cream of tartar, and salt and beat at medium speed to soft peaks. Raise mixer speed to high and beat whites to stiff, glossy peaks. Turn off mixer. Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to boil over high heat, constantly and gently swirling pan by the handle. Cover and boil 2 minutes, then cover and boil until a candy thermometer registers 238 degrees (syrup will form soft, gum-like ball when dropped in ice water). With mixer at high speed, pour syrup in thin, steady stream into egg whites. Continue to beat until frosting is cool, 7 to 10 minutes. Apply frosting onto first cake layer and spread with a long metal spatula, add sliced strawberries evenly to the top of the first cake. Top with second cake layer, top second layer with frosting, spread and then frost sides. Serve.

Number of Servings: 12

Recipe submitted by SparkPeople user S318830.

Rate This Recipe