Imperial Sugar
Imperial Sugar

Chocolate Pecan Layer Cake


Chocolate Cake

  • 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour*
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 cups Imperial Sugar Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup water

Brown Sugar Pecan Buttercream

  • 3 sticks (24 tablespoons) unsalted butter, very soft
  • 1 1/2 cups Imperial Sugar Dark Brown Sugar, well packed
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons evaporated milk, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup pecan pieces


  1. Preheat oven to 310°F. Butter and flour three, 8 or 9-inch baking pans and set aside. (Fitting a round piece of parchment paper on bottom of baking pan is highly recommended for easy removal of cake.)
  2. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and sugar and set aside.
  3. In a bowl large enough to hold all ingredients whisk eggs and buttermilk until well combined. Add oil, vanilla, and salt and whisk smooth.
  4. Meanwhile heat water until hot.
  5. Add dry ingredients to buttermilk-egg mixture and whisk smooth. Add hot water in 3 increments, while whisking the batter smooth in between additions.
  6. Divide batter evenly into pans and place in oven, bake for 40-45 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  7. After 5 minutes turn upside down on plastic food lined surface and allow to cool completely before filling or frosting, about 1 hour.
  8. Meanwhile prepare brown sugar pecan buttercream. For perfect buttercream, all ingredients should be at room temperature. Using a whip attachment, mix butter until light and fluffy. Add brown sugar and salt keep mixing for 2 minutes.
  9. Add evaporated milk in about 8-10 increments. Start with a few tablespoons at a time and wait for previously added milk to be fully incorporated. Scrape often. Near end of mixing time sugar will have completely dissolved leaving a very creamy buttercream. If buttercream appears curdled, run a hair dryer around the outside of the bowl while mixing. Once all ingredients are at the same temperature, the buttercream will become smooth. 
  10. Add vanilla and pecans and mix until combined.
  11. Place a cake round on a serving platter and spread with 1/4 of buttercream.
  12. Cover with second cake layer and spread another 1/4 of buttercream on top.
  13. Place last cake layer on top. Frost cake using the remaining buttercream.
  14. Place frosted cake in the refrigerator until the frosting has firmed.
  15. Make the ganache. Keep it lukewarm, but certainly not hot.
  16. Spread ganache on the surface and allow it to drip on the sides.
  17. Decorate with candied pecans. Serve cake at room temperature.