Six-Layer Chocolate Cake

Total Time:
1 hr 45 min
45 min
1 hr

16 TO 20 servings

  • eCake:
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 cups self-rising flour, sifted
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Frosting:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2/3 cup half-and-half
  • 2 tablespoon corn syrup
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (16-ounce) box confectioners' sugar, sifted, plus 1 cup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Grease and flour 3 (9-inch) round cake pans.

Using an electric mixer, cream the butter until fluffy. Add the sugar and continue to cream for approximately 6 to 8 minutes. Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the flour and milk, alternately to creamed mixture, beginning and ending with the flour. Add the vanilla and continue to mix until incorporated. To bake 6 layers of cake 3 at a time, divide the batter in 1/2, then divide each 1/2 among the 3 pans. Level the batter in each pan by dropping pan flat onto counter top to release air bubbles. Bake each cake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool in pans for 5 to 10 minutes. Invert cakes and repeat process with the rest of the cake batter.

Prepare frosting while cakes are cooling. Mix sugar, cocoa, butter, half-and-half, corn syrup, and salt in a saucepan, stir, and bring to a boil. Continue to boil, stirring occasionally for 3 minutes. The syrup will become thick. Remove syrup from heat, and beat in the confectioners' sugar and vanilla extract with an electric mixer. Allow frosting to rest for a couple of minutes. At this time, if the frosting is too thick for spreading, add a bit of half-and-half, 1 tablespoon at a time, to bring frosting to proper spreading consistency.

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    53 Reviews
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    Good flavor but all in all ... EPIC FAIL! Even after reading all of the reviews, being very careful -- it didn't work and because I made a double batch of frosting ... I have way too much. The frosting weighs down the cake and mine, unlike many reviews, is not thick and runs too much. I made 3 layers instead of 6 -- didn't over cook it and still the cakes crumble -- but not really dry. 
    I will throw away my copy of this recipe and continue searching.
    My Father's family, Kendricks were from Morven Georgia. Close to Albany Ga. where Paula is from. For many years for my Dad's birthday, my Grandmother Kendrick made this multilayer yellow cake with this fudgy sugar icing. It was the bomb I'll never forget it. I found this recipe for six layer chocoate cake and made it this past christmas 2011. I never mentioned to anyone why. My sister while eating a piece said Debbie this cake tastes like the one Gramma used to make for Dad's birthday,, it made me feel good and it brought up some good memories. So delicious its hard to stop at one piece. Tell Paula, She knocks it out of the park.
    This cake is delicious, the icing is too. As others have stated I stopped at 5 layers because I didn't have enough icing for six, I noticed the picture only has 5. Now that I have experienced how quickly the icing sets up..I think I will know what to do the next time I bake it. Next time I'm going to try four layers. I also mixed the icing in a glass bowl..when it started setting up quicker than I needed I just put it in the microwave a few seconds and warmed it back up a little so I could finish spreading it. I didn't add anything to the cake or icing recipe. I think my inexperience was my only problem. I will definitely try it again. Thanks!
    As with all of the Paula Dean cakes I've made, the cake recipe itself worked well, nothing fancy, but delicious and easy. But, from now on, I'm getting my icing recipes elsewhere. The last time I made a Paula Dean cake, the icing was runny and needed ALOT of confectioner's sugar to stiffen it up. This icing, however, took the opposite direction and needed ALOT of half & half (it was like silly putty, and would roll off of the cake and into my hands like Play-Doh. And, as mentioned in another post, you really should double the icing recipe up, you'll NEED it!
    This did not turn out well... I love Paula Deen and most all her recipes are delicious but this cake was a fail! I didn't stay completely true to the recipe and maybe that was the main problem, but the overall flavor just wasn't my favorite!
    I've looked for years for the recipe my Ma-maw used to make. This is it! I didn't bake 6 layers. I cooked it in 2 pans and then used an electric knife to make 4 layers (I didn't try to get 6). I didn't have enough icing to cover the whole outside after I did the layers. So make sure to double it!! This cake is WONDERFUL! It wasn't dry at all and I only let the icing cool just a little because I knew it would become unspreadable. This cake is perfect and I can't wait to let my mom taste it tomorrow. I know it will take her back to her childhood.
    The cake and icing both taste really good. I am not the best cook so my cake crumbled a little but they always say "the best cakes crumble" lol
    I have learned a few things about trying recipes from the internet, always read the reviews. They can be really helpful. The reason that I mention this is because that is what I did with this recipe. I took the good with the bad and thought I can make this it is a fairly easy recipe no problem. The icing turned out like some type of fudge consistentcy and did not have the best taste. The cake really dried out within a day. So i would suggest trying a different recipe.
    I have fixed this this cake a number of times. I have never checked the ratings until now. I had fixed this cake for a family reunion and had some requests for the recipe. So I went onto the Food Network website and pulled it up. Then I emailed it to who ask for it. That's when I decided to check the reviews out. I'm very disappointed in the reviews for this cake. I always have plenty of batter for 6 layers. Do the correct math. Never turns out dry!!!! Icing is the best that I've ever put in my mouth as far as chocolate icing goes!!!! You have to be the one to judge how much half and half to add. Thanks for another GREAT recipe.
    I didn't try the frosting but the cake itself was awesome. Moist and delicious! everyone love it. The recipe is not nearly enough to make 6 layers though, you'll need to triple it to do that.
    Wow! Some unhappy bakers here! OK...Let me preface by saying I had attempted the 6-layer version of this cake a while ago and the outcome was, in fact, a dry cake. BUT...I was determined to see if I could have it come out the way I'm sure Paula intended...moist and delicious. I read a number of the reviews and was nervous to try it again but wanted to prove all the nay-sayers wrong! My results were much better than the first time I made this cake, but I had to make a few changes here and there to get it right. Here are some of the things I paid closer attention to for a moister cake:
    1) I tried 3 layers instead of 6.
    2) I baked the cakes for 20 mins instead of the 25-30 mins stated in Paula's 1-2-3-4 Cake (it is the same recipe for a basic cake).
    3) I made sure to have all ingredients at room temperature and dry ingredients sifted.

    Hopefully this will help anyone who is attempting this cake for the first time or determined to try a second time. Just to note, the icing is fudgy and not case you get into it and think there's something wrong with the recipe or your technique.

    Happy baking! Good luck. Thanks for the recipe and some great creative ideas, Paula! Hope to get to Savannah some day to eat at your place.
    The cake; certainly add some more milk, the final batter is too thick thus the cake too dry. The frosting; 1. do not add the 16 oz sugar does not need it, just two cups is more than sufficient. 2. whole milk is as good 3. apply the frosting when it is realy warm, it tends to set very quickly
    I was afraid to make this recipe because of the horrible reviews but after scouring the internet and finding nothing else in the way of a layer cake I decided to make it anyway. I followed the recipe exactly except I made it with 3 layers instead of 7. I turned out great. The cakes, if you don't heavily grease the pans, will stick and fall apart a little. Also, make sure you meticulously line them up before they fall out of the cake was a little lopsided. As far as the frosting-if you keep it heated when pouring it onto the cake it isn't hard to spread. It will not look as pretty as the picture but everyone thought it tasted great and was perfectly moist.
    Paula Deen normally doesn't steer me wrong, but the cake was a little dry...I think this cake could be great with a minor change. Instead of six layers, an alternative would be to bake three layers. I think this change will guarantee a moist cake.
    I am not that great when it comes to baking but this recipe was easy and delicious!!
    This is not a comment about the recipe, but, rather the reviews. Why do so many of you give the recipes a bad rating and then three forths give a 5 star rating? I am not trying to be nasty, but maybe it is the baker rather than the recipe that goes so wrong with the recipe.
    I made this cake for my daughter's 1st birthday. The cake was fine. It came out of the pans beautifully. I was so excited. Then I made the icing which was very heavy - too heavy for this cake which is actually sort of a spongy texture. You really have to work very quickly with the icing which isn't that easy when you are working with so many layers. But it doesn't matter. The icing was so heavy it just pulled the cake apart. It squashed the cake. Another thing, on the sides of the cake it was like opposing magnetic fields. The icing was pushed away so that it would not stick to the cake. The icing "jumped" off of the cake in clumps. I wish I could submit the picture I took. We laughed about it after I stopped crying. I had to purchase a cake for the party. Be afraid of this recipe.
    Not much flavour, too dry, looks much better than tastes.
    I made this cake for a coworkers birthday because I love Paula Deen and I figured I couldn't go wrong with a Paula chocolate cake recipe. I have made a lot of cakes in my 57 years but this one was the driest cake ever. It looked very nice because the icing dries firm and smooth, but the cake itself was SO dry. There were no rave reviews from my coworkers over the taste, but they did say politely that it was "so pretty". Also,the icing does not make enough even for 3 layers, which is what I made because when I started to divide the batter into the pans it seemed so skimpy to try to get 6 layers out of it. I wonder if buttermilk or sour cream would improve the dryness? Not sure I will try this one again. Very disappointed.
    when i cook this cake it was realy easy i serve it to my parent and they all love it so thank you for this recipe and i hope i could be just like you when i get older
    I love to cook and try new recipes. The idea of this 6 layer cake was great, but it came out too dry and not enough icing. Maybe it just cooked a little too long in the oven. I may try it again.
    I was so disappointed in this recipe. I read all the reviews but tried it anyway. I did add buttermilk instead of whoe milk tinking it would make it didn't work. The icing was really good but since it is a COOKED icing you have to work before it sets up.
    Stop complaining that the cake crumbled when trying for six layers. Did you not think of making it a three or four layer cake? The icing surely would be enough in that case.
    Usually I love Paula's recipes, but this one was all wrong! The cake was so dry and crumbly. The frosting was way too thick to spread and needed to be doubled. I made this for my sister's birthday and was embarassed when everyone started eating it and it fell apart. I will not make this again.
    WOW is all I have to say!!!!!!!!!
    The cake was vey good. When I was making the icing, I added 8 pieces of hersheys milk chocolate to give it more of a chocolaty taste. It turned out really well. The cake itself was not too sweet, the icing gave a good balance to the cake. After making the cake I left it in the fridge for a whole day and I had a piece a day later. Very yummy. I am glad I found this receipe, I searched a long time before finding the perfect chocolate cake. I will definetly make it again.
    have to make
    its good but its kind of hard to make its a lot of work
    Cake very dry and crumbly. We will finish this cake but will not make it again.
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