vanilla layer cake
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Triple Layer Vanilla Cake with Whipped Dark Chocolate Frosting

A towering, tender vanilla cake lightly flavored with almond is generously filled and frosted with a deep, dark, whipped chocolate frosting.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 16 servings
Author Marye Audet-White



  • 4 cups cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond flavoring
  • 2 cup buttermilk
  • 6 unbeaten egg whites

Vanilla Sugar Syrup

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 1/3 cups extra dark cocoa (King Arthur has a black cocoa, or your favorite)
  • 6 cups Confectioner’s sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream , as needed
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla



  • Sift together the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
  • Cream butter and sugar together just until light and fluffy.
  • Beat in the vanilla and the almond flavorings.
  • Add dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk.
  • Beat well after each addition.
  • Add the unbeaten egg whites and beat at medium speed for two minutes.
  • Divide equally between 3 greased and wax paper lined 8" round pans.
  • Bake at 350 for 20 minutes, reduce heat to 325 and bake for 25 minutes more, or until the cake tests done.
  • Cool in pans 10 minutes, then turn out and finish cooling on racks.

Sugar Syrup

  • Mix water and sugar in a heavy saucepan.
  • Heat until the sugar crystals are completely dissolved
  • Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  • Stir in vanilla.


  • Beat the butter and vanilla until it is fluffy.
  • Mix the Confectioners, cocoa, and salt with a whisk until well blended.
  • Slowly beat the confectioner's mixture into the butter.
  • Continue to beat until well blended.
  • Turn the mixer to highest speed and add 1/2 cup of the cream.
  • Beat until light and fluffy, with a whipped consistency, adding more cream as needed to achieve the right texture.


  • Brush the cake layers lightly with the sugar syrup. You won't use all of it so put the rest in a tightly covered jar in the refrigerator. It will keep for months.
  • Fill and frost the layers with a thick layer of frosting.
  • Chill before serving to allow it to firm up.


Cake freezes well when unfrosted. If you freeze the frosting it can get a little grainy but is other wise good.