Chocolate-Amaretto Layer Cake

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“From Bon Appetit, October 2002. This is a delicious, moist cake.”

Ingredients Nutrition

  • vegetable oil cooking spray
  • 1 (18 1/4 ounce) package devil's food cake mix
  • 1 13 cups water
  • 3 large eggs
  • 12 cup vegetable oil
  • 12 tablespoons amaretto liqueur
  • 34 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (about 18 ounces)
  • 14 cup unsalted butter
  • 14 cup whipping cream
  • 23 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup slivered almonds, toasted


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. Spray three 9-inch-diameter cake pans with 1 1/2-inch-high sides with nonstick spray.
  3. Combine cake mix, 1 1/3 cups water, eggs, oil, 3 tablespoons amaretto, and 1/2 teaspoon almond extract in large bowl; whisk until well blended.
  4. Mix in 1 cup chocolate chips.
  5. Divide batter among prepared pans.
  6. Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 15 minutes.
  7. Cool cakes in pans 10 minutes.
  8. Run knife around pan sides.
  9. Turn cakes out onto racks; cool completely. Brush each cake layer with 2 tablespoons amaretto.
  10. Combine butter and cream in medium saucepan.
  11. Stir over medium-low heat until butter melts and mixture comes to simmer.
  12. Remove from heat.
  13. Add remaining 2 cups chocolate chips and whisk until melted.
  14. Mix in remaining 3 tablespoons amaretto.
  15. Cool until barely lukewarm, about 5 minutes.
  16. Whisk in sour cream and remaining 1/4 teaspoon almond extract, then powdered sugar.
  17. Refrigerate frosting just until thick enough to spread, whisking occasionally, about 10 minutes.
  18. Place 1 cake layer on platter; spread 1/3 cup frosting over; top with second cake layer; spread 1/3 cup frosting over; top with third cake layer; spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake.
  19. Press nuts around bottom 2 inches of cake.
  20. Chill 2 hours.
  21. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover with cake dome; keep chilled.)
  22. **Cook time does not include cooling time or chill time.

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