14 Layer Chocolate Cake for Valentine’s Day

Now that I have made this cake three times in two days I think that next time it could be a piece of cake!  This has been a frustrating experience for me to say the very least.  I was using The Smith’s Family 12 layer cake recipe.  The first attempt resulted in little rubber disks that resembled frisbees. I thought after the batter was ready to put in the pans that it was really runny, but why would it be the wrong proportions after all it is found at Oprah.com.  I blamed the mess on my ineptness at measuring correctly and threw the frisbees in the trash before icing them.  So I start all over again this time being careful to measure all the ingredients before mixing even one granule of sugar with a bit of butter.

The second attempt seemed to be better.  Icing completed and the Athlete and GI Joe both cut themselves huge pieces.  As I am busy cleaning the fudge icing from my kitchen and my body the Athlete yells out , “Mom, I think there is something wrong with this cake.  The layers are like rubber!”   You do not know how good that made me feel.  I did not make the mistake.  There is a big mistake in the recipe.  The proportion of milk to flour is too large.  A second cake goes into the trash.

The next day I am up early getting my pans ready.  I am trying this again.  I cannot give up.  I will not let this cake beat me.  By the way this cake is for my husband for Valentine’s Day.

For this labor of love the first step is to prepare the pans.  I used disposable cake pans not knowing that I would have to wash all fourteen of them  not once , but twice.  First I cut out parchment paper circles to fit each pan.  Here are the leftovers.  Before placing the parchment paper in the pans lightly grease and flour each one.

 After failing with the Smith Family recipe twice I chose to use an old reliable from Swan’s Down Cake flour  their 1-2-3-4 Cake.  I did use 11/2 recipes.  If I ever never make this again I will only make the original recipe and not more.  There is not enough of the filling because the cake layers are thicker.  Or you could make more filling whichever suits you.

Here is how thick the batter should be.

I baked three layers at the time.  The layers take about 12 minutes to bake and will lightly brown.  Let them cool about 5 minutes in the pan.  Remove and place on a cooling rack. Some of the recipes that I read placed the layers on damp towel to keep them from drying out.  I did not do this.  As they cooled I stacked them on top of each other placing the parchment paper in between them.  I didn’t stack more than 5 layers.  I am certainly open to suggestions as to how to cool this many layers.  When the last three layers hit the oven the icing was put on to cook.

Here is how it should look with thinner layers than my last cake.

Here is how my last cake looked with thicker layers.

After reading Bakerella’s post on this cake I also covered the ugly duckling with some butter cream frosting.

This really is a labor of love that is totally worth it! I just had a piece and my goodness it is so good!  Happy Valentine’s Day!

Here is the original recipe for the cake.  Note that I made 1 1/2 recipes for the cake layers.  You could probably make 1 recipe and get about 10 layers.

Here is the link for the filling and dripping icing.

Here is Bakerella’s Buttercream icing and the inspiration for this whole ordeal.



Filed under Cake, Desserts

56 responses to “14 Layer Chocolate Cake for Valentine’s Day

  1. Now THAT is a labour of love!!! Did you ever ask Bakerella about the recipe that she supposedly used that made no sense? What did she say?
    Your cake looks lovely. I would also like to see the cake recipe SHE really used.
    Happy Heart Day to you, too…. Teacher Cooks (name?)

  2. I’ve seen that recipe before and was considering trying it someday, so thank you for saving me from all its erroneous horribleness! I love how far into the process you went with your post. It’s like reading Cook’s Illustrated with better illustrations.

  3. Mrs Lupo,
    You are indeed a brave soul. I would have tried once and when it didn’t work I would have thrown the recipe out. But now that you’ve worked out all of the bugs, I’m inspired to try it. Thank you.

  4. This looks amazing! Holy yum!

  5. Yum, Wanda. Glad you hung in there. You sure were determined. I’ve made something 3 times out of sheer stubbornness. Was glad I did, too.

    I make a layered cake, but it’s 12 layers of big cookies. I just bake 4 at a time
    ( that’s all the cake pans I have) so it’s an all afternoon event.
    Did you see Ina Garten recently made a layered cake with chocolate chip cookies and mocha whipping cream? I’ve been waiting for an excuse to make it.

  6. jessica V.

    i learned from this cake is that it may take you 3 times to get it just right!

  7. this looks delicious!!!

  8. Viviana Dishmey

    This looks really good!!!!

  9. edwin warner

    I learned that you can always learn from your mistakes in the kitchen, and if you fail there is no harm in trying again.

  10. KatieS.

    I learned that this cake isn’t easy to make. It may take more than one try to make it.

  11. Summer Bailey

    I learned that if the proportion of milk to flour is to large the cake will come out rubber like.

  12. Gifty

    I saw int the original recipe that you had to add eggs in at one at time , knowing me i would have just added them all in at the same time , exactly as to why i took this class because im not the most trusted with baking ! HA!

  13. jessica n.

    i learned that baking cakes is a time process, it takes the third time to do the trick

  14. gabby c 1st per, 2nd sem.

    Making this cakes look a little hard for me because i don’t have much patience but i will enjoy eating it. ( :

  15. Gifty

    In the original recipe I saw that it said you have to add th eggs in one at a time; knowing me- the baker i am not- i would add them all in at the same time!

  16. it takes alot of hard work to make food look and taste perfect

  17. Kaylon Hendrix

    I learned that with cooking this you have to be a very patient person, and can’t just get angry and quit when things don’t go right.

  18. Kaitlyn- Block1 Kitchen2

    Looks Very difficult to came but it sure looks worth it ! (:

  19. Alex

    From what you have told us about this cake, it took you more than one try to make it. Which shows me that even a knowledgable cook can mess up too, but to keep trying and eventually you will end up with a delicious 14 layer cake (:

  20. Lindsey Harley, 2nd block

    I learned that you have to add the eggs one by one and not at the same time or it will mess up your cake.

  21. Jordan Griffin 2nd block

    I learned that some recipes are not good to use.

  22. Marty 2nd period

    Soon as I saw chocolate I just loved it. As I’m reading this recipe there are so many layers to watch for. You got to keep and eye out, because it looks like a lot of time for a very good-looking cake.

  23. alyssa

    I learned that when your making this 14 layer cake you have to cook each layer in a different pan so that you can put icing in between each layer.

  24. Lauren Bowman

    i learned that you can always learn from your mistakes.

  25. Jasmine J.

    I never knew, that there was such a thing of a 14-layer cake ! I’m not a big fan of cake. This cake looks hard to make also, I didn’t know layers looked like pancakes :).

  26. Jasmine J.

    I did not know that the layers can look like pancakes !

  27. Julie O

    this cakes looks really good but seems to take 3 times to get it right !

  28. Brooke H

    I learned that if you are not a patient person, than you don’t need to cook this. Especially if you are only cooking 3 layers at a time.

  29. Brittany H. 2nd block

    I learned that you could make a big cake like that without any of the layers falling over.

  30. ashton 2nd period

    always double check a recipe if it doesnt turn out right

  31. Sarah M. 2nd

    I learned that sometimes the recipe can be your problem

  32. Chelsea G

    I learned not to trust everything oprah suggests.

  33. carmen g.

    i learned that you have to have patience when baking a cake this big!

  34. Patrick Hogan

    i learned that if its not right the first time, try try again

  35. breana j hemming

    I learned that you can make mistakes and it not be your fault and that your layers can be thin and that they don’t have to be thick i also now want to go home and make this cake

  36. jasmin m

    i never knew that depending on the altitude the recipe would change

  37. Katie Johnson

    THIS LOOKS SOOOOO GOOD! But it seems like too much work. and after Mrs. Lupo made the cake 3 times! It just seems like way to much work! But it sure does look pretty!

  38. Natasha

    OMG . That cake looked soo goooodd 🙂
    I love how the chocolate seems to be calling my name.
    Good work Mrs. Lupp ; keep it up !

  39. Rebecca McConnell

    Be patient, if the first 2 tries didn’t work, 3rd times a charm!

  40. charity


  41. candi h

    this cake looks like it is a very hard cake to make! it does not look like it is a really tall cake at all just alot of thin layers that look very tasty and very hard to make!! i tried to make a cake with more than 2 layers before and it decided to just fall right over!! and thats how it stayed! haha. but this cake looks really yummy!

  42. I don’t know what I love better…this gorgeous cake that you worked so diligently on, or reading the comments from what I can only assume are your students.

    Great work 🙂

  43. What an incredible accomplishment. I’m in awe!

  44. Pingback: Live Love Serve 03 11 11 | House of Hills

  45. miracle

    I love cake and i dont really know how to make them from scratch, but looking at the pictures motivates me to try thanks me Lupo…. 🙂 Its looks delicious!

  46. Marissa 1st period

    This cake looks amazingly & wonderfully delicious! I love baking, especially cakes & cupcakes so i will most definately have to try this recipe.

  47. Brittany Smith

    I learned that if you’re going to make this cake, you better be careful to get all 14 layers the same height or it is not goanna turn out right!!!!!

  48. Galia Sayyar

    i learned that if you mess up the first time, you shouldn’t just give up! there is always room for improvement!

  49. Jade Sanders 1st period

    I learned that the chocolate cake is a nice and delicious way to let someone know how much you care. 🙂

  50. Julia

    Hi, I have been thinking about making your cake for a 4-H project, but I would be using it to make a “hidden flag cake” (http://www.dessarts.com/2012/06/how-to-make-a-hidden-flag-cake.html).
    A couple questions…
    The link to the cake recipe goes to presto self-rising cake flour and I was wondering if you could give me the real link to the cake recipe.
    Where did you buy your pans and how much were they?
    I am going to use buttercream frosting and I was wondering if that would work well with this recipe.
    Do you think that this cake would be too tall for making the “hidden flag cake?”
    Is there any other suggestions you have for me?
    I am hoping to try out this cake next Saturday (Jan 23).
    Thank-you for your help! I will try to post a picture when I finish.

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