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Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease three 4-inch springform pans and place on a baking sheet.
In a large heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water (do not let the bowl touch the water), melt the chocolate. Remove from the heat and let cool 15 minutes.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
While the buttermilk is in the measuring cup, add the coffee and combine.
In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes.
Beat in the egg and vanilla and beat an additional minute. Beat in the melted chocolate.
Gradually add the flour mixture and buttermilk mixture in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. When you add the final flour addition, turn off the mixer and finish mixing by hand until everything is just incorporated - you do not want to overmix the batter.
Divide the batter among the three pans and gently tap each pan a few times against the counter, breaking up any potential air bubbles. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean. Cool completely then run a knife along the edge of each cake before unmolding the cake pans.
While the cake is baking, make the Small Batch German Chocolate Frosting (get the instructions here).
If the cakes have a rounded top, cut off part of the top until flat. Place one cake layer on a serving plate or cake stand. Spread some of the cooled frosting then top with another cake layer. Repeat until all frosting and cake are gone.