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+ servings
Completed Chocolate Little Layer Cake on a cake stand.

Chocolate Little Layer Cake

Heritage recipe for Chocolate Little Layer Cake, a regional specialty from southwest Georgia. Tiny yellow cake layers filled with boiled chocolate frosting.
Course Desserts
Cuisine Southern, Vintage
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes
Servings 24
Calories 366kcal


  • Solid shortening for greasing pans

For the icing:

  • 3 cups sugar
  • 3 ½ oz unsweetened baking chocolate see notes
  • 10 oz evaporated milk
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

For the layers:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 3 ½ cups self-rising flour sifted
  • 1 ¾ cups water
  • 1 tsp vanilla


  • Have all ingredients at room temperature. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease 8” cake pans with shortening and set aside.
  • Make the icing first. Place a large, heavy-bottomed pan over medium-low heat. Add the sugar, baking chocolate, evaporated milk, butter, and vanilla all at once. Cook until the sugar is completely dissolved, stirring frequently. Do not boil. It is important to make sure that the sugar is completely dissolved and no grainy texture remains.
  • Meanwhile, make the batter. Cream together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs all at once and beat until well incorporated. Add the flour and water alternately, beginning and ending with flour. (Note: the batter will appear to be curdled after each addition of water – this is normal.) Mix in the vanilla.
  • Pour approximately ¾ cup batter into each prepared pan. Smooth the batter to the edges. Bake for approximately 10 minutes or until layers are barely golden on top. Remove from oven and turn out onto cooling racks.
  • Clean the pans, grease them and repeat baking. When second set of layers goes into the oven, begin icing the cake. Place a still-warm layer on a cardboard round set atop a cooling rack inside a baking sheet. Spread ¼ cup icing on the layer spreading it gently to the edges. Top with the next layer and repeat.
  • When all layers have been stacked and iced, spread remaining icing over top and sides of the cake. If the icing becomes thick, return the pan to very low heat until it returns to spreading consistency.


The specific type of chocolate traditionally used for this recipe is Baker's Premium Unsweetened Baking Chocolate. This chocolate produces the distinctive look, texture, and taste of this recipe.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 366kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 75mg | Sodium: 132mg | Potassium: 106mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 39g | Vitamin A: 442IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 1mg