Layer Up! Workshop Recipes

Chocolate Fudge Cake

Yield: 3 x 6” cake layers

[70g] 2 ounces dark chocolate, chopped

[75g] 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 teaspoons instant coffee or espresso powder*

1 cup boiling water*

*or substitute 1 cup strong hot coffee

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[255g] 1¾ cup all-purpose flour

1¾  teaspoon baking powder

½  teaspoon baking soda

½  teaspoon salt

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½ cup + 1 tablespoon grapeseed or canola oil

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[160g] ¾ cup white sugar

[172g]  ¾ cup brown sugar

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2 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

½ cup high fat plain Greek yogurt

¼ cup buttermilk


Preheat oven to 350*F. Butter and flour three 6-inch cake pans and set aside.

Place the chopped chocolate, cocoa powder, and espresso powder in a heat-safe bowl.  Carefully pour over the boiling water. Stir together until smooth and set aside.


Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

Using an electric mixer (hand or stand), mix together the oil and sugars. Add in the vanilla and eggs, one at a time. Scrape down the bowl.


Add in half of the flour mixture and mix on low until combined. Add the yogurt and buttermilk and mix until smooth. Add in the remaining flour and mix until combined. With the mixer on low, carefully stream in the melted chocolate mixture until combined. Evenly divide the batter between the prepared pans.

Bake for 26 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 10 to 20 minutes before removing the cakes from their pans.

Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Yield: About 4 ½ cups - enough to fill and frost a 3 layer, 6” cake (freeze any leftovers)


150ml egg whites (about 5 large eggs)

[250g] 1 ¼ cup sugar

454g of unsalted butter, softened (1 block, or 4 sticks)

Pinch of salt (good salt!)

2 tsps of vanilla extract

Optional: additional flavourings like salted caramel, chocolate ganache or bourbon! - to taste

Whisk sugar and egg whites in the bowl of your stand mixer by hand to combine. Place over a double boiler or saucepan with a couple of inches of water and whisk intermittently until the temperature reaches 160*F, or until all grains of sugar have dissolved.

Place on stand mixer and whisk on medium high for 8-10 minutes until medium to stiff peaks form. Add salt and vanilla.

Switch to paddle attachment and begin adding cubes of softened butter a bit at a time. Continue to beat (Keep going! Don’t stop when it looks like it’s broken.) until light and silky smooth, 3-5 minutes. Then add optional flavourings if using.

*Tip: Store buttercream in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 10 days or in the freezer for up to two months. To use: bring to room temperature before re-whipping. Warm a bit in the microwave and add it to the rest in the mixing bowl to help warm the buttercream or use your propane torch! :)

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Adapted from Dorie Greenspan

Yield Approx. 20 cookies

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon

3⁄4 teaspoon

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup

2⁄3 cup packed light brown sugar

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2 large eggs

12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into chips or 2 cups store-bought chocolate chips or 2 cups semisweet chocolate chunks

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375* F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.

Whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda.

Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter at medium speed for about 1 minute, until smooth. Add the sugars and beat for another 2 minutes or so, until well-blended. Beat in the vanilla. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each egg goes in. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients in 3 portions, mixing only until each addition is incorporated. On low speed, or by hand with a rubber spatula, mix in the chocolate.

Spoon the dough onto the baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches in between. Sprinkle the tops with your best flaky salt. (I used Salt and Mustard’s Black Garlic Salt on mine.)

Bake the cookies- one sheet at a time and rotating the sheet at the midway point (I give the sheet a bang at this point, a la Sarah Keiffer’s pan bang cookies) - for 10-12 minutes, or until they are brown at the edges and golden in the center; they may still be a little soft in the middle, and that's just fine. Pull the sheet from the oven and allow the cookies to rest for 1 minute, then carefully, using a wide metal spatula, transfer them to racks to cool to room temperature.

Repeat with the remainder of the dough, cooling the baking sheets between batches.