Katherine Skinner's Layer Cake

Sprinkle some powdered sugar on top for added color.

Katherine Skinner's Layer Cake with Chocolate Icing

Cake: Butter, eggs and milk can be found at a local dairy or farmers’ market. 

  • 2 sticks of butter, softened: Do not melt, let it sit outside the refrigerator for at least three hours.
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 5 large eggs or 6 medium eggs (I use fresh eggs from the farmers’ market or locally sourced)
  • 3 cups plus 2 T of cake flour (I use Swans Down)
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 1 ¼ cup of whole milk
  • 1 t vanilla extract (Madagascar Vanilla Extract is what I use) 


  1. Cream butter. Add sugar and eggs and beat well. 
  2. Combine flour, and baking powder sifting once thoroughly. 
  3. Then add the flour and the milk to the creamed butter/sugar/eggs mixture – a little bit at a time. I alternate between the flour mixture and then the milk, blending thoroughly before adding more flour and milk. 
  4. Pour the cake mixture into four greased 9-inch cake pans, dividing the cake mixture evenly among the four pans. Make sure the cake mixture is level before putting the cake into the oven. 
  5. Cook 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees.
  6. Once the cake is cooked, remove from the oven and let it cool 15 minutes before removing the cake from the pan. Let the cake cool an additional 30 minutes before you apply the icing. 
  7. Put in cake carrier and serve as a grand finale to your Earth Day picnic! 

Chocolate Cake Icing: 

  • 6 pieces Scharffen Berger unsweetened dark chocolate
  • 2 sticks of butter
  • ½ t salt
  • 2 boxes confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 T plus 1 t of vanilla extract (I use Madagascar vanilla extract)
  • 8 tablespoons whole milk (I sometimes add more milk for a creamier icing) 


  1. Melt the chocolate and butter. Pour into mixing bowl and mix well.
  2. Add all the other ingredients putting the vanilla extract into the mixture last. 
  3. Once you achieve the desired consistency (creamy icing), then cover the layers and the sides of the cake. 

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