About this recipe: This is a decadently delicious three-layer chocolate cake, which is studded with pecans and then iced with a chocolate cream cheese icing. If you prefer a smooth icing, simply leave out the additional chopped pecans, or you can sprinkle them over the top to finish.
After making some of the changes recommended by previous reviewers and adding some of my own, this absolutely gets 5 stars!! Definitely double cocoa in cake, also add a tsp or two of instant espresso (or coffee) to buttermilk. Add 2 or 3 squares of melted chocolate to frosting depending on your tastes (mmm...heaven). Process nuts and coconut until they're finely ground before adding to batter. Do not add pecans to frosting, rather press finely chopped pecans into the sides of frosted cake - looks bakery-quality and adds great texture. Decoratively pipe leftover frosting on top of cake and garnish with chocolate-covered expresso beans. This is a dessert to die for!!! - 09 Oct 2003 (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)
The only difference between this recipe and the one I've used for years is the addition of the 1/4c cocoa powder in the cake and in the icing. What a wonderful variation. I really like how mild the chocolate flavor is...some reviewers said they added more, but I wouldn't change a thing. I also followed the hint about topping it off with almonds...such a beautiful presentation, I took a picture of it. I made this cake for my hubby's birthday and he couldn't get enough. Thanks a bunch! - 19 Jul 2005 (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)
This is a very rich cake but it uses cocoa and not much of it, and so is not as chocolatey as I'd prefer--I figure that if I'm going to go off my diet it had better be for exactly what I'm craving! Anyway, I made it a second time with modifications: doubled the cocoa, dissolved a couple of teaspoons of instant coffee in the buttermilk before adding, and also melted three square of unsweetened baking chocolate to add to the frosting. Then it was perfect for my taste. The frosting amount is generous, and it makes a very lovely three-layer cake. - 27 May 2000 (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)