Leaning Tower Chocolate Avalanche Cake

Leaning Tower of Death by Chocolate Cake 3a

One of the things I always teach in my classes is if a dish doesn’t turn out exactly how you planned then call it something else.

I actually hesitated to post this cake but my kids – my daugher who turned 27 on August 1st and my son who turns 30 today, insisted I post this!

My daughter called it the Leaning Tower Cake and since it’s my Chocolate Avalanche Cake I’m calling it the Leaning Tower Chocolate Avalanche Cake.  It definitely had an avalanche! It may look awful, lumpy, and tilted to say the least, but OMG it was outrageously delicious! 

My husband couldn’t eat the fudge fast enough as I poured it onto the cake, while the rest of us devoured the cake, whipped cream and berries.  What we didn’t finish in our first sitting we managed to eat over the next couple of days for breakfast, lunch and dinner – it’s that good!  This cake wouldn’t win a beauty contest, but for flavor it won first place!!!

So how did this happen?  We were vacationing in the mountains this summer and the kitchen we were using had limited utensils and tools.  Of course, rather than going out and buying the things I needed I opted to wing it without dragging home more supplies to store, that I already had.

The biggest hurdle of all which is always the case, was the altitude of 9,600 feet.  Altitude always presents an issue when baking as I’ve learned from the past and posted, if you’ve been following my blog for a while.  Knowing this, I opted to doctor up a cake mix rather than splurging on all fresh ingredients only to have my cake fall, be overcooked, or under cooked.  Of course, I could have avoided the cake from leaning altogether if I hadn’t tried to use a knife to loosen the edges of what ended up being the middle layer.  Why I chose to use that layer I’m not sure, but have to say it made for lots of laughter and fun!

Leaning Tower of Death by Chocolate Cake 2a

I also didn’t have a mesh strainer to sift the powdered sugar, hence, the lumps in the icing.  That didn’t stop us from eating it though – oh no, this was way too tasty!

Of course this cake was no beauty, but so flavorful!  I created this before but in bundt cake form an idea I got from eating at The Bubble Room Restaurant in Captiva Island, Florida some 20 years ago.  While this cake has several steps it’s quite easy to put together.

I opted to use three 6-inch cake rounds lined with parchment.  I’m pretty sure had I been more patient, the middle layer would have fallen out without the use of a knife.  I guess I was excited to finish it and couldn’t wait for the cake to fall out when I flipped it over – a mistake I made.  The other two fell out just fine.

Anyway, in spite of what this cake looks like it’s incredibly flavorful, if you’re a fan of chocolate.  I highly recommend making this in three 6-inch cake rounds or a bundt cake that you then slice horizontally and fill.

Since it didn’t look as stellar as I had planned I will be remaking this again soon to share with all of you.

Whether you’re a novice cook or chef we all make mistakes and have flops – this was mine in looks, but certainly not in taste. I hope you’ll give this a try……..

Leaning Tower of Death by Chocolate Cake 3

Leaning Tower Chocolate Avalanche Cake

Be prepared to devour this cake - it's hard to resist!


Cake ingredients:

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 4 eggs
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 box Devils Food Chocolate Cake mix (no pudding added)
  • 3.4oz. Package of Vanilla Instant Pudding mix
  • 12 oz. package semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted

Cream Filling:

  • 4 cups heavy cream
  • ½ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla
  • 16 oz. container of fresh strawberries, hulled and cut in half, reserving several for the top of the cake.
  • small container of blueberries, reserve some for the top of the cake
  • small container of raspberries, reserve some for the top of the cake

Fudge Icing:

  • 1 stick butter
  • 4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 6 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 pound box powdered sugar, sifted


  1. Cake:  Mix all ingredients together and pour equally into three 6-inch cake pans that have been sprayed with non-stick spray, lined with parchment and sprayed again. Place pans in oven and bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Cool on rack for 10 minutes then invert removing cakes, and allow to cool completely.
  2. Cream Filling: In a bowl, combine the cream, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla, and whip until stiff peaks form. Fold in berries leaving some for the top of the cake. Spread half of cream filling on top of bottom layer.  Place next layer of cake on top of filling and top with all but ¼ cup of cream filling.  Cover with the top (final) layer of cake.
  3. Fudge Icing:  Combine first 3 ingredients in a sauce pan and bring to a boil for 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and add vanilla & box of sifted powdered sugar. Blend together. Pour over cake.
  4. Topping: Add final 1/4 cup of cream filling to top of cake then add remaining berries on top of filling.



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