2-1/4 cups (570 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup (75 grams) cocoa powder
3/4 cup (80 grams) chocolate malted milk powder
6 cups (750 grams) icing sugar
1/4 cup (78 milliltres) 35% cream
1 tablespoon (15 milliltres) vanilla extract
1 teaspoon (5 grams) kosher salt
Heat oven to 350°F (176°C). Spray three 23 centimeter cake pans with cooking spray and line bottoms with parchment paper; set aside.
Sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.
Beat sugar and oil together in a large bowl with a hand mixer for one minute. Add eggs one at time, beating well after each addition and continuing to beat for two minutes.
Stir together buttermilk, vanilla and espresso powder in a medium bowl.
Add 1/3 dry ingredients to egg mixture and beat together until almost combined. Add half the buttermilk mixture, stirring until mostly combined. Repeat additions ending with dry mixture, stirring until fully combined.
Divide batter evenly among pans and bake until a toothpick inserted into the centre of cakes comes out clean, about 45–50 minutes. Remove from oven and cool ten minutes. Release from pans, remove parchment and place on a cooling rack to cool completely.
Beat butter in a large bowl with a hand mixer until smooth. Sift in cocoa and milk powder and beat to combine. Gradually add in three cups icing sugar, beating well after each addition.
Add whipping cream and beat to combine. Gradually mix in remaining icing sugar (three cups) until desired consistency. Beat in the vanilla extract and kosher salt.
Spoon a small dollop of icing onto cake stand. Place first cake round on top, pressing lightly to adhere.
Smooth 3/4 cup (100 grams) icing onto cake round and top with second cake round. Repeat with more icing and another round. Use remaining icing to decorate top and sides of cake. Decorate with sprinkles if desired.
Tip: Thinly slice the top rounded edge off each cake round to make a straight, level surface for stacking rounds on top of each other.
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