Chop chocolate into small chunks and set aside. Combine cake mix, eggs, water, sour cream and oil. Blend, then beat at medium speed of electric mixer for 4 minutes. Fold in chopped chocolate. Pour into 2 greased and floured 9 inch layer pans. Bake in 350 degree F (preheated) oven for 35 minutes or until cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool cakes in pans 10 minutes. Remove from pans and finish cooling on racks.
To begin, beat 3/4 cup butter or margarine until soft. Blend in 3 cups confectioners' sugar. Add 1 egg and 1 tsp. vanilla. Add 3 additional cups of confectioners' sugar alternately with 3 Tbsp. milk until of spreading consistency. Set aside 1 cup of mixture in small bowl for filling.
For filling, stir 1/3 cup each chopped dates, raisins, and almonds into 1 cup of mixture. Spread between layers.
For frosting, melt 5 squares semi-sweet or unsweetened chocolate. Cool. Add to remaining mixture. Add 2 Tbsp. milk for smooth consistency. Frost and decorate top and sides, if desired. Garnish with dates, raisins and nuts, if desired.
By Robin from Washington, IA
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