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‘Tis the season for freshly baked snickerdoodle cookies and red- and green-frosted cupcakes and cakes. But in Martha Stewart‘s world, the holiday season is also the perfect time to showcase a mouthwatering three-layer black-and-white chocolate cake boasting a thick, luscious layer of milk-chocolate pudding. And the best part of the cake recipe is it’s a multitasker’s dream: It can (and should be!) be made in advance — which is especially ideal the week of Christmas when the days feel particularly short and the to-do only continues to grow by the minute.

“An old-fashioned layer cake conjures a winter wonderland when topped with white-chocolate buttercream as pale and thick as a fresh snowbank,” Stewart writes on Instagram. “Despite its black-tie formal appearance, this is a very pragmatic dessert because it’s even better when you make it in advance: The milk-chocolate pudding in the middle and the icing have plenty of time to set, alternative medicine nutritional therapy schools so the flavors intensify.”

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To make Stewart’s Chocolate-and-Vanilla Pudding Cake, you’ll make all three parts of the cake from scratch: the cake, the filling, and the frosting. In addition to the ingredients, you’ll also need to gather a few essential cookware and baking tools, including a 9-by-3-inch round springform pan (to bake the cake), a saucepan (to make the filling), a serrated knife (to trim the top of the cake), a heatproof mixer bowl (to make your frosting), and an offset spatula (to smooth the frosting over the chilled cake).

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Now, before you get baking, make sure you’ve given yourself more than enough time to make this moist-meets-silky cake. There’s a reason Stewart stresses making it in advance: Not only will you need to allow plenty of time to let the cake cool completely after baking in the oven for 40 to 45 minutes, but you’ll also need to allow the pudding filling to fully cool before layering it into the cake. You may also need to allow time for the frosting to chill, if it turns out too thin.

But when all is said and done and you’ve layered and frosted the cake to perfection, you’ll be left with a gorgeous black-and-white dessert that’s certain to turn heads — and drop jaws — this holiday season.

Get the full recipe at Stewart’s website.

Before you go, check out our slideshow below:

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