Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Dad's Favorite Chocolate Cake

If you decide to make this cake prepare to take a long nap after you eat it because it is rich! When you think of old-fashioned American style chocolate cake, this recipe should spring to your mind.  This dense, chocolaty 2- layer cake is iced with an icing that is kind of a cross between a ganache and a buttercream. The recipe calls for a 1/2 cup of hot coffee for the cake which you can't taste but definitely enhances the flavor and helps keep the cake moist. Heavenly!  A few years ago I was searching for a great chocolate cake recipe to make for a friend's birthday and thankfully I stumbled upon this puppy.  I have been making it ever since and its a crowd-pleaser every time!  My husband and father are particular fans.  Make this for the chocolate lover in your life!

Chocolate Cake


1 1/2 cups good unsweetened cocoa powder (plus more for dusting)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 cups sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 cup hot water
1/2 cup strong coffee, still hot


Butter the bottoms and sides of 2 9-inch cake pans.  Flour the pans or line with parchment paper.  I always use a baker's spray that contains both grease and flour such as Baker's Joy or Baking Pam.  Dust the pans with a few tablespoons of cocoa powder, shaking out the excess.  Coat the bottoms and sides completely.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Sift together the cocoa powder, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  Place in the bowl for your mixer.  Add the sugars to this and mix these dry ingredients together lightly.  One at a time, with the mixer going on very low, add the buttermilk, vegetable oil, eggs, extract, and finally the water and coffee.  Mix together on low for 2 minutes.

Pour the batter between your 2 pans.  Bake for about 30 minutes but check at 25.  An inserted toothpick should come out clean when the cakes are done.  Let the cakes cool in their pans for 30 minutes, before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.  After the cake has cooled, frost and serve.  This will make 2 very tall layers and will serve at least 10-12.

Chocolate Ganache Buttercream Frosting


1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup light corn syrup
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 12-oz bags semi-sweet chocolate chips, or chopped bars of chocolate
2 cups of powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract


In a small saucepan, stir together the cream, corn syrup and 1 stick of butter over medium low heat until the butter melts and the mixture barely comes to a simmer.  Place the chocolate chips in a large bowl and pour in the hot cream.  Stir until the chocolate is completely melted.  Let this cool.

Using an electric mixer, cream together the remaining stick of butter and powdered sugar.  Once this is smooth, beat in the vanilla extract.  Once the chocolate ganache is cooled (enough so that it is mildly  warm but not hot) pour it into the mixer and whisk on medium speed until thoroughly combined.  Do not over mix this as the frosting can become grainy.  This frosting is thin, but let it sit for a few minutes and it will thicken up, or place it in the refrigerator for 5 minutes.  The frosting will harden if refrigerated too long but can be stirred together again before using to loosen the consistency.

Adapted from Chez Megane adapted from and Martha Stewart


  1. My boyfriend has been wanting me to do a cake and he is a chocoholic, so this looks like like a winner, I am looking forward to giving this recipe a shot! Yumyum!

  2. Oh my this looks sensational. That frosting is perfect....the best of both worlds.

  3. This is a lovely cake, Ryan. You put such care into the food you make and share with your readers. That's really nice. I know your Dad enjoyed his cake. I hope you have a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

  4. My husband would love a piece of this glorious cake! Looks absolutely scrumptious, Ryan!


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