Found! The Perfect Chocolate Cake

The Best Chocolate Cake - from Ina Garten!
The Best Chocolate Cake – thanks Ina Garten!

Do you ever get a craving for the perfect chocolate cake? Moist, and chocolatey but not too sweet? For years, I have made the Best of Bridge Super Chocolate Cake and I think it is the perfect recipe. It has been my go-to when I need or want (!) a no fail dessert that everyone loves.

Recently I was on the hunt for a chocolate dessert for a family dinner. If I was making the dessert solely for me, I would have chosen something with cheesecake, or mousse, or whipping cream, oh my!! And Danni was no help, cause she really doesn’t like dessert (who doesn’t like dessert) and she really doesn’t like chocolate (again, who doesn’t like chocolate)!! BUT, that’s a whole different blog post.

I was really looking for something for my teenage boys and I figured they would love the simplicity of a basic chocolate cake. Being a creature of habit, I was tempted to do the usual, but Ina Garten’s chocolate cake caught my eye. Being a huge fan, I suspected this cake would be delicious and it looked simple enough so what the heck… I gave it a try!

How it Went…

Because I am an impatient baker – I like results ASAP and I hate to wait for things to cool etc. I made the cakes the night before I needed them. At least then, I knew they would cool properly, and my impatience wouldn’t get the best of me…

Making the cakes was easy enough – followed the recipe to the letter (another anomaly because I usually decrease the sugar of everything) but I didn’t want to screw with it on my first attempt. It went together simply however, there was one surprise. The batter, when you add the coffee, is unusually runny, and I thought I had made a mistake. It was REALLY almost a liquid… so be aware and also stay confident that things are going to work out A-okay. My cakes came out perfect in 30 minutes. Ina suggests 35 but I always cut 5 minutes off any recipe just so I don’t overbake and this ended up being the perfect time for my oven.

I let the cakes cool for about 30 minutes in the pan on a cooling rack, and then popped them out onto the rack for another hour or so before wrapping them up for the night. Now, one thing I did notice is that this cake, being quite moist, has a tendency to “sink” into the grills of the cooling rack. I slid some parchment under to prevent this – it also made it easier when I wanted to flip them onto my cake pedestal the next day for icing.

Where it gets tricky…

By the time you are “our” age – most likely you have made a few cakes in your lifetime, and most likely you know what you love and hate about making doing it. I am a pro at the baking part – it is the next part I really hate. Icing!!! I am not crafty, and I am not good with creating “pretty” when it comes to my baking. I have given it a few good attempts, but to be quite frank, I just want to be finished and I don’t have the patience to fuss with icing. I know we are all supposed to have these pretty pinterest pictures, but man – life gets in the way. I’ve got social homework to go over, I have taxes to do, I have shirts to iron and wash for a business trip!! We’ve all got our STUFF. Isn’t it enough I baked a chocolate cake?? Does it have to look pretty too?

Ina Garten's Chocolate Cake

So, I HATE icing cakes. And, I’m not good at it. The real reason why I generally pick a cake that is baked in a 9×13 pan and just needs the top iced! The sides are THE WORST… Anyhow, I gave it my best shot and it turned out ok. In my humble opinion, I should have doubled the icing recipe. This would have given me a better “layer” between the two cakes, AND some icing to play with. Next time (for me!), and something to think about (for you!)

Ina Garten's Perfect Chocolate Cake

  • Servings: 8
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The perfect moist chocolatey cake from one of our fav. gals!


Butter for greasing the pans
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the pans
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup good cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk, shaken
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 8-inch round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pans.

Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.

Place one layer, flat side up, on a flat plate or cake pedestal. With a knife or offset spatula, spread the top with frosting. Place the second layer on top, rounded side up, and spread the frosting evenly on the top and sides of the cake.

6 ounces good semisweet chocolate such as Callebaut
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 extra-large egg yolk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1-1/4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon instant coffee powder

Chop the chocolate and place it in a heat-proof bowl set over a pan over simmering water. Stir until just melted and set aside until cooled room temperature.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until light yellow and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and continue beating for 3 minutes. Turn the mixer to low, gradually add the confectioners’ sugar, then beat at medium speed, scraping down the bowl as necessary, until smooth and creamy. Dissolve the coffee powder in 2 teaspoons of the hottest tap water. On low speed, add the chocolate and coffee to the butter mixture and mix until blended. Don’t whip! Spread immediately on the cooled cake.

**notes on the icing – I did not want to have a raw egg in my icing, so I left it out. I didn’t seem to matter, although I would imagine that it would be more creamy and thick with that egg included. I think substituting some cream cheese might be a great alternative?

Reviews from the Fam.

“Love!” “Love!” “More cake please!” “Delicious!”

Ok – so I guess we have a new cake recipe in the house. 🙂

Looking for another scrumptious dessert idea for your family? S’mores Squares are always a hit – find them HERE

As always, comment below when you try this one out – let us know what you think! Does it replace YOUR favourite chocolate cake recipe?



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