Beatty’s Chocolate Cake

September 24th, 2009

I missed the first Barefoot Blogger Thursday of the month because of travel and other obligations, so I was determined not to miss the second one. Mary of Passionate Perseverance selected Ina Garten’s Beatty’s Chocolate Cake because it is her birthday. Happy birthday Mary! Unfortunately Mary had a problem with the cake. Visit her wonderful blog to see how she salvaged a near disaster. Actually, I can empathize with her. This cake was not easy. It was easy to mix and bake. The addition of a cup of coffee to the mix, made it almost too thin in my opinion. My cake did not run over in the pans as her’s did, but once I removed it from the pans after it was baked, it was very crumbly and hard to handle. Perhaps I did not bake it long enough, even though it was in the oven for the prescribed amount of time. I just knew I would not be able to pick it up and layer it. The only solution I could think of was to put the layers in the refrigerator on their cooling racks to see if it would help. The freezer is another good idea. Once they were very cold, I was able to manipulate them onto the serving plate and frost them.

This is a very good moist cake and the frosting is easy and delicious. The addition of coffee to the cake and frosting seems to bring out the chocolatey taste. The only addition I made was to sprinkle the top of the cake with toffee bits. It helped to hide the cake crumbs peeking out of the frosting! You may want to check in with the other Barefoot Bloggers to see how they did with this cake. I know I am curious.


Butter, for greasing the pans
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
2 cups sugar
3/4 cups 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 vanill extract
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee


Chocolate Buttercream, recipe follows

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter 2 (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 a 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 1 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.

Chocolate Frosting:

6 ounces good semisweet chocolate (recommended: 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 of simmering water. Stir until just melted and set aside until cooled to room temperature.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until light yellow and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg yolk and vanilla 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.

13 responses to “Beatty’s Chocolate Cake”

  1. Kate says:

    It was difficult to move from rack to serving platter. I have never had such a runny batter.

    It is a very moist cake. I like your idea of putting toffee pieces on top.

    Looks inviting!

  2. Yummy! Toffee! I should have thought of it. It’s a rich cake, but I thought it was moist.
    As you saw, one of mine didn’t quite release, but frosting fixes just about anything!

  3. Lynda says:

    What a wonderful looking dark chocolate cake! Too bad you had trouble with it… your addition of toffee on top is perfect!

    I also love the plate!

  4. BMK says:

    Yours looks fantastic. We love this cake! I have deep cake pans so I guess that is why I never had any problem with this one. Mine has always been moist and easy to frost. I love the addition of the toffee bits.

  5. Beautiful looking cake. I’m not a baker but I sure could eat a piece of this.

  6. Mary says:

    Problems or not, your cake looks great and had you not told us I wouldn’t know you had trouble. I think you did a great job.

  7. the cake looks great, if you make this again, is there something you would do different?? I love the idea of coffee enhanced chocolate cake.

  8. It looks beautiful to me! I love coffee and chocolate together, the coffee just makes it taste so much better to me.

  9. Jennifer says:

    YUM! Your cake looks amazing!

    Lake Lure is a familiar place for me. I am from North Carolina.:)

  10. Katy ~ says:

    Looks so dark, moist and chocolaty. I never would have imagined that you had difficulty with this if you had not shared your experience. Good idea about putting it in the fridge of freezer to help make it more manageable!

  11. We really loved this cake. I haven’t posted the pic yet, but will do this weekend!

  12. Karen says:

    Delicious looking chocolate cake!

  13. amyndavid says:

    That looks so yummy!!!! I wish I had some to eat right now!

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