Subscribe to Cookie Madness by Email

Cocoa Buttermilk Cake

by on May 22, 2008 · 50 comments

UPDATE:  This was my post today, but if you are looking for good chocolate cakes, check the comment section.  If you have on to add, feel free to paste it.

I think I’m a pretty competent baker, but when friends ask me to bake them a special cake, I get flustered. What’s their favorite? What recipe is fool-proof? What cake can I carry to the event without dropping? And most importantly, what cake will stand up on the merit of taste without needing much decoration.

One of these days I’m going to go through my collection and pick out a few go-to cakes.  Off the top of my head are these:

The Guinness Stout cake is amazingly moist and even better on the second day.  It’s probably my favorite of all chocolate cakes at the moment.

Pumpkin Carrot Cake is always good – but alienates people who don’t like carrot cake and is sort of holidayish.

Red Velvet Cake is fun, but I make it too often.  Plus, it’s messy and I get red food coloring all over the place.

Midori Cake is always a hit, but I’m trying to get away from tacky cakes, no matter how much my friends love them.  This sort of applies to red velvet too.

And all the rest of my bundt cakes are just not celebratory enough. I want layers or a big sheet.

So here I am again, searching for the perfect cake to take to a weekend party. I’ve decided to make one chocolate cake and one make-ahead non-chocolate sheet cake such as tres leches or that old Southern coconut cake where you pour sour cream and coconut over a basic sheet cake and let it sit for a couple of days.

But back to the chocolate cake. I was wavering between stout cake and a new (to me) chocolate cake called Cocoa-Buttermilk Birthday Cake by Dorie Greenspan. Today I whipped up a test batch and now I REALLY can’t decide which cake.

It’s definitely good and the malt in the frosting, while a little bit gritty, adds a great flavor. Here’s a picture of the one-layer test cake. So many cakes, so little time.

Chocolate Cake

Related posts:

Published on May 22, 2008

{ 50 comments… read them below or add one }

VeggieGirl May 22, 2008 at 11:24 am

I”m the same way – when people ask me to bake something for them, I get rather stressed out because I don’t know what to bake! Haha.

You picked a winner, with that cocoa-buttermilk cake – looks super-decadent!

Amy May 22, 2008 at 11:29 am

That stout cake is truly excellent.

Meredith May 22, 2008 at 11:45 am

what about the Dr. Pepper cake? How does that rate on your scale? I still want to try the Chocolate Bundt Cake from Cooks’ Illustrated.

Meredith May 22, 2008 at 11:46 am

Further comment….I haven’t been able to make Guinness Cake because hubby won’t let me “waste” good Guinness on a cake! :)

Sue May 22, 2008 at 12:16 pm

I have a go to Chocolate Fudge Cake. It’s a layer cake and I LOVE the fudge frosting. I think the recipe originally came from a junior league cookbook that my SIL owns. I’ll have to look it up. If you want the recipe I’ll be happy to post it.

For my husbands birthday in July I’ve already decided to make this recipe from epicurious.
http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/INSIDE-OUT-GERMAN-CHOCOLATE-CAKE-103202

His birthday isn’t until July!!! With 200 reviews and a 4 fork rating, I figure I can’t go wrong.

Kathy May 22, 2008 at 12:31 pm

Texas sheet cakes are always popular. I’ve seen both vanilla and chocolate versions. Not sure if they are really Texan…

aTxVegn May 22, 2008 at 1:20 pm

The buttermilk cake reminds me of Texas Sheet Cake, without the pecans I guess. It’s really beautiful. It looks like chocolate perfection.

Therese B. May 22, 2008 at 1:26 pm

Anna!

I made that chocolate guinness cake a while back. Although I never had tried a piece myself, I got rave reviews on it!! Your picture looks yummy!!

I haven’t been online for a while…I happen to notice that you were re-testing the Levain Bakery cookie with quick-rise yeast. I will have to try those out!!

judi0044 May 22, 2008 at 1:39 pm

Thanks Anna for the Dorie chocolate cake test. I’ve been monitoring the TWD site and since I had a good bookstore coupon, I finally purchased her book locally. The first recipe I’ve tried I found had too long of a bake time -at least for my oven, but otherwise her recipes generally receive great reviews!

Catherine May 22, 2008 at 1:42 pm

Friend cakes are stressful! My friend asked me to make her wedding cake, for pete’s sake! She wanted a red velvet with white fondant…think about the results of THAT! Red bleeding thru the fondant!
The Guinness cake sounds very good..I’ll give that a go…! And buttermilk does so well in a cake…it’s one of my favorite ingredients.

dgeevanson May 22, 2008 at 2:25 pm

That looks wonderful!!! Where would the recipe for the southern coconut sour cream cake be? That sounds fabulous as well. Your blog is incredible.

Katrina May 22, 2008 at 3:21 pm

Myfavorite sheet cake is banana cake w/cream cheese frosting.

Katy May 22, 2008 at 3:25 pm

Anna,
This is my favorite, old fashioned, ultra chocolate devil’s food cake. It is dark and moist and has a lovely velvety crumb. It will also make 2 dozen cupcakes. Similar to Dorie’s but not as dense because of the boiling water.
My other favorite recipe is Hershey’s Black Magic. It’s the same as their Perfectly Chocolate Cake but is made with buttermilk which makes it more moist and tender. It is also the same as the famous Epicurious Double Chocolate Layer Cake but omits the additional 3 oz of melted chocolate, which I find makes the cake a bit heavy and more trouble to make. I always give this recipe to novice bakers because it’s a totally foolproof one bowl cake. I’m sending the link to the recipe on allrecipes.com. I prefer the flavor of ScharffenBerger natural cocoa for either cake.
Katy

Favorite Cocoa Layer Cake

Ingredients:
1 cup boiling hot water
3/4 cup (75g) natural cocoa
2 cups (260g) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup (200g) superfine sugar
1 cup (240g) golden brown sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cool room temp cool room temp
4 wholes eggs (large), cool room temp, lightly beaten cool room temp
3/4 cup (6 1/4oz) buttermilk, cool room temp cool room temp
2 teaspoons fancy vanilla extract
1 teaspoon chocolate extract (optional) optional

Directions:

1: Preheat oven to 350’.

2: Line 2 9” pans with parchment.

3: Combine water and cocoa in a bowl and stir until smooth. Reserve.

4: Sift together dry ingredients. Reserve.

5: In large bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugars.

6: Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir buttermilk into cocoa mixture.

7: Add alternately with dry ingredients in 3 additions.

8: Pour into pans.

9: Bake about 25 minutes, til toothpick comes out barely clean. Cool and frost.

Hershey’s Black Magic Cake:

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Black-Magic-Cake/Detail.aspx

Anna May 22, 2008 at 4:04 pm

Therese, good to see you back on-line. Definitely try the ccc.

I loved the Dr. Pepper cake too, but I remember the stout cake as being a little moister. It was insanely moist, actually. But still sturdy and not mushy.

Also (Meredith), that’s how Todd is with Bourbon. He puts a marker on it so he knows if I get into it ;).

Sue, thanks for emailing me that other cake. That inside out one is supposed to be really, really good. I don’t know why I haven’t made it yet.

Kathy at ATXvegan, this is not nearly as sugar and rich as Texas Sheet Cake. I usually find Texas Sheet Cakes too sweet.

Judii, I absolutely love Baking from my Home to Yours. It took me a while to buy it because I wanted to get it for less than the $40 asking price, however, it would have been worth every penny. Dorie Greenspan is an excellent recipe developer and a great writer. She seems to be very nice in real life too. I didn’t talk with her because she was busy, but she helped run a class/talk I attended in Las Vegas and was quite amiable and funny.

Catherine, I would have had a nervous breakdown. The thing is, if I hadn’t been asked, I might spend a week making red velvets with white fondant. It’s baking on demand that’s difficult because I also want to exceed expecations….and I don’t always do that. Who does?

Well, probably Dorie Greenspan ;).

DGE, here’s a link to that coconut cake. The last time I made it I used a scratch yellow cake, but I think it would be good with a mix. Also, it’s much easier to make as a sheetcake. Cake Mix Doctor has a version too. I will probably use hers and post it.

http://southernfood.about.com/od/coconutcakes/r/bl30212o.htm

Katy, thanks for the recipe. As I mentioned to Sue, I love chocolate cake recipes that have brown sugar in the batter. They seem moister and have a better flavor. So yours looks perfect. I might use hot coffee in place of the boiling water, though.

Katrina, I like banana cake too, but never get to make it because the family doesn’t like bananas. Maybe now I have an excuse.

Erin Mylroie May 22, 2008 at 4:09 pm

This recipe has been on my to-do list. Oh man, it sure does look good. I love it when you do your top faves!

giz May 22, 2008 at 4:55 pm

Funny what pressure does to people. Competence turns to doubt and in the end it’s all good.

Somehow this post has the makings of an event – “finding the perfect go to cakes” when someone asks you to make a special one. I like it – it’s a great idea!! Besides, I have ulterior motives – I could use a few of those “go to” cakes.

Heidi May 22, 2008 at 6:21 pm

giz-Just like me and my go-to bday cupcakes!

kimberleyblue May 22, 2008 at 6:24 pm

My go-to cakes are a carrot one with loads of cream cheese frosting, and a blueberry coffee cake.

I like your choices – I’ve never made a red velvet cake, but I definitely should!

Rina May 22, 2008 at 9:32 pm

I totally agree about the “special cake” perplexity. Here are two of my favorite go-to recipes (customizable with different frostings/fillings of course):

Double-Chocolate Layer Cake (great w/the exact type of chocolate specified):
http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/DOUBLE-CHOCOLATE-LAYER-CAKE-101275

Gramercy Tavern Gingerbread Cake (I bake it in a 10″ cake pan and frost w/cream cheese frosting):
http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/GRAMERCY-TAVERN-GINGERBREAD-103087

Anna May 22, 2008 at 10:15 pm

These comments have been so helpful! Thanks for all the cake picks.

I just made a special category for this post called “Go-To Cakes”. If anyone wants to post their favorite cake recipe or link to their favorite recipe, feel free to post it here.

I will definitely be referring back to this.

Lisa May 23, 2008 at 1:01 am

The double chocolate layer cake Rina mentions is to die for. I’ve only made it with more pedestrian brands of chocolate (Ghiradelli — *gasp* — and Hershey’s chocolate chips). It is divine. Of course, who can go wrong with chocolate and buttermilk I ask?

Clumbsy Cookie May 23, 2008 at 1:31 am

I have 2 “Go-to” chocolate cakes. One is similar to the one Katy posted, with boiling water. It’s fool proof and same times I do it with boiling coffee as you saied you might do Anna. The other one is a triple chocolate cake, very fluffy sponge cake, filled with a white chocolate mousse and covered with dark chocolate mousse. Yummmy!

Randi May 23, 2008 at 6:35 am

I’ll second the vote for Hershey’s black magic cake. I’ve made that cake a million times. My sister mixes up the dry ingredients and keeps them in her cupboard at all times so its as easy as making a cake mix. Its such a fab recipe. I make it as a sheet cake, a bundt or a layer. I find it doesnt work too well with cupcakes because the oil soaks thru the papers. I actually won first place with that cake at our towns fair.

I now always use coffee in place of water in any choc. cake recipe. The coffee really deepends the choc. flavor.

I like Cooking Lights texas sheet cake too.

Anna May 23, 2008 at 6:42 am

It’s Friday. I’m leaning stronly toward the stout cake because I hang out with a bunch of beer drinkers and it’s always nice to say “Hey, there’s beer in the cake.”. I’m going to make Stout Cake with Dorie Greenspan’s Malted Chocolate Frosting. When I’m done, I’ll post the recipe in its entirety.

Here’s one more. This is Sue’s Go-To Cake. I’m pasting it here for her.

Chocolate Fudge Cake
From Applehood and Motherpie. A junior league cookbood from Rochester, NY.

4 oz. unsweetened chocolate
2 1/4 c. cake flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1/2 c. butter
2 1/4 c. brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 t. vanilla
1 c. sour cream
1 c. boiling water

1. Grease and flour cake pans
2. Melt chocolate in small bowl. Cool.
3. Sift flour, soda, and salt in large bowl.
4. Cream butter, in another bowl. Add brown suar and eggs. Beat at high spped until light and fluffy.
5. Beat in vanilla and chocolate.
6. Stir in dry ingredients alternately with sour cream. Beat well with a wooden spoon after each addition until batter is smooth.
7. Stir in boiling water. The batter will be thin.
8. Pour at once into pans. (2 9″ layer pans) Bake at 350 for 35 minutes.

Chocolate Fudge Frosting

4 oz. unsweetened chocolate
1/2 c. butter
1 one pound box confectioner’s sugar
1/2 c. milk
1 t. vanilla

1. Melt chcolate and butter in a small heavy saucepan over low heat
2. Combine sugar and milk in a medium size bowl. Add chocolate mixture
3. Set bowl in ice water, and beat with a wooden spoon until thickened. Stir in vanilla
4. Spread on cooled cake.

Chris C-L May 23, 2008 at 7:17 am

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/German-Chocolate-Cake-III/Detail.aspx

This is currently my favorite cake to make. I use 6 oz. of chocolate instead of 4 and I add some chocolate extract as well. I’ve made this two ways – once with ganache between the layers and the coconut frosting on top and once with the boiled frosting that normally is used on red velvet cake. I get four nice layers out of the recipe. The last time I made it, last weekend, I used the boiled frosting and then piped chocolate dots onto waxed paper and then put the dots all over the cake. It looked cute….and one of my husband’s employees asked if I’d make the cakes for her wedding. A little out of my league, but I was flattered.

Randi May 23, 2008 at 9:11 am

Hey is chocolate extract really all that?

Where do you buy it?

Randi May 23, 2008 at 9:11 am

Anna,

When a recipe calls for AP flour, what kind do you use? I wonder if I’m wasting money using KA when making cakes?

Chris C-L May 23, 2008 at 9:36 am

The chocolate extract was given to me as a gift (by my foodie sister). I’ve seen it in specialty cooking stores, but can’t remember how much it cost. I use it when I make chocolate things just to experiment. I wouldn’t say it makes the items exponentially better, but it does give a nice flavor.

laura May 23, 2008 at 10:47 am

My sister-in-law makes the Martha Stewart one bowl chocolate cake and it’s really moist and wonderful. Doesn’t hurt that she ices it with cream cheese icing!

Heidi May 23, 2008 at 11:13 am

My go-to chocolate cake has ganache rather than frosting. It’s much faster and richer and I like it better. ;)

Awesome Chocolate Cake

2 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon baking soda
3 cups granulated sugar
5 eggs, room temp
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups buttermilk, room temp
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups strong coffee

Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour sides and bottoms of pans. Set pans aside.

In large bowl of mixer, stir together the flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder and soda. Stir in the sugar.

In small bowl, combine the eggs and vanilla extract. Mix into the dry ingredients. Stir in the buttermilk, melted butter and coffee. Divide batter evenly among pans.

Bake at 350 for around 50 minutes. Transfer to wire cooling rack.

Easy Foolproof Ganache
18 ozs semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon liquor or flavoring (optional)

Heat cream until nearly boiling. Pour over chocolate chips, cover and let sit 10 minutes. Whisk chocolate and cream (and flavor if using) until well combined; dark, smooth and glossy.

Let sit at room temp until cooled. To thicken, beat with hand mixer for a few minutes. Also thickens over time as it sits.

Refrigerate in airtight container for up to a week. To restore to spreading or glazing consistency, heat and stir over double boiler for a few minutes until softened.

Katy May 23, 2008 at 1:33 pm

Anna,
Fantastic idea to start a go-to cake category. I have a few others to add when I have time later today, but I’ve been busy making a stout cake because you piqued my curiosity. I just took it out of the oven and my house smells absolutely heavenly. I baked it in a Nordicware star bundt pan and it came out back and shiny and gorgeous. My youngest is returning home from college back east today and she will be over the moon. I will report back when we’ve tried the cake but I am optimistic. Thanks in advance!
Sue, your recipe is great. I’ve been making that cake for almost 40 years and it’s a classic. It bakes up into high and light and fluffy layers. Less dense and deeply chocolate than either my Favorite Cocoa cake or the Black Magic.
Katy

Janice May 23, 2008 at 2:09 pm

Hi anna,
I love the stout cake, but my go-to is Margaret Fox’s Amazon chocolate. I think it is a depression era rationing cake(?). It’s never failed me.

http://www.floras-hideout.com/recipes/recipes.php?page=recipes&data=a/Amazon_Chocolate_Cake

Ms. B. May 23, 2008 at 3:12 pm

A yummy cake that we love is called Sue B.’s cake — do a search for it on Recipezaar.com. It is a dark, moist cake. I topped it with Hershey’s perfectly chocolate frosting (reicpe on the back of the cocoa can) and filled it with a whipped ganache (basically make ganache, chill, them whip till fluffy). It was delicious!

dgeevanson May 23, 2008 at 4:19 pm

Thanks for that link Anna. It looks easy and yummy.

My favorite chocolate cake is the epicurious one that Rina posted. Always perfect.

Katy May 23, 2008 at 4:37 pm

Anna,
I second Janice’s vote for the Amazon cake, aka Wacky cake. It’s ultra dark, moist, ridiculously easy and uses ingredients in everyone’s pantry. That’s another good one for making batches of “cake mix” that are ready to go. Plus it’s vegan. By the way, Margaret Fox’s Spicy Buttermilk coffee cake, also from Cafe Baeujolais, is excellent and easy.
Katy

Rachel B. May 23, 2008 at 6:12 pm

Another vote for the Hershey’s Black Magic. I always try others, and usually end up wishing that I had stuck with my favorite! Oh, well–makes one more appreciative of the familiar, I suppose.

If I’m in a hurry, though, and just need something very simple, I like to make one of those mix-in-the-pan recipes. My favorite comes from a Moosewood Collective cookbook, and I think it’s called Six-Minute Chocolate Cake. The recipe is also known as “Wacky Cake” or similarly peculiar names. Turns out very moist, and you don’t even need to wash a bowl!

Janice May 23, 2008 at 8:20 pm

Oh my, Katy is so right the Margaret Fox cinnamon coffee cake is a sure thing winner.
Cafe Beaujolais Buttermilk Cinnamon Coffee Cake
2-1/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ginger
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup corn oil
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
l egg, beaten
1 cup buttermilk

Mix together in a large bowl the flour, salt, l tsp. cinnamon, ginger,
both sugars, and corn oil. Remove 3/4 cup* of this mixture, and to it
add the nuts and the remaining l tsp. cinnamon. Mix well, and set
aside to use as a topping. To the remaining batter, add the baking
soda, baking powder, egg and buttermilk. Mix to combine all
ingredients. Small lumps in the batter are okay. Pour the batter into
a well greased 9×13 pan. Sprinkle the topping mixture evenly over the
surface. Bake at 350 for 40 to 45 minutes.

*
I usually double the topping

Katy May 24, 2008 at 10:23 am

A tip for the spicy buttermilk cake from Cafe Beaujolais:
instead of 3/4 cup oil, use 1/2 cup melted unsalted butter and 1/4 cup oil. It improves the flavor and texture of the crumb top.
The Guinness Stout cake was a big hit. No one guessed that there was a secret ingredient. I have a very sensitive palate and I could definitely detect a pronounced yeasty flavor from the stout. I used double chocolate stout and I will look for something milder when I make this again. I made it as a bundt with no frosting. The texture was perfect. Smooth, dense, moist, easy to slice. And gorgeous. Fantastic and stupid easy. I will definitely make this a go-to cake once I identify the correct stout. I usually make the CI chocolate bundt but it’s much more labor intensive and problematic. This recipe is foolproof. I think a frosting or glaze would be good too, and would help mask any identifiable taste of beer.

Meredith May 24, 2008 at 2:53 pm

I, too, use the recipe on the back of the Hershey’s cocoa can as my “go to” chocolate cake. I substitute coffee for the hot water in the recipe. I had a chocolate cake taste test night at my house with about 5 different chocolate cake recipes and this was the winner!

Gloria Seales May 27, 2008 at 9:15 am

Anna, here is a cake that I have made several times for my office and everyone always loves it and requests it again and again.

Mandarin Orange Cake
Quick and delicious!
1 pkg. Betty Crocker yellow cake mix
4 eggs
2 cup vegetable oil
1 11-oz. can mandarin oranges
2 cup chopped walnuts
Topping:
1 8-oz. container Cool Whip, thawed
1 20-oz. can crushed pineapple with juice
1 3.5-oz. pkg. instant vanilla pudding mix
Preheat oven to 350E. Grease and flour a 9×13-inch pan. In a large bowl, combine cake mix, eggs, oil and mandarin oranges with juice. Beat until smooth. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool.
To make the topping: In a large bowl, stir together whipped topping, pineapple with juice and dry pudding mix until blended. Spread on cake.

tyler marz August 7, 2009 at 4:30 pm

the mandrin orange cake that Gloria Seales wrote about calls for 2 cups of oil. i don’t know if it was a misprint but i have the same recipe and it calls for 1 cup of oil and it turns out just wonderful. Thanks!

janet May 3, 2010 at 12:03 pm

Kahlua Cake
1 pkg chocolate cake mix
1 pkg instant chocolate pudding mix
1/3 cup Kahlua
4 eggs
1/3 cup oil
16 oz sour cream
12 oz chocolate chips
Mix all together well EXCEPT chips. Fold in chips. Place in greased bundt pan. Bake 375 for 45 minutes (depends on your oven)
I used the Pillsbury Supreme Devils Food Cake mix
I realize this is not a from scratch cake. However, it is very easy and I always get requests for the recipe and asked to make this cake to bring to get togethers. I think there are many versions of this cake but this is the one I use. Hope you try it and enjoy it too!

joan May 3, 2010 at 12:19 pm

Hi Anna, I love reading your blog & all these posts! The two cakes that I have tried (and LOVED) in the past year have been the Triple chocolate mousse cake that was in the November-December 2009 edition of Cook’s Illustrated magazine. Relatively easy, can be made a couple of days ahead of time, and you can carry it easily in the spring-form pan. The other recipe was the chocolate salted caramel cake from the “Baked” cookbook. Much more work, but worth every minute. When I first assembled the “Baked” cake, the caramel was a bit soft & the layers were sort of listing over to one side. I thought it was going to be a disaster, but I stuck a wooden skewer into the middle of it, once the layers were re-aligned, and when I frosted it and chilled it, the layers stayed put.

Katrina May 3, 2010 at 1:14 pm

Ok, I don’t have a very favorite, because you know us and cake. But I do like the cake you have hear posted as Crazy Cake (I think that’s what it’s called). It’s always moist and chocolaty and really good. Not to mention super easy. But I’m sure it’s not in the same league as all these others.

melissa May 3, 2010 at 1:49 pm

Hi Anna,
This is my favorite go-to chocolate cake adapted from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook. It calls for a buttercream frosting which I’m not a fan of, so I use a Best Recipe (Cooks Illustrated) chocolate cream frosting. Also, I use a combination of yogurt and milk instead of the buttermilk called for in the cake recipe and I use plain yogurt also for the sour cream (I can’t digest it properly).

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup good cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter at room temp.
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 light brown sugar, packed
2 extra large eggs at room temp
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk at room temp
1/2 cup sour cream at room temp.
2 tablespoons brewed coffee

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 8-inch round cake pans. Line the bottoms with wax paper, butter the paper and dust the pans with flour, knocking out any excess (I use parchment, non-stick spray and cocoa powder instead of flour). In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars on high speed until light, approx. 5 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well. Combine the buttermilk, sour cream, and coffee. On low speed, add the flour mixture and the buttermilk mixture alternately in thirds, beginning with the buttermilk mixture and ending with the flour mixture. Mix the batter only until blended.

Divide the batter between the two pans and smooth the tops with a spatula. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes on a rack, remove from the pans, and allow to finish cooling.

Place cake on a serving plate, flat side up. Frost the top of that layer with the butter cream (I use the frosting below). Place the second layer on top, also flat side up, and front the top and sides.

Chocolate Cream Frosting
(from The Best Recipe)

1 1/2 cups heavy cream
16 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped fine
1/3 cup corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place chocolate in heatproof bowl. Bring heavy cream to boil in small saucepan over medium-high heat; pour over chocolate. Add corn syrup and let stand 3 minutes. Whisk gently until smooth; stir in vanilla. Refrigerate 1 to 1 1/2 hours, stirring every 15 minutes, until mixture reaches spreadable consistency.

Anonymous May 3, 2010 at 5:22 pm

Janet, thanks for the cake mix version. Those doctored cake mix cakes come in handy and the Kahlua is a nice touch.

Joan, thanks for those two cake suggestions. I have that Baked recipe but it didn’t jump out at me. Now I’ll have to try it.

Katrina, Crazy Cake is a good last minute cake. Did you see the version I made with Raspberry vinegar?

Melissa, that looks like a good one too. I don’t think I’ve ever made a bad Ina Garten recipe.

Lorie May 3, 2010 at 6:08 pm

One of my favorite cakes is Chocolate Toffee Caramel Crunch Cake. The frosting is like no other. I love it and I always have people ask me for the recipe. (It’s not my recipe but was created by another contester, Kelly Madey.) I put the recipe on my blog a while back, but you could probably google it. I think it won a state fair grand prize or something. It takes a little work because there are several elements to the cake, but it is SO worth it. I’m going to try to post a link to my blog post,but I don’t think I know how to make a link work on the comment section.

http://ricebeansotherfinethings.typepad.com/rice_and_beans_and_other_/2009/09/chocolate-toffee-caramel-crunch-cake.html

Shannon May 3, 2010 at 7:50 pm

I almost hate to give this one anyway because once you find it you’ll want to keep it a secret too:
Banana Tres Leche Cake from the Betty Crocker website

It is so incredibly moist from the three milks, has delicious banana flavor from pureed bananas, and is so easy because it starts with a boxed cake mix!

I love this cake with homemade whipped cream instead of the suggested Betty Crocker frosting.

deede May 4, 2010 at 10:33 am

I gotta tell you, Scharffen Berger has a cake called “That Chocolate Cake.” I tried it out of the blue about three years ago and have never looked back!
If you love dark chocolate, this is yours. I cannot tell you how many of these I’ve made over that time period–it’s the one everybody wants.
I got the recipe from their website:
http://www.scharffenberger.com/re0218.asp

Andrea May 4, 2010 at 1:45 pm

Carrot Cake
(The best one I’ve eaten in my whole life)

3 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup canola oil
4 eggs
2 cups shredded carrot
2 tablespoons grounded cinnamon
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 pineapple can
1 cup pecans
raisins

Cream Cheese Frosting
1 stick (190 gr) cream cheese (Philadelphia)
1 1/2 sticks (150 gr) butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
2 teaspoons lime juice

Beat the eggs. Add oil, sugar and pineapple can’s juice, beat well.
In another bowl, stir together the dry ingredients and add them to the other mixture. Mix until incorporated. Add the cutted pineapple, pecans, raisin and carrot, stir.

Bake for half an hour, until tester comes put clean.

Beat cream cheese with butter and vanilla. Add sugar and juice. Beat until it looks fluffy.
Wait until the cake is cold before frosting it.

I made some adjustments at the moment, but didn’t wrote them down or anything. I think you could make magic with this one!

Leave a Comment


Previous post:

Next post: