This is hands down the best chocolate cake ever! I have been making it for years and it is definitely a crowd pleaser. If you like chocolate or cake, this one is sure to become your new favorite.
What makes this cake so special is how moist it is. And, the addition of the coffee gives it a unique flavor.
I make several variations of this cake, but the recipes and instructions below are for a 3 layer cake with chocolate cream cheese frosting. It’s perfect for birthdays, anniversaries or just a dinner with family or friends. Hope you enjoy it as much as we do!
Chocolate Cake Recipe
Ingredients for the cake:
- 1 & 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
Ingredients for the icing:
- 1 cup butter softened
- 2 x 8 oz blocks of cream cheese softened
- 6 cups powdered sugar
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350° F.
- Grease three 8-by-2-inch round cake pans. I have also made this cake with only 2 layers and it’s just a good. A tip here is to cut parchment paper circles that fit in the bottom of the pan. This will really help with preventing any kind of sticking of the cake to the bottom.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle, mix the flour with the sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt at low speed. You really don’t need a mixer to make this cake. I have made it by hand in the past and it turned out just a well.
- In another bowl, whisk the buttermilk with the oil, eggs and vanilla. Slowly beat the buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients until just incorporated, then slowly beat in the hot coffee until fully incorporated.
- Divide the cake batter evenly into the prepared pans.
- Bake for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean. In my oven, it tends to be ready in about 20 minutes for 3 pans and 30 minutes for 2 pans.
- Let the cakes cool in the pans for 30 minutes.
- Invert the cakes onto a rack to cool.
- Peel off the parchment.
- While the cakes are cooling, you can prepare the icing.
- Using a stand mixer or a hand mixer and a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese and the butter. Mix together until creamy or approximately 3 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl, as required. Make sure to let the butter and cream cheese soften on the counter and don’t try to speed up the process using the microwave or other source of heat or you will end up with consistency issues.
- Sift together the powdered sugar and the cocoa powder.
- Add the dry ingredients, including the salt, to the butter/cream cheese mixture.
- Mix at a low speed, until well combined.
- Increase speed and beat until smooth and whipped. Approximately 1 to 2 minute.
- Add vanilla and beat until smooth.
- Before moving onto the next step, make sure the cake is fully cooled.
- Place the bottom layer of cake on your favorite cake stand or other serving plate.
- Ice the top of this layer with a good amount of the icing. Spread evenly. This will be much easier by using an offset icing spatula.
- Place the second layer of cake on top of this first layer.
- Ice the top of this second layer with approximately the same amount of icing as the first layer.
- Finally, place the final layer on top.
- Ice the top and side of cake with an even layer of icing.
- Add additional decorative touches as desired. In this version, I added a few rosettes and some Bourbon Cocktail Cherries.
- Refrigerate the cake until you are ready to serve.
- Covered and refrigerated, the cake will last 2 to 3 days. But, not to worry, it won’t last that long…
This recipe is inspired by Ina Garten’s cake recipe. If you have never tried any of her recipes, they are all really good. However, her most famous recipe has to be her Engagement Roast Chicken. Rumor has it that Meghan Markle made this chicken the night that Prince Harry proposed. I have never made it, but if it worked on a prince it might be worth a try.
Finally, if you aren’t quite in the mood for a cake. Click here for more of our favorite dessert recipes. We have many more tasty treats that will hopefully inspire you.