Everyone is always looking for the best chocolate cake recipe, myself included, and luckily all of the work has already been done for us. Both The Pancake Princess and The Kitchn rated Ina Garten’s famous ‘Beattys’ chocolate cake as the clear winner in their respective best chocolate cake tests, maybe even the best chocolate cake in the world.

The fact that it’s one of the easiest you will ever make is a double win. I baked it for the first time last year and knew it was really excellent and would be the perfect chocolate cake recipe.  

KichenAid stand mixer, South Africa

Ina’s recipe uses a whole cup of coffee in the mix and this amplifies the cake which has an intense chocolate flavour and a deliciously moist crumb. I found mine baked a little longer in my oven but you will have to test it to see how yours works out.

I didn’t use Ina Garten’s icing as I don’t like the notion of raw egg yolk in my buttercream, so I opted for the most fluffy and delicious buttercream I know. Adding a hint of coffee to the frosting too and along with vanilla extract, really boosts the chocolate in the buttercream. If you were wanting to go wild, a shot of dark rum would give the frosting a slightly grown-up boozy edge. 

As the best thing about chocolate cake is the icing, this recipe allows for more than enough to coat the cake generously and this is how it’s done:

Maybe the best chocolate cake recipe in the world by Ina Garten

Maybe the best chocolate cake recipe in the world by Ina Garten

Maybe the best chocolate cake recipe in the world by Ina Garten

Maybe the best chocolate cake recipe in the world by Ina Garten

Maybe the best chocolate cake recipe in the world by Ina Garten

Maybe the best chocolate cake recipe in the world by Ina Garten

Maybe the best chocolate cake recipe in the world by Ina Garten

Maybe the best chocolate cake recipe in the world by Ina Garten

Maybe the best chocolate cake recipe in the world by Ina Garten

Maybe the best chocolate cake recipe in the world by Ina Garten

The recipe makes one large chocolate cake

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Ina Garten’s famous ‘Beattys’ Chocolate Cake

Ingredients

13/4 cups all-purpose flour or cake flour

2 cups of sugar

3/4 cup good cocoa powder

2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1 cup buttermilk, shaken

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee

Chocolate Frosting

340gms (3 sticks) salted butter

250gms (2 cups) icing / powdered sugar

2 Tbsp very strong coffee or espresso (cooled)

1 tsp vanilla extract

75gms Cocoa powder (1/2 cup)

150gms good quality dark chocolate with 70% milk solids, melted and then cooled

Chopped walnuts or sprinkles to decorate (optional)

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 180 c/ 350 F.  Line 2 x 22-23cms (8-inch) springform cake tins with baking paper (bottom and sides). Lightly spray the paper with cooking spray.

Sift the flour, cocoa, baking soda and powder and salt into the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Then add the sugar and briefly mix to combine.

In a separate bowl lightly beat the buttermilk, oil, eggs and vanilla. While the mixer is running on slow, add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix briefly until combined. Then add the cup of hot coffee and lightly mix to combine once more. Take the bowl off the stand mixer and scrape down the sides well and ensure all the batter is well mixed. It will be quite runny.

Divide the batter evenly between the two pans and bake for 35 – 55 minutes until a knife when inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. If necessary, loosely cover the cakes with tin foil from about 20 minutes into the baking to prevent over-browning.

Cool in the pans for about half an hour and then cool them on a cooling rack.

While the cakes are cooling make the icing/frosting

Using a stand mixer or electric whisk beat the butter on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. Add the Icing sugar, coffee and vanilla extract and continue to beat for 3 – 4 more minutes. Add the cocoa powder slowly and when its incorporated add the cooled chocolate mixture. Carry on whipping the icing for a further few minutes and until its extremely light and fluffy.

To ice the cake place one layer with the dome facing up on a cake plate or stand. Tuck some of the pieces of baking paper used to bake the cake under the bottom of the cake on the plate. This will be removed after the cake is iced and it keeps the edge and plate clean. Scoop a very generous amount of chocolate buttercream icing on the top and spread it to smooth it out. Add the second layer of cake, again with the dome facing upwards and use the remainder of the icing to cover the sides and top. There is enough icing to really give the cake a generous coating.

Keywords: chocolate cake, best in the world, Ina Garten

A huge thank you to Kitchenaid for giving me a stand mixer to give away. This post is not sponsored.

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Maybe the best chocolate cake recipe in the world by Ina Garten

   

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14 Comments

  1. Amber Aucamp

    Will definitely be making this! Nothing beats chocolate cake in my opinion. Also, these photographs are gorgeous – I love the marble base!

  2. Sam

    Thanks Amber and I hope you enjoy it x

  3. Nicolene Daniels

    I can’t wait to try this chocolate cake! Yours looks amazing , I hope mine turns out that well ??

  4. Nicolene Daniels

    I can’t wait to try this chocolate cake! Yours looks amazing , I hope mine turns out that well ??

  5. Do you think this would bake well as a sheet cake in a rectangular tin, I think I would probably need to double the recipe!

  6. Sam

    Hi Claire I think it definitely would I just don’t know exact size but would be quite big.

  7. Also your recipe says 35 to 55 minutes to bake…why such a big range? It’s in the oven now ?

  8. Danielle C Napier

    This is by far the most PHENOMENAL chocolate cake recipe. I’ve made this for years and have had so many requests for the recipe!!!
    The only difference is my original Ina recipe says to bake 35-40 min. I never bake longer than 35 min. Fir that moist cake texture.
    One time i went for 40 and was terribly dry.

  9. Jennifer Fox

    Best chocolate cake ever ?? 35mins is perfect ?

  10. Hi, this looks delicious! I just wanted to ask how many tbsp do you add to 1 cup of boiling water? Also do you use espresso or regular coffee granules (im not American sorry for my English)

  11. Sam

    Hi Jasmin – Id say about 2 teaspoons to 1 tablespoon of coffee granules for a cup of water so basically a very strong cup of coffee

  12. Hi there! for the frosting, can we used two sticks of butter only instead of 3 sticks? coz in every frosting recipe that I’ve read majority of them uses only 2 sticks. Is there a reason why we need 3 sticks? thank you!

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