Baking Cake Chocolate Dessert Entertaining Winter

Ina Garten’s Chocolate Cake Recipe




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Ina Garten’s Chocolate Cake recipe ~ it’s a classic!  When I hear the word dessert, this homey, rich, chocolatey cake is what springs to mind.  Everybody should make it at least once.

Taking a slice of Ina Garten's Chocolate Cake

Ina Garten’s chocolate cake is hands-down one of my favorite chocolate cakes I’ve ever baked, (or tasted!)

It will take a lot for me to look for another chocolate cake recipe in the near future. The texture and flavor of Ina Garten’s chocolate cake is just my style — it’s very moist without being dense or heavy at all, and has just the right balance of sweetness with rich chocolate flavor. I can see why this is a beloved recipe, and will be my go-to from now on.

Ina Garten's Chocolate Cake cooling on a rack

This easy cake has the light, even texture of a boxed cake mix

The chocolate cake itself is similar to my Chocolate Cake with Cranberry Buttercream, but even a little bit simpler to put together as it calls for oil and cocoa powder rather than melted butter and chocolate. You can feel confident going with either one, depending on whether you’re in a butter creaming mood or not.  They both bake up perfectly with a nice deep rich color and fabulous chocolate flavor.

Taking a bite of a piece of Ina Garten's chocolate cake

A pinch of salt and some silky sour cream makes Ina’s frosting even better!

I did make a couple of changes to the original frosting recipe to suit my preferences ~ I added a pinch of salt, a bit of sour cream, and increased the amount of powdered sugar. These changes help to bulk up the frosting a bit so that there’s plenty to generously frost a double layer cake (I’m paranoid about running out!)

I feel that the salt and sour cream help offset the added sugar a little bit. The added sour cream also makes for a slightly softer frosting that doesn’t go quite as crusty over time as a plain buttercream frosting tends to do.

Chocolate layer cake with chocolate frosting.

I kept my cake as plain and simple as can be, but of course this is a wonderful base for all kinds of variations and decorations. The cake would be amazing with a vanilla frosting, a peanut butter frosting, a blackberry buttercream, whatever you like!

Suggestions for decorating a chocolate layer cake

If your occasion calls for a little more frippery, here are some ideas…

  • One of my favorite ways to decorate any chocolate surface is with chocolate shavings: just take a bar of chocolate and a vegetable peeler and peel off little curls. If your chocolate is dry you can microwave it for a few seconds to soften it so that you can get it to curl beautifully.
  • Chocolate sprinkles look pretty on a chocolate cake, you can decorate the top, or press them into the sides.
  • If it’s the season, pop some berries on top, strawberries and raspberries are perfect.  Intersperse some green mint leaves.
  • Arrange malted milk balls or other chocolate candy around the perimeter of the cake.

Serving a slice of Ina Garten's Chocolate Cake.

How to crumb coat a layer cake

The moist, delicate texture of this cake mean that it is a little bit trickier to frost without getting crumbs in your frosting, so I recommend doing a quick “crumb coat,” which, if you’ve never bothered with one in the past, really isn’t as complicated or annoying as it might sound!

  • To make a “crumb coat,” simply frost the top and sids of the cake with a thin layer of frosting, getting everything as smooth as you can. Don’t worry if there are crumbs showing.
  • Then, refrigerate the cake for at least 15 minutes. This sets the frosting and effectively locks all those crumbs in place before you move on to your next coat of frosting, so they won’t be floating around and getting in your way! That’s it!

A slice of Ina Garten's Chocolate Cake with fork

I think this cake is the perfect celebratory cake for any and all occasions ~ it’s a great recipe to have in your back pocket for birthdays, anniversaries, graduation parties, you name it.

More luscious layer cakes ~

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4.42 from 207 votes

Ina Garten's Chocolate Cake

Ina Garten's Chocolate Cake recipe ~ it's a classic!  When I hear the word dessert, this homey, rich, chocolatey cake is what springs to mind.  Everybody should make it at least once.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Yield 16 servings

Ingredients

Dry Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt

Wet Ingredients

  • 1 cup buttermilk (I used half-and-half, which worked fine, too!)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup hot coffee

For the frosting

  • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

Instructions

For the cake

  • Preheat oven to 350F. Butter two 8-inch round cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper discs.
  • Whisk all the dry ingredients together well in a large bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together all the wet ingredients EXCEPT the coffee.
  • Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, mixing as you go. Once incorporated, add the hot coffee, and mix everything until there are no pockets of dry flour left. The batter will be very thin.
  • Divide the batter between the two cake pans, and bake for 35 minutes until risen and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out without wet batter clinging to it.
  • Allow the cakes to partially cool in the pans, then turn out onto a cooling rack to completely cool before frosting. The cakes can be made a day or two ahead and kept in the refrigerator before frosting.

For the frosting

  • Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave using short bursts. Stir until smooth and set aside to cool slightly.
  • Beat the room temperature butter in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment for a couple minutes until smooth and noticeably paler in color. Slowly add the powdered sugar, salt, and vanilla, beating on a low-medium speed until everything is smooth.
  • Whisk the sour cream into the partially cooled melted chocolate. This both cools down the chocolate and warms up the sour cream so that both are more-or-less room temperature before adding to the butter mixture.
  • Add the chocolate and sour cream mixture to the mixer bowl and beat on low speed until everything is smooth and combined.
  • If your frosting seems a little too loose, you can refrigerate it for 10-15 minutes to allow it to firm up a little bit. Then give it a good stir before frosting the cake.

Notes

Recipe lightly adapted from Ina Garten.

 

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168 Comments

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  • Reply
    Cara
    June 3, 2020 at 3:10 pm

    I’m super confused because I’m SURE I followed the recipe exactly, and my cakes are soup. I thought the batter seemed especially liquidy, but I have no idea what went wrong. Cakes are currently still in the oven for longer.

    • Reply
      Sue
      June 3, 2020 at 4:23 pm

      It sounds like an oven temp problem Cara, I suggest checking with an oven thermometer, they’re inexpensive and so useful in cases like this.

  • Reply
    Jennifer
    May 31, 2020 at 8:37 am

    5 stars
    My new go-to chocolate cake recipe! This is perfect in every way. The addition of the sour cream in the frosting is brilliant. Addictive!

  • Reply
    Kristen
    May 29, 2020 at 12:39 pm

    Would this be okay if I made this as a Bundt cake?? (Not with the frosting) my mom wants a plain chocolate cake for her birthday with whipped cream on top. If so, how long in the oven do you think?

  • Reply
    alex
    May 29, 2020 at 5:30 am

    can i bake this and make it an ice cream cake ? Add a thin layer of ice cream in the middle?

    • Reply
      Sue
      May 29, 2020 at 6:18 am

      The cake is sturdy, so that should be fine Alex.

      • Reply
        alex
        May 29, 2020 at 10:00 am

        is there a sub for vegetable oil?

        • Reply
          Sue
          May 30, 2020 at 10:09 pm

          You might try melted butter.

  • Reply
    Cindy Hunt
    May 21, 2020 at 9:53 pm

    5 stars
    I have tried twice now to bake this cake. Everything seems perfect until I open the oven door and then the cake starts sinking in the center. I thought it was the baking powder, but I purchased new powder and I had the same result. The cake still tastes good but I can’t figure it out. Please help, what am I doing wrong?

    • Reply
      Sue
      May 22, 2020 at 6:21 am

      It sounds like it isn’t cooking long enough, so I suggest checking your oven temperature with an oven thermometer. It hangs on one of the racks and you can see if, when you set it to 350F is actually gets to that temp. I suspect your oven is cooking low, and so your cake isn’t getting enough time. (The very center is always the last to get done.) I always check by gently touching the center of the cake, it should spring back when done, and I will check with a toothpick as well, if I’m not sure.

      • Reply
        Cindy Hunt
        May 22, 2020 at 7:58 pm

        5 stars
        I will get an oven thermometer and check the temp. . I never thought of the oven being the issue. Thank you..

        • Reply
          Sue
          May 22, 2020 at 8:32 pm

          You’d be surprised…I don’t think I’ve ever had an oven that cooked at an accurate temperature, I’ve always relied on my thermometers.

  • Reply
    Jojo Naycalo
    May 20, 2020 at 2:33 pm

    Would the icing work well if I make the cake in a Bundt pan?

    • Reply
      Sue
      May 20, 2020 at 2:37 pm

      I don’t normally frost bundt cakes with thick frostings like this one, it would be a little tricky, but I guess you could.

      • Reply
        Jojo Naycalo
        May 20, 2020 at 2:41 pm

        Thanks! This’ll be my weekend baking activity.

  • Reply
    April
    May 20, 2020 at 10:26 am

    I’m not a coffee drinker; therefore no coffee in the house. Anything you could use to substitute?

    • Reply
      Sue
      May 20, 2020 at 11:01 am

      You can use hot water.

      • Reply
        Tia Wise
        May 30, 2020 at 6:49 pm

        Does the coffee bring a mocha flavor or just a more rich flavor? I’m trying to decide between coffee and hot water. I don’t like mocha flavor at all.

        • Reply
          Sue
          May 30, 2020 at 9:13 pm

          It really just enriches the chocolate flavor, so feel free to use hot water.

    • Reply
      Melynda Knowles
      May 23, 2020 at 12:39 pm

      5 stars
      I’m not a coffee drinker either, I used Pero, which is an instant natural beverage, made with barley, malted barley, chicory and rye. I know it sounds weird but its a great substitute for coffee and it is naturally caffeine free. I found it provides a richness to the cake, similar to what coffee would provide, while also providing that dark coloring of the cake. I hope this helps. Pero can usually be found in most grocery stores near the coffee.

  • Reply
    Reg
    May 19, 2020 at 4:46 pm

    Hi, did you use dutch processed cocoa? Thank you

  • Reply
    E
    May 18, 2020 at 6:44 pm

    5 stars
    I made this recipe tonight as the first ever homemade cake I’ve made. We didn’t add the sour cream and salt. Everybody loved it and went for seconds. Thanks for posting!

    • Reply
      Sue
      May 19, 2020 at 7:42 am

      Thanks E!

  • Reply
    Lori
    May 18, 2020 at 6:41 pm

    5 stars
    Made this for my friend’s wedding cake but with a vanilla buttercream. Everyone raved over it. Making it as cupcakes right now for my kiddo’s birthday.

    • Reply
      Sue
      May 19, 2020 at 7:42 am

      That sounds wonderful Lori 🙂

  • Reply
    Oumay
    May 17, 2020 at 7:38 am

    hi! I want to try this recipe for my dads birthday but I don’t have any sour cream. what can I do to replace it ? Thank you so much , it looks reaallllyy good , exited to try it!

    • Reply
      Sue
      May 17, 2020 at 7:53 am

      You can leave it out Oumay, and use a little milk or cream to thin out your frosting to your desired consistency if it’s too thick.

      • Reply
        oumay
        May 17, 2020 at 8:52 am

        thank you!!

      • Reply
        oumay
        May 25, 2020 at 1:25 pm

        it ended being amazing !! Thank you so much!

  • Reply
    Carla D
    May 16, 2020 at 12:56 pm

    5 stars
    Amazing cake recipe! I used a 13×9 pan and it was rich, sweet and moist. I highly recommend this cake!!

  • Reply
    Adaline
    May 15, 2020 at 1:21 pm

    Hi! Making this cake today for our 27th year wedding anniversary. You mentioned using a paddle attachment to soften the butter for the frosting. Do you continue to use it or switch to whisk when later mixing all ingredients?

    • Reply
      Sue
      May 15, 2020 at 4:25 pm

      Paddle all the way, and Happy Anniversary <3

  • Reply
    Rita
    May 15, 2020 at 6:27 am

    Can I use 2 9 inch pans instead of 8 inch?

    • Reply
      Sue
      May 15, 2020 at 6:36 am

      Yes, for sure, just shorten the baking time to more like 25 minutes.

  • Reply
    Rita
    May 15, 2020 at 4:04 am

    Can I use 2 9 inch pans

    • Reply
      Sue
      May 15, 2020 at 6:22 am

      Yes, the cooking time will be about 25 minutes.

  • Reply
    Andie
    May 14, 2020 at 10:44 am

    Hi Sue! This cakes looks amazing! To make an additional layer to make a 3 layered cake, how much of the ingredients would I need?

    • Reply
      Sue
      May 14, 2020 at 11:53 am

      It’s a pretty tall cake as is, so my advice would be to divide the batter into thirds and bake in the 8 inch pans. You can bake the third layer after the first two if you only have 2 pans. You might want to make extra frosting for a 3 layer cake.

  • Reply
    Neha
    May 13, 2020 at 4:17 am

    Hi Sue.
    Can I use more of baking soda if I don’t have baking powder?
    Is buttermilk plain curd thinned out with water?
    What is the proportion of instant coffee and water for the hot water?

  • Reply
    Karen Robinson
    May 12, 2020 at 11:52 am

    5 stars
    I made this today and used the half and half as you suggested. I also subbed 1 cup of semisweet chocolate chips and 1 cup of dark chocolate chips for my icing. Man oh man is it delicious!!! Thanks so much for posting this recipe!

  • Reply
    Levana
    May 9, 2020 at 5:09 pm

    Hi there! Can I use cream cheese instead of sour cream for the frosting? And, is instant coffee ok?
    Thank you!!

    • Reply
      Sue
      May 9, 2020 at 6:45 pm

      Yes to both.

      • Reply
        Levana
        May 10, 2020 at 1:11 pm

        5 stars
        Thank you SO much, Sue! I used cream cheese and it tastes wonderful! Made the cakes yesterday and the frosting today. Such a delicious recipe, perfect for a family dinner dessert!

  • Reply
    Kathryn Heath
    May 9, 2020 at 12:15 pm

    5 stars
    This is seriously the best chocolate cake I’ve ever had. My husband was licking his plate. I’m making this recipe for Mother’s Day tomorrow, but I’m attempting cupcakes instead of 8” cake pans.

    • Reply
      Wendy
      May 9, 2020 at 1:51 pm

      I was thinking cupcakes too. Think they will be just as good? I worry they will be dry versus a cake

      • Reply
        Sue
        May 9, 2020 at 3:04 pm

        This cake will work fine as cupcakes, just don’t cook them very long, cupcakes generally take 15-20 minutes.

    • Reply
      Sue
      May 9, 2020 at 2:48 pm

      Let us know how the cupcakes go!

  • Reply
    Rachel
    May 9, 2020 at 9:12 am

    I can’t wait to make this for Mother’s Day! Can you make it a day ahead and store in the refrigerator?

    • Reply
      Sue
      May 9, 2020 at 10:51 am

      Yes, you can, and hope you love it!

  • Reply
    Anna
    May 8, 2020 at 5:23 pm

    If i want to increase the amount of cocoa powder to 1 cup in this recipe, should I reduce the amount of flour by 1/4th cup or just let it be as it is?

  • Reply
    Debbie
    May 6, 2020 at 7:40 pm

    5 stars
    This cake is decadent! I decided on this cake for my first made from scratch cake and frosting…. Boy did I choose a great recipe. This cake was for my husband ‘s birthday and because of the quarantine, I wanted to bake him a cake. The recipe is easy to follow. My husband loved it and this cake will definitely be used for many occasions.

    • Reply
      Nancy
      May 8, 2020 at 5:50 pm

      Could you use espresso powder rather than hot coffee?

      • Reply
        Sue
        May 8, 2020 at 7:50 pm

        You would want to make it into hot espresso before adding.

  • Reply
    Amy S.
    May 6, 2020 at 8:29 am

    Hi! Excited to try this recipe today! Any tips for those of us who don’t have a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, for the butter? I have a hand mixer!

    • Reply
      Sue
      May 6, 2020 at 10:08 am

      A hand mixer will work fine Amy, just make sure to cream everything well.

  • Reply
    Victoria
    May 5, 2020 at 10:17 am

    Can I use yogurt instead of sour cream in the frosting?

    • Reply
      Sue
      May 5, 2020 at 10:31 am

      I’ve never used yogurt in a chocolate frosting so I’m not sure, sorry Victoria!

  • Reply
    Marie
    May 4, 2020 at 6:54 pm

    5 stars
    I don’t bake very often because nothing seems to come out right. But this cake was fantastic. I am making it again this weekend for Mother’s Day.

    • Reply
      Sue
      May 4, 2020 at 7:45 pm

      This makes me so happy Marie, hopefully you’ll bake more often now 🙂

  • Reply
    Swati
    May 4, 2020 at 2:56 pm

    Can I use apple sauce instead of eggs??

    • Reply
      Sue
      May 4, 2020 at 3:21 pm

      I haven’t tried that Swati, let us know if you do.

  • Reply
    suzanne
    May 3, 2020 at 5:23 pm

    Do you think you can add sour cream to the cake mix as well to make it moister?

    • Reply
      Sue
      May 3, 2020 at 8:35 pm

      The cake is nice and moist, so not sure you need it , Suzanne, but you could probably substitute some of the buttermilk with sour cream.

  • Reply
    Haley
    May 1, 2020 at 8:48 pm

    Do you think this would transfer well into a four-layer cake? Just split the already baked ones? Or do you think they would be too thin/need more frosting? Thanks.

    • Reply
      Sue
      May 2, 2020 at 7:27 am

      Yes, the layers are nice and thick, so that would work.

  • Reply
    Marie
    April 30, 2020 at 1:05 pm

    Novice baker here. Do you sift the flour?

    • Reply
      Sue
      April 30, 2020 at 1:24 pm

      No need, but when I measure, I always fluff it first, then scoop, then level off with the side of a knife, just to get a consistent amount.

  • Reply
    Kelly O’Leary
    April 30, 2020 at 12:52 pm

    5 stars
    I made this cake for my son’s 21st birthday last week. It was THE BEST ever! I used Special Dark cocoa, and I recommend that for the deep dark richness. I followed your suggestion on the frosting, and it came out PERFECTLY as a result! To die for!

  • Reply
    Antoinette Bernardo
    April 29, 2020 at 5:31 pm

    Should the cocoa powder be unsweetened or sweetened

    • Reply
      Sue
      April 29, 2020 at 7:05 pm

      I always bake with unsweetened.

  • Reply
    Sarah
    April 29, 2020 at 1:23 pm

    5 stars
    Okay, so I tried this cake for my husband’s birthday and holy hell. I’ve literally never felt inclined to leave feedback on any recipe I’ve found on Pinterest/ online, but this one wow-ed me so much that I have to. SO GOOD. Moist, perfectly balanced chocolate flavor, and super soft, cloud-life buttercream- this is what my chocolate cake dreams are made of, and what I found in this. recipe. I ate a third of the frosting before I even frosted the cake LOL thank you for my new go-to cake recipe!!

    • Reply
      Sue
      April 29, 2020 at 1:24 pm

      I’m grinning from ear to ear!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      April 29, 2020 at 1:25 pm

      Cloud-like buttercream*

  • Reply
    Laura
    April 29, 2020 at 7:03 am

    5 stars
    The cake batter recipe is super easy and not fussy. Combined with the delicious frosting, this dessert is an easy crowd pleaser. I received compliments ranging from this being the best chocolate cake they had ever had and another who thought this was the most delicious frosting ever. Thanks for the great recipe … this cake was an awesome bookend to my uncle’s birthday meal.

    • Reply
      Sue
      April 29, 2020 at 12:40 pm

      Glad this recipe brought you so many compliments!!

  • Reply
    Lindsay
    April 28, 2020 at 9:19 pm

    I am so excited about trying this recipe! It looks absolutely delicious! I have one question, how would you recommend storing leftovers?

  • Reply
    Melanie Wellhausen
    April 27, 2020 at 11:36 am

    Would I be able to substitute milk instead of buttercream?

    • Reply
      Melanie Wellhausen
      April 27, 2020 at 11:37 am

      I meant to say buttermilk!

      • Reply
        Sue
        April 27, 2020 at 12:42 pm

        Yes, absolutely!

  • Reply
    ShopperinTN
    April 27, 2020 at 7:14 am

    5 stars
    Five stars! I usually use my Coca Cola cake recipe for birthday celebrations, but I decided I wanted a prettier cake for my daughter’s birthday this year. It turned out just as pictured on Pinterest and was delicious also! This one is a keeper!

    • Reply
      Sue
      April 27, 2020 at 12:56 pm

      It’s always nice when your results match the inspiration photo!

  • Reply
    Pamela Bishop
    April 26, 2020 at 10:13 am

    1 star
    I have made this twice and both times it has spilled over the pans during baking requiring a full oven cleaning. I am a proficient cook if I say so myself and have no clue why this has been such an epic fail…twice! I even went up a size on the baking pans and it was still an awful mess. Any suggestions on where I am messing up this beloved recipe would be appreciated.

    • Reply
      Sue
      April 30, 2020 at 9:33 am

      Sorry you’ve had trouble Pamela. I can’t figure out what could have gone wrong, this recipe calls for standard 8 inch cake pans, are you sure that’s the size you were using? You could also use 9 inch cake pans, but the cooking time would be a little shorter.

    • Reply
      Cheryl
      May 1, 2020 at 4:51 pm

      Mine did the exact same thing!!! I’m glad someone else commented on it. It also caved in the centers. Next time I’ll add a little less liquid somewhere! My oven is a disaster!!! But the cake edges I cut off were delicious!

  • Reply
    Alex
    April 26, 2020 at 8:47 am

    Haven’t made yet… any suggestions using a 6 inch pan instead of an 8 inch?

    • Reply
      Sue
      April 26, 2020 at 9:00 am

      Fill your pans about half full and check the cooking time so you don’t over cook the cake, peek in on them after 20 minutes. If you have leftover batter, you can make a few cupcakes.

  • Reply
    Kate
    April 24, 2020 at 11:21 pm

    Do you know what kind of adjustments you would make for high altitude (6000 ft)?
    Thank you

  • Reply
    Jan J
    April 24, 2020 at 11:37 am

    5 stars
    Coronavirus “Stay-at-Home birthday for me this year, so it was either I make my own cake or sacrifice the ingredients since my husband does not bake well. I made this recipe and the only difference was that I substituted my favorite frosting, Cream Cheese for Ina’s . Yum… I will make it again when the family gets back together,

    • Reply
      Sue
      April 24, 2020 at 6:23 pm

      Happy B’Day!

  • Reply
    Penny B
    April 23, 2020 at 7:06 pm

    Absolutely delicious, five stars!

  • Reply
    Ali
    April 23, 2020 at 6:44 pm

    Can you sub applesauce for oil? If so, what ratio?

  • Reply
    Sarah Foster
    April 22, 2020 at 1:41 am

    Hi can I sub melted butter for the oil?

    • Reply
      Sue
      April 22, 2020 at 6:56 am

      That should be fine.

  • Reply
    Patty Adkison
    April 19, 2020 at 1:46 pm

    I just made this cake for the first time. Why would it have fell in the middle it was like that when I took it out of the oven. It still tasted good. I would make it again.

    • Reply
      Sue
      April 19, 2020 at 2:39 pm

      It sounds like either it didn’t bake long enough, Patty, or is it possible you opened the oven door early in the baking process?

  • Reply
    Makeda
    April 16, 2020 at 2:17 pm

    Hi! Can I substitute cake flour for AP? If so, how would you recommend i do that?
    Thanks!!

    • Reply
      Sue
      April 16, 2020 at 3:40 pm

      Sure, just substitute in the same amount.

  • Reply
    Jessica
    April 14, 2020 at 8:10 pm

    5 stars
    This was my first time baking a cake from scratch. This recipe is amazing and so deliciously moist! Followed the directions and it came out perfect. Thanks for sharing this is definitely my go to recipe from now on for chocolate cake!

    • Reply
      Sue
      April 14, 2020 at 8:23 pm

      I’m so glad, Jessica <3

  • Reply
    cakes&bakes
    April 14, 2020 at 6:07 am

    Awesome!

  • Reply
    Michelle
    April 13, 2020 at 10:06 am

    5 stars
    Made this for my boyfriends birthday, not only is it thee most delicious chocolate cake and most gorgeous frosting but we had so much fun making it as well. This recipe is definitely a keeper.
    Thank you so much !

  • Reply
    Stephanie
    April 12, 2020 at 3:51 pm

    5 stars
    Oh my gosh this cake is sooo good!! Just made it for the first time tonight and it was delicious and now my favorite chocolate cake! Thanks for the recipe!!

  • Reply
    sarah
    April 10, 2020 at 11:39 am

    5 stars
    great and delicious recipe, I love the texture of the cake although I think my espresso was rather strong 🙂 I was wondering though whether reducing the baking soda would affect the outcome? has anyone tried using 1tsp instead?

    I didn’t have any buttermilk and sub-ed it with greek yoghurt which worked just fine as well.

  • Reply
    Dani
    April 9, 2020 at 10:57 am

    Hi! Can you be specific on the measures? What size is the cup?

    • Reply
      Sue
      April 9, 2020 at 11:37 am

      A liquid measuring cup is 8 fluid ounces or 237ml.

  • Reply
    Jacqueline Brock
    April 8, 2020 at 1:34 pm

    5 stars
    Amazing! Love many scratch cake recipes I have found using buttermilk, but this tops it with the added coffee. I have made the same frosting for 27 years, and today, found that I will now use the frosting recipe for this cake! 5 Star for sure!

  • Reply
    Jackie
    April 7, 2020 at 7:37 am

    5 stars
    Finally, the perfect cholcolate cake recipe! I made this last night for my daughter’s birthday and it was amazing!! I am going to make it as a Black Forest Cake for my husband’s birthday in a few weeks. Do you happen to have a similar recipe for a vanilla cake?

    • Reply
      Sue
      April 7, 2020 at 8:31 am

      I can’t wait to hear how it works as a Black Forest Cake, yum! As for a vanilla cake, you might try my almond layer cake.

  • Reply
    Alex
    April 4, 2020 at 10:51 pm

    Hey there! Could you use cold brew coffee, or does it need to be hot? Thank you! 🙂

    • Reply
      Sue
      April 5, 2020 at 8:06 am

      I would heat your cold brew, before adding, Alex.

  • Reply
    Joy
    April 4, 2020 at 8:09 pm

    What kind of cocoa powder did Ina used? Unsweetened or dutch?

    • Reply
      Sue
      April 4, 2020 at 8:13 pm

      Always use unsweetened cocoa powder in baking. Ina doesn’t specify the type, so go with whatever you’ve got on hand.

  • Reply
    Inga Borrelli
    April 4, 2020 at 3:14 pm

    Hi, what can I use as a substitute for the sour cream? Thank you

  • Reply
    Linda
    April 3, 2020 at 9:41 pm

    Can you taste the coffee in this cake?

    • Reply
      Sue
      April 4, 2020 at 7:57 am

      No, you can’t, it just enhances the chocolate flavor.

  • Reply
    Megan
    April 3, 2020 at 7:37 pm

    To do vanilla icing instead of chocolate, could I just leave out the chocolate? Would the sour cream still work?

    • Reply
      Sue
      April 3, 2020 at 7:48 pm

      You probably could do a vanilla sour cream frosting, I think it would be tasty. You might need to adjust your sugar and/or add a bit of milk or cream as needed.

  • Reply
    Tiffanee
    April 3, 2020 at 11:28 am

    Hey! I’m trying this for the first time. I don’t have parchment paper can I just butter the bottom of the pan?

    • Reply
      Sue
      April 3, 2020 at 12:06 pm

      You can, for sure. Just be careful when turning the cake out of the pan, you don’t want it to stick. I would flour it after buttering to be extra sure.

  • Reply
    Cathy
    April 2, 2020 at 1:25 pm

    This is my go-to chocolate cake recipe…it’s always great and easy to make. It’s moist and delicious…the very best.

    • Reply
      Sue
      April 2, 2020 at 1:38 pm

      Thanks Cathy!

  • Reply
    Melissa
    April 2, 2020 at 12:13 pm

    5 stars
    This is my favorite cake to bake! Each one of my kids request this as their birthday cakes. It also works beautifully using measure for measure gluten free flour and “soured” almond or coconut milk for substitutes. My picky husband couldn’t even tell the difference!

    • Reply
      Sue
      April 2, 2020 at 1:40 pm

      I’m really glad to know about the gf and milk substitutes, thanks Melissa.

  • Reply
    Max
    March 28, 2020 at 8:42 am

    5 stars
    I’m a guy, and I hate baking. But tried this because I was bored. I’ve made like 3 homemade cakes my entire life. So I tried this. It was so easy, so few recipes and literally the best cake I’ve ever had. I didn’t do the icing but had it with ice cream. This was so good. I hope this lady has a book or a show. I’m gonna use all her recipes and would love to have her teach me how to cook

    • Reply
      Sue
      March 28, 2020 at 8:53 am

      She has cookbooks AND a show ~ go for it!

  • Reply
    Simran
    March 28, 2020 at 1:59 am

    Hi,

    For coffee – Would 1 tsp of espresso powder mixed with hot water work? I’m not a coffee drinker, so I’m not sure what this should exactly be?

    Can I put some chocolate chips in instead of making the frosting?

    Also, for buttermilk – would 1 cup milk plus 1 tbsp white vinegar work as a substitute?

    Thanks so much for a lovely recipe!

    • Reply
      Sue
      March 28, 2020 at 9:01 am

      Yes, the espresso powder will work great. And yes to the chocolate chips. And yes to the homemade buttermilk! Enjoy the recipe Simran 🙂

  • Reply
    Donna G.
    March 24, 2020 at 11:05 pm

    5 stars
    This cake is AMAZING. I used 1 rounded teaspoon of expresso powder in one cup of hot water instead of coffee. Also Dark Cocoa, because that’s what I had. The cake is MOIST and CHOCOLATE RICH . The icing is SOFT and DELICIOUS. Baked it in a 9×13 pan for the same amount of time. I am not a fan of cakes, but this cake has me swooning.

  • Reply
    liz fitzpatrick
    March 19, 2020 at 1:15 pm

    I’m just wondering could you use chocolate ganache over this cake.?

    • Reply
      Sue
      March 19, 2020 at 1:53 pm

      You could use a ganache, I might let it cool at bit and then whip it for a more spreadable texture.

  • Reply
    Krista S.
    March 12, 2020 at 3:36 pm

    5 stars
    This was the best chocolate cake recipe i’ve ever tried. The texture was perfect and it was delicious! This will be my go to chocolate cake from now on. Thank you!

  • Reply
    raylene carroll
    March 12, 2020 at 7:54 am

    5 stars
    made this cake yesterday, best cake ever, used homemade vogurt in the chocolate icing delicious. Thanks Sue.

    • Reply
      Sue
      March 12, 2020 at 7:56 am

      Love the idea of yogurt in the chocolate frosting 🙂

  • Reply
    Rita Tees
    March 2, 2020 at 12:59 pm

    Looks amazing! Can I make this in a tube pan and how long would you bake it for?

    • Reply
      Sue
      March 2, 2020 at 1:23 pm

      I haven’t tried this in a tube pan Rita, but it should work. I’m not sure how long it would take, I’d check after 40 minutes.

  • Reply
    Sherry hayes
    March 2, 2020 at 7:43 am

    This cake looks delicious Can it be made into cupcakes

    • Reply
      Sue
      March 2, 2020 at 8:15 am

      Definitely!

    • Reply
      Cathy
      April 2, 2020 at 1:26 pm

      I make in cupcakes all the time…check in 30 minutes

  • Reply
    Kimberly A Sevier
    March 2, 2020 at 6:40 am

    5 stars
    Hi! I recently made Ina’s chocolate cake and it is the best chocolate cake I’ve ever eaten. It’s wonderful. Now I want to make it again with sour cream added to the frosting!

    • Reply
      Sue
      March 2, 2020 at 6:50 am

      It’s hard to improve on anything Ina does, but I love that little extra tang in the frosting 🙂

  • Reply
    Tammy
    March 1, 2020 at 2:16 pm

    5 stars
    This cake is amazing! Just wondering if I should store leftovers in the refrigerator due to the sour cream in the frosting.

    • Reply
      Sue
      March 1, 2020 at 3:42 pm

      It’s fine for a few hours, but you should probably refrigerate overnight.

  • Reply
    Barb
    March 1, 2020 at 2:04 pm

    Do you use hand mixer or stand mixer?
    Thanks!
    Barb Cattie

    • Reply
      Sue
      March 1, 2020 at 3:43 pm

      I love my stand mixer 🙂

  • Reply
    Susan
    February 29, 2020 at 8:54 am

    5 stars
    I have been making this cake for over 30 years. The cake is moist & the coffee intensifies the chocolate flavor. Always a favorite of my family & friends.

  • Reply
    Kristi
    February 28, 2020 at 7:33 am

    I hate coffee, so I never have it around. Any thoughts on what I could substitute it with? Thanks so much!

    • Reply
      Sue
      February 28, 2020 at 7:56 am

      You can substitute hot water Kristi.

      • Reply
        Dee
        May 15, 2020 at 10:31 am

        5 stars
        AMAZING ! Made it for my anniversary and it was the best chocolate cake I’ve ever tasted, however my cake sank in the middle any reason why?

        • Reply
          Sue
          May 15, 2020 at 10:41 am

          Usually that would be a sign it didn’t bake long enough Dee, possibly your oven is running a little low?

  • Reply
    Peg
    February 27, 2020 at 9:26 pm

    5 stars
    Have been making this cake for years, these days I make it gluten free, just as delicious. Use only 1&1/2 cups of sugar still sweet enough.

    • Reply
      Sue
      February 28, 2020 at 7:11 am

      Thanks Peg ~ what flour do you use for the gf version?

  • Reply
    Joy
    February 26, 2020 at 5:16 pm

    can I make this on a 9×13 pan? and 9×3 round pan…at what temp and for how long?

    • Reply
      Sue
      February 26, 2020 at 5:28 pm

      You can make it in a 9×13, the temp will be the same, and the cooking time should be very similar. If you’re asking if it can be made in 9 inch layers for a shorter cake, yes, same temp, and check them at 25 minutes.

  • Reply
    beverly carter
    February 21, 2020 at 6:49 am

    How do you mix the batter? By hand, stand mixer or hand held mixer? I find that in some recipes the correct method matters.
    Thanks

  • Reply
    Amanda
    February 20, 2020 at 9:33 am

    Hello! My cake is in the oven now and it smells delightful! Do you think this cake is too soft to make a 3 Tier cake out of?

    • Reply
      Sue
      February 20, 2020 at 11:39 am

      No you can definitely do that, just watch the cooking time.

  • Reply
    Anusha
    February 17, 2020 at 12:09 am

    Didn’t have the time to make but surely would ..please email me the no churn ice cream recipes.

  • Reply
    Lara
    February 7, 2020 at 10:12 am

    Do you taste the coffee a lot, or can you just add plain water? I don’t like coffee :p

    • Reply
      Sue
      February 7, 2020 at 12:24 pm

      You don’t taste the coffee, it just serves to enhance the chocolate flavor, promise!

  • Reply
    Linda Bowman
    February 4, 2020 at 7:47 am

    Oops I added hot coffee to wet then to dry. How will this affect my cake

    • Reply
      Sue
      February 4, 2020 at 9:00 am

      That shouldn’t be a problem!

  • Reply
    Linda Bowman
    January 29, 2020 at 7:28 pm

    I like 9 inch pans. How much of ingredients do I use?

    • Reply
      Sue
      January 29, 2020 at 7:38 pm

      You would use the same recipe, but your cooking time will be shorter.

  • Reply
    Laura
    January 27, 2020 at 1:47 pm

    5 stars
    There’s no chocolate cake I don’t like, Sue, but one from Ina? I’m all in! I share your paranoia about running out of frosting, too!

  • Reply
    Patricia
    January 27, 2020 at 12:19 pm

    5 stars
    My family has enjoyed this cake for many years as number one. We got the recipe from Scott Peacock and Edna Lewis’s cookbook where it originated along with an Apple cake with caramel icing. Both to crawl miles just for one bit of each if necessary.

  • Reply
    Nan
    January 27, 2020 at 9:37 am

    5 stars
    This is a favorite of ours too! I chuckled at the thought of a chocolate cake around here that would last long enough for the frosting to get crusty. I do love the tips though.

  • Reply
    Louise Allen
    January 27, 2020 at 7:56 am

    5 stars
    This is the only chocolate cake I will ever make. After making this cake, I never have looked at another recipe. Fabulous with a whip cream frosting.

    • Reply
      Virginia E.
      January 27, 2020 at 12:22 pm

      Do you have a recipe for a whip cream frosting?