Ina Garten’s Chocolate Cake Recipe

slice of chocolate layer 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.

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 chocolate 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 chocolate 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 ~

slice of chocolate layer cake
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4.68 from 386 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
Total Time 55 minutes
Yield 16 servings
Calories 498kcal
Author Sue Moran

Equipment

  • Two 8-inch round cake pans Note: this cake is thick, so make sure your cake pans are at least 2 inches tall to accomodate the batter.

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.

Cook’s notes

 
*Recipe lightly adapted from Ina Garten.

Nutrition

Calories: 498kcal | Carbohydrates: 67g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 57mg | Sodium: 316mg | Potassium: 205mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 52g | Vitamin A: 459IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 57mg | Iron: 2mg
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although theviewfromgreatisland.com tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.
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331 Comments

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  • Reply
    Michelle L.
    October 17, 2021 at 4:44 pm

    5 stars
    I made this cake for the first time, it was wonderful!! I used Wilton’s Chocolate Buttercream Frosting recipe only because I was familiar with it, and I didn’t have any sour cream. This is going to be my go-to scratch chocolate cake from now on, thank you for the recipe!

  • Reply
    Joanne
    October 15, 2021 at 7:29 pm

    5 stars
    I need to make this as a 10 inch cake that will have three layers. Are the eight inch layers thick? If l use the recipe as written but in 10 inch pans and then half the recipe for the third layer will it be thick enough layers? My daughter made this for fun and it was amazing just not sure how to adapt for a larger cake. Thanks for any advice.

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      October 15, 2021 at 7:47 pm

      I can’t be sure how the batter will work for 10 inch pans, but yes, the 8 inch layers are on the thick side. If you were to bake the recipe as is in 2 10-inch pans, the layers would be fairly thin. You might try doubling the recipe for 3 equal 10 inch layers.

  • Reply
    Crissy
    October 15, 2021 at 12:08 am

    About how many cupcakes does this recipe yield? Love this recipe for the cake! So good!!!

  • Reply
    Nikki
    September 27, 2021 at 11:39 pm

    Hello what cocoa powder did you use? Is it dutch processed?

  • Reply
    CarrieAnn Brunet
    September 11, 2021 at 7:16 pm

    Family doesn’t like coffee. Any substitute suggestions?

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      September 12, 2021 at 5:01 am

      You can actually use hot water, but remember, you won’t taste the coffee in this cake, it just serves to enhance the chocolate flavor.

  • Reply
    Pam Dattilo
    August 18, 2021 at 2:28 pm

    5 stars
    Can I make this in a bundt pan???

    • Reply
      Cecile Junkin
      August 26, 2021 at 8:44 am

      In the video Ina put some coffee in her icing. I don’t see that in the recipe.

      • Reply
        Sue Moran
        August 26, 2021 at 9:15 am

        Hey Cecile ~ Ina adds espresso powder to her frosting, but we’ve done a slightly different frosting, with sour cream. You can do it either way, or add a teaspoon of espresso powder to our frosting.

  • Reply
    Rosalyn Accardi
    August 14, 2021 at 12:32 pm

    Can I make the cake layers and freeze them fir a week?

  • Reply
    Crystal
    August 12, 2021 at 10:18 pm

    Hi, can I substitute buttermilk with heavy cream?

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      August 15, 2021 at 6:22 pm

      Yes, that will work fine.

  • Reply
    julie bramwell
    August 6, 2021 at 10:57 am

    Could I have metric weights for the recipe ease

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      August 15, 2021 at 6:33 pm

      I’ve added them Julie, just click the toggle at the bottom of the recipe for metric measurements.

  • Reply
    Gm
    July 4, 2021 at 4:32 am

    This looks great! I was wondering if I could use plain yoghurt instead of sour cream for the frosting?

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      July 4, 2021 at 5:30 am

      I haven’t tried that in a frosting, but it works in baking. I would try a thick whole milk yogurt.

      • Reply
        Gm
        July 5, 2021 at 3:50 pm

        5 stars
        I tried it with 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp of yoghurt and it turned out great!

        • Reply
          Kajal
          October 6, 2021 at 7:41 am

          Would you substitute the 1/2cup sour cream for 1/2 cup double cream yogurt ?

          • Sue Moran
            October 6, 2021 at 8:28 am

            I’m not sure how that would work, but it’s worth a try! I haven’t experimented with using yogurt in frostings.

  • Reply
    Julia
    June 22, 2021 at 9:35 am

    5 stars
    Thank you for this! I have never make a chocolate cake or chocolate frosting before and this turned out perfectly, I did want a more chocolate flavor for the frosting so added another 6oz of chocolate, another stick of butter, splash of vanilla and 1/2 cup of powder sugar. I also made this as 2 6″ pans as I lost my 8″ still worked great! Thanks again!

  • Reply
    Steven
    June 18, 2021 at 3:40 am

    5 stars
    The only chocolate cake recipe I will use. It gets rave reviews every single time I bake it for family, friends and co-workers.

  • Reply
    Shayna
    May 27, 2021 at 3:57 pm

    What if I were cooking it in a 9×9 square pan, or a 11×9 rectangular time? How would bake time change?

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      May 27, 2021 at 5:50 pm

      Check your 9×9 layers at 25 minutes. I’m not sure about an 11×9, there is too much batter in this recipe for that pan.

  • Reply
    Kathleen
    April 26, 2021 at 10:24 am

    Hi Sue
    Thank you for sharing your recipes. Because of you I look like a good baker! ?I love this cake!! My question is I want to make a cake for my mother in law’s birthday. My problem is this cake is too large. Could I make it in a loaf pan? She would love this but she eats so little. I thought about your chocolate pound cake but I would imagine that is a more dense heavy cake. Thank you for your thoughts.

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      April 26, 2021 at 3:58 pm

      Well, I haven’t tried this as a loaf, but my first thought is for you to make a single layer, that’s fairly small and still looks festive.

  • Reply
    Cynthia
    April 22, 2021 at 4:17 pm

    5 stars
    What Brand Name of baking powder and baking soda does Ina Garten use?

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      April 22, 2021 at 6:30 pm

      Gosh I don’t know Cynthia, but I bet you could google it. If I find out I’ll come back and let you know.

  • Reply
    PS
    April 11, 2021 at 8:32 pm

    5 stars
    This is not Ina’s recipe but her friend Beatty’s.

  • Reply
    Jennifer
    April 10, 2021 at 11:35 am

    Hi! Making this cake today for my son’s birthday party tomorrow. Can I go ahead and frost it and keep it in the fridge until tomorrow? Also, do left overs need to be stored in fridge? Thanks!!!

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      April 10, 2021 at 1:19 pm

      Yes, you can make it ahead and refrigerate it. The cake can stay out for the day on the counter, but it should probably be refrigerated overnight due to the sour cream in the frosting.

    • Reply
      Dawn
      July 18, 2021 at 8:56 am

      It is not her friends cake, she named it in honor of her dear friend Beatty.

  • Reply
    Katelyn D.
    April 6, 2021 at 5:19 am

    Can I substitute the vegetable oil for coconut oil?

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      April 6, 2021 at 5:30 am

      Yes, use it in liquid form.

  • Reply
    Kim
    March 28, 2021 at 9:53 am

    5 stars
    My absolute favourite chocolate cake to date. I used espresso and hot water in place of the coffee for the cake and dark chocolate in the frosting….some chocolate shavings on top and it was a hit. I didn’t have time to crumb coat the cake but no issues with crumbs in my buttercream. What a hit! Easy and fantastic flavour! Definitely making again!

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      March 28, 2021 at 9:56 am

      I bet chocolate shavings took it over the top, pretty too!

  • Reply
    Bethann
    March 13, 2021 at 3:14 pm

    5 stars
    Excellent cake! I prepared this cake yesterday for my daughter’s 18th birthday and the whole family gave it a thumbs up. The hint of coffee in the cake is delicious. The sour cream makes the frosting silky and easy to swirl over the cake as you frost it. Definitely a keeper. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    Mojoblogs
    March 12, 2021 at 4:59 pm

    5 stars
    I love baking chocolate cakes and I love discovering new chocolate cake recipes. So happy that I found a new recipe. Thank you for sharing this 🙂

  • Reply
    Amelia
    February 27, 2021 at 7:42 pm

    Hi Sue, could this be done as cupcakes instead? If so, what would suggest for timing?

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      February 28, 2021 at 5:33 am

      Yes, for sure. And cupcakes usually bake anywhere from 15-18 minutes. But it will depend on your pan, etc.

  • Reply
    Carlie Dobkin
    February 25, 2021 at 10:16 am

    Hi! Just wondering if you can make this frosting a vanilla version? Would I just omit the chocolate?

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      February 25, 2021 at 5:43 pm

      Yes, you could do that.

  • Reply
    Nick Barden
    February 22, 2021 at 3:44 pm

    We love this chocolate cake and our son would like a 3 tiered chocolate cake for his wedding day . This cake would be perfect. 10 inch cake 8 inch cake and a 6 inch cake stacked. Any thoughts on whether or not we could do this safely . Establishing ingredient measurements? We will use dowels and cake boards . Thanks in advance for feedback

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      February 22, 2021 at 5:49 pm

      I can’t comment on ingredient measurements, that’s beyond my math skill level but the cake should do beautifully stacked. What fun!

  • Reply
    Jean Passanante
    February 15, 2021 at 9:31 am

    5 stars
    Sue, I made this cake last night for a treat for my husband (okay… and for me too) and it was a huge success. This is really the perfect chocolate cake, and I assure you, I’ve done due diligence on this! I was careful not to overbake it, and it came out fully cooked but perfectly moist and not at all crumbly. I used Valrhona cocoa and instant espresso for the coffee, and I really loved the dark, rich flavor. I made it in two 9″ pans and baked it for about 32 minutes. I do appreciate the sour cream in the frosting as it balances some of the sweetness of the powdered sugar. . Thanks for a great recipe.

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      February 15, 2021 at 9:42 am

      Thanks Jean, I can’t take credit for Ina’s recipe, but I know a good one when I taste one! We had take out last night…I should have made this cake for Grant. Oh well, there’s always next year 😉

    • Reply
      Donna G.
      February 16, 2021 at 3:07 pm

      5 stars
      I am not a “cake person.” However, this is the BEST chocolate cake I have ever tasted. It is moist and full of wonderful chocolate flavor. I use instant espresso coffee powder mixed in hot water for the coffee and dark chocolate cocoa powder. It is AMAZING. And the icing! OH MY! This is now my go-to chocolate cake recipe. I bake it in a 9×13 pan and it never disappoints. Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe!

      • Reply
        Jaime
        July 14, 2021 at 12:06 pm

        How long do you bake it in the 9×13?

  • Reply
    Robin
    February 13, 2021 at 1:04 pm

    Can I make cupcakes instead?

  • Reply
    Rhonda
    February 8, 2021 at 3:56 am

    I made this cake and it crumbled apart when we cut it. Is that a mixing problem or overlooking? Tastes great just didn’t stay in pieces.

  • Reply
    Montse Salinas
    January 28, 2021 at 1:44 pm

    Can I use three 7 in. cake pan?

    • Reply
      Michele
      June 12, 2021 at 6:36 am

      Ive done this with 3 – 7 inch pans several times and its perfect!!

      • Reply
        Sue Moran
        June 12, 2021 at 10:26 am

        Thanks Michele, good to know.

  • Reply
    Olimpia
    January 26, 2021 at 12:32 pm

    Hi, is it possible to substitute the cocoa powder for Dutch Process ? Thanks

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      January 26, 2021 at 1:18 pm

      Yes, that will work fine.

  • Reply
    Debbie Jordan
    January 17, 2021 at 11:37 am

    I made this cake exactly as written and it is absolutely delicious. It is even better the next day. Thanks so much for sharing.

  • Reply
    bella
    January 16, 2021 at 12:11 pm

    5 stars
    Best chocolate cake ever! Made multiple times

    • Reply
      Stephanie
      January 16, 2021 at 3:07 pm

      5 stars
      I’ve made this cake many times. It’s the best easiest cake you will ever make. Will not be disappointed.

  • Reply
    Vivian Williams
    January 14, 2021 at 5:59 pm

    Lol I made this had all my ingredients set up and all just forgot to add the cocoa powder ?

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      January 14, 2021 at 7:19 pm

      Been there done that with so many recipes 😉

  • Reply
    Rose
    January 14, 2021 at 11:40 am

    Can I substitute cream cheese for the sour cream? Just wondering

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      January 14, 2021 at 12:19 pm

      I don’t see why not, just be sure it’s nice and soft.

  • Reply
    Cristina
    January 6, 2021 at 11:10 am

    4 stars
    I love this cake, super moist and yummy. Easy recipe as well. I just need to work on my cake decorating skills…

  • Reply
    Julie P.
    December 21, 2020 at 9:24 am

    Epic fail for me.
    Could be baking in a high altitude city or my oven.
    Julie P.

    • Reply
      Sue
      December 21, 2020 at 10:31 am

      Oh no! I’m so sorry Julie, I don’t want you to miss out on this epic cake. High altitude baking is such a complex issue. I recommend checking out King Arthur Flour’s high altitude baking guide, on their site, and also purchasing an inexpensive oven thermometer to be sure of your temperature.

  • Reply
    Eddyjo
    December 16, 2020 at 12:33 am

    5 stars
    Thanks for this recipe. This is my 1st cake made from scratch, that I ever made .. this cake is Amazing. Can’t wait to share it with my family.

  • Reply
    Z.A.K
    November 28, 2020 at 7:56 pm

    5 stars
    The very best chocolate cake ever.

    I have tried TONS of recipes for chocolate cakes from everywhere and none of them have been what I was looking for in a chocolate cake. This is very moist in a very good way and the taste is AMAZING.

    The right amount of sweetness with the strong delicious taste of chocolate.

    Simply the best ever.

    For the frosting I used a brigadier o style one and paired so delicious. I don’t like buttercream frosting I feel they are too strong no matter what.

    The frosting I used was 1 Tbs of butter in a sauce pan when melted add a 14 oz can of condensed milk and then a 1/4 of cocoa powder just cook until well incorporated.

    Once cooled down stir again and covered this delicious cake and we had the most amazing combo of sweet and chocolate in just one slice of chocolate cake heaven.

    • Reply
      Sue
      November 29, 2020 at 5:57 am

      Thanks for your feedback, your frosting sounds interesting!

    • Reply
      Randi
      December 12, 2020 at 6:25 am

      3 stars
      This isn’t inas cake recipe. She swiped it from Hershey’s. It’s called Hershey’s black magic cake. I’ve been making it long before ina published this recipe.

    • Reply
      April
      February 11, 2021 at 4:56 pm

      I second this!

  • Reply
    Kim
    November 23, 2020 at 2:56 pm

    Hi! Do you have this receipe adapted for two 9 inch round cake pans? Thank you!

    • Reply
      Sue
      November 23, 2020 at 3:12 pm

      Hi Kim – you can use the recipe as written in two 9-inch pans, the cake layers will just be a little bit thinner, and the cooking time will be a little bit shorter. I’d check them around 25 minutes.

  • Reply
    Phyllis Williams
    November 8, 2020 at 9:10 pm

    4 stars
    I’ve made this a few times and the cakes always sink in the middle even though they are done. It seems like 2 tsp of baking soda is a little much based on the amount of flour and that there is also baking powder. Do you think this could be my problem?

    • Reply
      Mrs H
      February 11, 2021 at 5:00 am

      I had same problem so halved the baking soda & it worked perfectly.

  • Reply
    margaretmattason
    November 2, 2020 at 7:27 am

    This is nothing but the recipe from the back of Hershey’s dark cocoa. Hershey calls it “an especially dark cake.” It has been around for decades. All Ina did was change the 1 cup of water in Hershey’s original recipe to one cup strong coffee. I doubt that makes such a big difference! Hershey should be given credit for this cake!

    • Reply
      Sue
      November 2, 2020 at 7:29 am

      Recipes definitely do get recycled, I think because when it comes to chocolate cake there’s only so many ways you can spin it. But to me this is the ultimate, whether it’s Ina’s or Hershey’s!

    • Reply
      Randi
      December 12, 2020 at 6:27 am

      It’s actually Hershey’s black magic cake.

    • Reply
      Patti J Robinson
      December 12, 2020 at 9:41 am

      In a challenging time, why would you be so negative. She uses buttermilk or half and half. Regardless, every chocolate cake has the basics. We all “twist” and “change up” ingredients.

  • Reply
    MAbe
    October 16, 2020 at 6:06 pm

    5 stars
    I made the cake (in a 9X13 pan) but I have not made the frosting. I did not want to do Ina’s frosting b/c I am not comfortable with the raw egg yolk. Your frosting looks good but could I reduce the powdered sugar or would that cause problems?

    Thank you.

    • Reply
      Mary
      February 11, 2021 at 8:33 pm

      What are you talking about a raw egg yolk in the frosting? There is no egg yolk in the frosting.

      • Reply
        Evelyn
        March 1, 2021 at 10:27 am

        Ina’s original frosting recipe calls for egg yolk in the frosting.

  • Reply
    Katherine
    October 5, 2020 at 4:08 am

    5 stars
    I made this cake for my birthday. My “icing lover” friend loved the cake part because it was so moist.

  • Reply
    Christina C
    October 4, 2020 at 7:51 am

    5 stars
    Love the simplicity of this recipe. I’ve made the cakes and am freezing them to take on a trip in 3 days. I’d like to make the frosting ahead of time as well. Is that OK in the refrigerator until I’m ready to use it? The crumbs are delicious. Can’t wait to taste the cake!

    • Reply
      Sue
      October 4, 2020 at 8:26 am

      The frosting should be ok, but you will need to re-whip it before using, and possibly add a little milk or cream to loosen it.

  • Reply
    Deanna
    October 2, 2020 at 3:43 pm

    5 stars
    Just made this cake for my husband’s birthday it really was easy to make and it taste awesome. I love the frosting it was so easy. To make as well. Can’t wait for him to taste it tomorrow. Will definitely keep this recipe handy.

  • Reply
    Sarah Pineda’
    October 1, 2020 at 11:56 pm

    5 stars
    Does the coffee leave the cake with a “coffee taste”? I want to make this for my mom’s birthday this weekend but she does not like the taste of coffee at all.

    • Reply
      Sue
      October 2, 2020 at 5:27 am

      No, you can’t taste it, but it does subtly enhance the chocolate flavor.

  • Reply
    Cindy
    September 26, 2020 at 5:28 pm

    5 stars
    Omg this chocolate cake is so luscious and moist and the frosting is to die for! I made it for my mother in law 93rd birthday and she wouldn’t let anyone take leftovers home! Everyone absolutely loved it It came out absolutely perfect and I will be making this again Thanks Ina! You are my absolute favorite chef!

    • Reply
      Sue
      September 27, 2020 at 6:47 am

      Love that, what a sweet gift 🙂

  • Reply
    Heather
    September 26, 2020 at 8:44 am

    Do you have a high altitude add for this recipe??

  • Reply
    alaia
    September 15, 2020 at 9:34 am

    5 stars
    Made this for my moms birthday and she was beyond happy. Such a simple but rich cake. The coffee in the cake and sour cream in the frosting helped balance out the more sugary flavors, making a rich flavorful chocolate cake. My dad even liked it and he is not a chocolate person at all! This is a must make.

  • Reply
    louise
    September 12, 2020 at 9:29 am

    5 stars
    Best cake ever! I’m as chocolate lover but am not crazy about chocolate frosting on chocolate cake. I use Ina’s Mocha Chocolate Icebox cake frosting which is made with whipping cream – yummy. https://barefootcontessa.com/recipes/mocha-chocolate-icebox-cake
    Never heard a complaint about that!

    • Reply
      Sue
      September 12, 2020 at 5:31 pm

      The mocha frosting sounds perfect!

    • Reply
      Janet shareck
      September 13, 2020 at 1:40 pm

      Just made this cake strop by step and it flopped. Not sure why

      • Reply
        Sue
        September 13, 2020 at 3:02 pm

        Sorry Janet! I’d have to know more details to try to figure out the problem.

  • Reply
    Cathy
    September 10, 2020 at 7:28 am

    I followed the recipe but added a teaspoon of expression powder instead of the coffee and made cupcakes instead of a cake. They tasted great, but di not rise in the middle ( or maybe fell in the middle). Any idea of what might have happened? Thanks!

    • Reply
      Sue
      September 10, 2020 at 9:32 am

      If you used a teaspoon of espresso powder instead of the cup of hot coffee, that would throw the recipe off, for sure. If you mean that you made coffee with the espresso powder, then all I can think is that the cupcakes didn’t cook long enough for the batter to get cooked in the middle.

      • Reply
        Leah
        February 2, 2021 at 3:09 pm

        I am thinking about making this recipe into cupcakes also. I have made it several times as a cake and love it. How long did you bake the cupcakes for when you made them? Thank you!

        • Reply
          Sue Moran
          February 2, 2021 at 4:01 pm

          Generally cupcakes take 15-20 minutes, so I’d peek after 15 minutes, if they look pretty good through the oven window.

  • Reply
    Cathy
    September 9, 2020 at 10:20 am

    Can I use espresso powder instead of hot coffee? If so, any thought on how much? Then hot water?

    • Reply
      Sue
      September 9, 2020 at 10:52 am

      You can make it according to the jar directions, that should be fine.

      • Reply
        Luz
        December 25, 2020 at 6:03 am

        Is there a substitute for coffee with a non-caffeinated alternative ingredient that won’t compromise the overall flavor? Thanks!

        • Reply
          Sue
          December 25, 2020 at 7:04 am

          You can just use water, or decaf coffee if you prefer.

  • Reply
    L.
    September 7, 2020 at 10:34 pm

    5 stars
    This was the best chocolate cake that I have ever made! I followed the recipe with no substitutions and it was perfection. I made the cake in the morning and frosted it in the late afternoon and it all went so smoothly. Usually I feel like I run short or almost short on frosting, but even with a generous coating I had leftover. I loved the tang from the sour cream with the richness of the cake. Saving this to favorites for the next birthday! Thank you!!!!

  • Reply
    Shari
    September 5, 2020 at 12:09 pm

    My cake batter ran out all over my oven! What did I do wrong??

    • Reply
      Sue
      September 5, 2020 at 3:24 pm

      Did you use standard 8 inch cake pans Shari? I think if your pans were smaller this might have been the issue.

  • Reply
    Heather
    September 3, 2020 at 9:17 am

    If you run out of parchment, can you just spray with nonstick spray or do you need to flour as well

    • Reply
      Sue
      September 4, 2020 at 5:42 am

      It depends on your pans, if you have luck with that, great. I just don’t want anyone to have that awful experience of not being able to get a layer out of the pan.

  • Reply
    Pearl
    September 2, 2020 at 4:35 pm

    5 stars
    The best chocolate cake I’ve ever had! So moist and rich. Thank you!

  • Reply
    Joey de Lange
    September 1, 2020 at 1:52 pm

    5 stars
    A brilliant cake. Thank you so much. It sure is a winner. I am from South Africa. I am sharing this recipe with my children so they can also try it out. Very fluffy and light. Not dry at all. I love it!

  • Reply
    P
    August 25, 2020 at 2:27 am

    5 stars
    I’d like to try this recipe but don’t have a coffee machine for the hot coffee. Can I use instant coffee? If so what quantities of water and coffee granules should I use?

    • Reply
      Sue
      August 25, 2020 at 5:57 am

      Yes, you can, just make the coffee according to the package instructions and it will be fine.

  • Reply
    Rachel
    August 21, 2020 at 4:06 pm

    Any substitutions for the coffee, or will it be fine to leave it out?

    • Reply
      Sue
      August 21, 2020 at 6:06 pm

      Just replace with hot water.

  • Reply
    Megan
    August 21, 2020 at 5:26 am

    Could this be made into cupcakes? What do you think the bake time would be?

    • Reply
      Sue
      August 21, 2020 at 5:41 am

      Yes, for sure. It will depend on their size, but most cupcakes bake in 15-22 minutes.

  • Reply
    Juliana
    August 13, 2020 at 1:14 am

    5 stars
    An amazing recipe! Is there anywhere where it says how many calories per slice?
    Thanks!

  • Reply
    Kate
    August 10, 2020 at 12:15 pm

    I was just wondering is there a certain kind of semi-sweet chocolate that you like to use? Also how strong do you make your coffee?

    • Reply
      Sue
      August 10, 2020 at 1:03 pm

      You can use any semi sweet you like, I used Bakers for this cake, and fairly strong coffee.

  • Reply
    Deepa
    August 7, 2020 at 8:31 am

    5 stars
    This recipe is absolutely incredible! I love the substitutions for the frosting too. It tastes so chocolatey! I bake, but this was the first time I made cake from scratch and I made it for our tiny backyard wedding (Covid put a wrench in our plans)! My husband loves anything chocolate at baseline, but when he had this cake he was blown away! The only thing I did different since it was for our wedding was make it a 3-layer 8-inch cake (I had to make more batter) and use vanilla buttercream on the outside so I could match it with my other 6-inch tier.

    • Reply
      Caylie Holman
      December 14, 2020 at 9:16 am

      I am wanting to make this into a 3 layer cake as well! When you made more batter did you half the recipe or just make the full recipe and only use half?

  • Reply
    Mishyydavis
    July 30, 2020 at 9:01 am

    5 stars
    I’m a avid baker and this is my go to recipe! It’s a rich decedent grown up chocolate cake. Only thing I change in it is the frosting i use cream cheese on top and it compliments it perfectly. Garnish with cocoa powder and fresh strawberries and it looks like a 5 star dessert!

  • Reply
    Catherine
    July 28, 2020 at 6:12 pm

    5 stars
    This cake is phenomenal! Thank you for sharing this!!!!

    • Reply
      Sue
      July 29, 2020 at 5:38 am

      It’s one of the best recipes, I agree 🙂

  • Reply
    amanda
    July 25, 2020 at 1:19 pm

    I haven’t made this yet, so i didn’t rate it to be fair but this recipe looks amazing and my question is, can you use semi sweet chocolate chips or will it affect the consistency of the icing, also is there anything i can change or add in order to use the cc? its the only thing i have on hand. thank you

  • Reply
    Lyrica LaBelle
    July 24, 2020 at 7:55 am

    5 stars
    Made this for our Birthday Week (3 of us born within 5 days of each other). Since it made 2 9-I ch cakes my daughter chose this frosting (used a half recipe), and for the other cake my son chose a cream cheese buttercream dyed Tonka Truck yellow. 🙂 Absolutely fantastic cake! So easy, perfect texture, it’s our new family favorite. Thank you!!!

  • Reply
    Betty
    July 23, 2020 at 7:25 pm

    Can you use hot water or some other sub for coffee?

    • Reply
      Sue
      July 23, 2020 at 7:46 pm

      yes, that will work.

    • Reply
      SaraAnne
      August 20, 2020 at 6:27 am

      5 stars
      Yes but you will lose some of the richness. So if you don’t want caffeine sub decaf instant. If you don’t want the coffee flavor ( although It really doesn’t take on the coffee flavor), sub with hot water and extra cocoa powder That will keep the richness of this recipe!!

  • Reply
    M
    July 22, 2020 at 10:26 am

    Hi! When baking in a 9×13 pan do I adjust the time or temp? Thank you!

    • Reply
      Sue
      July 22, 2020 at 11:23 am

      I’ve tried it before in my Mint Chocolate Chip Sheet Cake, and the same temp and time works great, good luck!

  • Reply
    Cheryl
    July 21, 2020 at 2:30 pm

    Will this work in a 9×13 sheet pan? I’m horrible at layer cakes!

    • Reply
      Sue
      July 21, 2020 at 2:38 pm

      Yes it will.

    • Reply
      Jessica
      August 29, 2020 at 10:06 am

      5 stars
      Is it okay to substitute milk plus vinegar for buttermilk or does it have to be true buttermilk? Thanks!

      • Reply
        Sue
        August 29, 2020 at 10:10 am

        I often sub in homemade buttermilk when necessary, so go for it.

  • Reply
    Juliana
    July 16, 2020 at 5:24 am

    Love this recipe! How long can I leave it outside of the fridge with the frosting on it?

    • Reply
      Sue
      July 16, 2020 at 6:18 am

      I’d be comfortable leaving it out for the day, but not longer.

  • Reply
    Ellen
    July 14, 2020 at 6:21 pm

    5 stars
    This is a great recipe! Thank you for sharing. The cake is SO moist and the frosting is delicious. I just made another today for a family member’s birthday. The addition of sour cream in the frosting is an excellent idea.

  • Reply
    CC341
    July 13, 2020 at 1:06 pm

    5 stars
    This cake is amazing! Super easy to make and very moist. I wasn’t sure about the sour cream in the frosting but when you put it all together it has the perfect balance of sweetness. Several people asked me for the recipe. Definitely a keeper.

  • Reply
    Gloria poessy
    June 30, 2020 at 11:12 am

    Hi. Do you use unsweetened cocoa powder?

    • Reply
      Sue
      June 30, 2020 at 12:37 pm

      Yes, I always baked with unsweetened cocoa powder.

  • Reply
    Elizabeth
    June 24, 2020 at 1:16 am

    I am going to be making this at a high altitude location. Baking is always a science experiment here. Any suggestions specific to this recipe that you might suggest? Thanks!

    • Reply
      Trish
      July 28, 2020 at 1:07 pm

      5 stars
      I am making this cake for a simple wedding this weekend.. I need a light tan frosting so what can I use instead of semi sweet chocolate? Considering white but it’s consistency is quite different.

  • Reply
    AM
    June 23, 2020 at 7:55 am

    I HAVEN’T REALLY MADE THIS RECIPE YET BUT I AM PLANNING ON DOING SO SOON BUT I HAVE A SLIGHT PROBLEM, I CAN’T FIND BUTTERMILK ANYWHERE SO IS THERE ANY SUBSTITUTE? I LOVE YOUR RECIPES <3

    • Reply
      Tiffany
      June 27, 2020 at 7:27 pm

      You can always make buttermilk using milk and lemon juice, using the ratio of 1 cup of milk to 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. It will create ‘buttermilk’ within a few minutes. 🙂

  • Reply
    Grace
    June 19, 2020 at 8:47 am

    5 stars
    I used a Bundt pan with this recipe and left it in oven about 8 minutes longer. It was so moist and delicious. I used some leftover cream cheese icing I had leftover and it was great.

    • Reply
      Sue
      June 19, 2020 at 9:45 am

      I’m glad to hear this worked so well in a bundt, thanks Grace 🙂

  • Reply
    Marie
    June 15, 2020 at 12:39 pm

    5 stars
    How many cupcakes would this make and would that amount of icing be enough for them?

  • Reply
    Sue
    June 13, 2020 at 8:31 pm

    Can I double this recipe and put in a 12X18X2 CAKE PAN easily?
    Would you decrease baking temperature and increase time?
    I had a little trouble with the middle not getting as high as the rest of this delicious cake.
    Thanks

  • Reply
    Kanika
    June 6, 2020 at 2:24 am

    Can I use cuisinart food processor with the plastic blade to make both the cake batter and the frosting?

    • Reply
      Sue
      June 6, 2020 at 4:50 am

      As written, the cake recipe just uses a bowl and whisk, so for the cake I’m not sure you’d gain any convenience using your processor, but you probably could. Your machine would probably work fine for the frosting, but I haven’t tried that to be sure.

  • Reply
    Stephie scatie
    June 5, 2020 at 9:49 am

    5 stars
    I love your recipes. I have a question as I feel that the kind of cocoa powder you use can make or break a good cake. I’ve tried expensive cocoa powder etc and the basic ones. What brand do you use ? Do you use Dutch processed cocoa for this recipe ? Thank you ps did you know you can’t press more than three stars to rate this recipe? Was trying to give it 5 stars and your site won’t allow me to.

  • Reply
    Ashley
    June 5, 2020 at 8:03 am

    4 stars
    This cake recipe is top notch. The cake is delicious and moist. However, I would say the icing is too sweet for me. Next time I make the icing I’ll try 2 cups opposed to 3 cups since powdered sugar tends to be really sweet for my taste. Otherwise, 100% will be making this again. Family enjoyed the cake.

  • Reply
    Joanne Delvasto
    June 5, 2020 at 6:28 am

    5 stars
    hi there for the frosting can I use greek yogurt instead of sourcream
    thanks Joanne

  • 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
          Tina Kim
          December 14, 2020 at 5:10 pm

          Cindy, were you able to confirm it was actually the temperature issue? I had the same problem today where my cakes sank in the middle (both ways- so when I turned it out it sank right back the other way lol). Same as you though they were super delicious. I have no idea what went wrong though!

  • 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
      Rachel
      June 9, 2020 at 7:58 am

      Did you change the temp or time at all for this? Hoping to double and make two 13×9 layers but I wasn’t sure about how I should adjust.

  • 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
        Sakshi Chugh
        August 10, 2020 at 4:38 am

        5 stars
        What size pans does this recipe require? Can I use 3 6 inch pans?

        • Reply
          Sue
          August 10, 2020 at 5:20 am

          The recipe is written for 2 8-inch pans. You could use 6-inch pans if they have at least 2 inch sides.

  • 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
      Sharon
      August 30, 2021 at 12:05 pm

      Made a sheet cake with this and it sank in the middle although done. Any recommendations?

  • 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?

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