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Double-Chocolate Layer Cake
© Quentin Bacon

Double-Chocolate Layer Cake

  • ACTIVE: 40 MIN
  • TOTAL TIME: 1 HR 30 MIN plus chilling
  • SERVINGS: Makes one 8-inch layer cake
  • MAKE-AHEAD
  • STAFF-FAVORITE

“This is the most fabulous chocolate cake that I’ve ever made,” Ina Garten declared when F&W ran her recipe in 2007. The buttermilk keeps the cake moist and light, and the bit of coffee in the cake and frosting keeps the sweetness in check.

Cake

  1. 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  2. 2 cups sugar
  3. 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  4. 2 teaspoons baking soda
  5. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  6. 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  7. 1 cup buttermilk
  8. 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  9. 2 large eggs
  10. 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  11. 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee

Frosting

  1. 6 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  2. 2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  3. 1 large egg yolk
  4. 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  5. 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar, sifted
  6. 1 tablespoon instant coffee granules
  1. MAKE THE CAKE Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter two 8-by-2-inch round cake pans and line them with parchment; butter the paper. Dust the pans with flour, tapping out any excess.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle, mix the flour with the sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt at low speed. In a bowl, whisk the buttermilk with the oil, eggs and vanilla. Slowly beat the buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients until just incorporated, then slowly beat in the hot coffee until fully incorporated.
  3. Pour the batter into the prepared pans. Bake for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean. Let the cakes cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then invert the cakes onto a rack to cool. Peel off the parchment.
  4. MAKE THE FROSTING In a microwave-safe bowl, heat the chocolate at high power in 30-second intervals, stirring, until most of the chocolate is melted. Stir until completely melted, then set aside to cool.
  5. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the butter at medium speed until pale and fluffy. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and beat for 1 minute, scraping down the side of the bowl. At low speed, slowly beat in the confectioners’ sugar, about 1 minute. In a small bowl, dissolve the instant coffee in 2 teaspoons of hot water. Slowly beat the coffee and the cooled chocolate into the butter mixture until just combined.
  6. Set a cake layer on a plate with the flat side facing up. Evenly spread one-third of the frosting over the cake to the edge. Top with the second cake layer, rounded side up. Spread the remaining frosting over the top and side of the cake. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before slicing.
Make Ahead The frosted cake can be refrigerated for 2 days. Let stand for 1 hour before serving.