Nothing beats a first-class pure and simple chocolate cake.
Good-quality ingredients make all the difference in this crowd-wowing chocolate cake.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 3 large organic free-range eggs
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup hot espresso
- 2 tbsp coffee liqueur
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 2 1/2 cups icing sugar
- 8 oz semi-sweet chocolate, melted
1 Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2 Butter two 8" round cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper.
3 In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda; set aside. Using an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the batter from the sides of the bowl and beat in the eggs, one at a time, until completely combined. Beat in the vanilla extract.
4 Stir together the buttermilk and vegetable oil in a medium bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture in three additions, alternating with the wet ingredients, and beating until just combined after each addition.
5 Divide the batter evenly between the cake pans, smoothing the tops with an offset spatula. Bake on the centre rack of the oven until the cakes are set in the centre, 35 to 40 minutes.
6 Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for about 15 minutes before turning them out onto a wire rack, removing the parchment paper and allowing them to cool completely.
7 Meanwhile, make the icing. Whisk together the cocoa powder, espresso and coffee liqueur until smooth; set aside to cool completely. Using an electric stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the butter until light and fluffy. Whisk the espresso mixture into the butter in three additions, alternating with the icing sugar, and beating until combined after each addition. Fold in the melted chocolate.
8 Cut each cake in half horizontally using a serrated knife. Place one layer cut side up on a cake plate and spread to the edges with about 1/2 cup of the buttercream. Cover with a cake layer cut side down. Spread with another 1/2 cup buttercream. Repeat with the other two layers.
9 Lightly spread the top and sides of the cake with a thick crumb coat of buttercream and refrigerate until set, about 30 minutes. Ice the cake with the remaining buttercream and chill until set, about 30 minutes, before serving.
Prep & cook time: 2 hours
Serves: 10 to 12