Chocolate Cake

Something happened last weekend. Something a little absurd, something that Adam has not yet allowed me to live down, something involving a very large chocolate cake.
We ended our work week last week with the plan to make a cake – not for any particular reason, just because. The plan was to make a light batter with yogurt or buttermilk and use up some frozen raspberries that have been sitting in our freezer for the past few weeks. Maybe some sort of upside down cake, something more fruit forward. Saturday morning came around, I went into the kitchen, one thing led to another and in the midst of defrosting the raspberries and measuring out the flour, I somehow ended up making a chocolate cake. This could still be fruit forward, I thought to myself, maybe a raspberry buttercream frosting?
[Note: Adam is still under the impression an upside-down raspberry cake would be coming out of our oven]
The cakes were cooling, so I started to make the raspberry buttercream, but then, once again, one thing led to another, I neglected to think about how, maybe I should not add all the juice from the thawed raspberries to the frosting and ended up with a super sweet (from adding additional powdered sugar) wet mess. Not to be deterred, I rummaged through the freezer for a second try –no more raspberries–so I took to the cabinets to find — well, nothing but cocoa. Chocolate Buttercream it is!
[Adam is still under the impression that a light, raspberry cake would be coming his way]
When it came to frost, I had an ingenious plan — use some jam in the middle — that will make it fruit forward, maybe Adam won’t notice the two-tiered chocolate cake with decadent chocolate frosting that could stand in as the cake for a medium-siced birthday party, preventing him from learning of my tribulations in the kitchen that morning. Jam it was, lingonberry jam to be precise, not too sweet with a touch of texture; great idea Joanne, he will never notice.
That is when it happened; he finally wandered into the kitchen (maybe the light dusting of cocoa powder on Marmalade’s fur tipped him off). “What is that?” he said, “What happened to the raspberries?,” “and why is there cocoa powder everywhere?”
Fortunately, after sheepishly cutting him a slice, quietly explaining that practically everything I attempted failed and that I absolutely love him, he helped me clean up the kitchen and take a beautiful photo. And hey, how upset can you be when you are being served chocolate cake!

*cake recipe adapted from Barefoot Contessa

5.0 from 1 reviews
Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Buttercream
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A simple and moist chocolate cake with rich chocolate buttercream.
Created By:
Yield: 8
You Will Need
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cups cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk, shaken
  • 1/2 cup vegatable oil
  • 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
  • 3-3.5 cups chocolate buttercream frosting
  • 1/2 cup lingonberry jam (can substitute for jam of choice)

  • 8 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), softened
  • 3.5-4 cups (just less than 16 oz. bag) powdered/confectioner's sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp. milk
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and butter then flour 2 (8-inch) round cake pans. To flour the pan, after buttering, add a little flour and tap the pan until there is a light coating of flour on the bottom and up the sides of the pan, discard any extra flour.
  2. Use a dry mesh strainer to sift the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl, mix either with the paddle attachment of an electric mixer or and handheld mixer until thoroughly combined.
  3. Combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs and vanilla in a separate bowl then slowly add to the dry ingredients. Next, slowly add the coffee and stir until just combined – be sure to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
  4. Pour the cake better into the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool in the pans for about 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
  5. Make the frosting. Melt 8 ounces of milk chocolate either over a double boiler or in the microwave. To melt the chocolate in the microwave, place ¾ of the chocolate in a small microwave-safe bowl in the microwave for 20 seconds. Stir the chocolate and continue to microwave for 20 seconds at a time, stirring in between, until the chocolate is smooth and shiny. Add the remaining ¼ of the chocolate and stir until smooth. Set aside to cool.
  6. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the softened butter, vanilla and salt. Beat on medium-low speed for about 2 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and slowly add the powdered sugar. Stop the mixer occasionally and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  7. Add the milk and increase the mixer to medium speed and beat for another 2 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and slowly add the melted chocolate (should be at room temperature) and beat until combined, then increase the speed to medium and beat for one more minute.
  8. Fill a re-sealable plastic bag with the corner cut off or a pastry bag with frosting. Then, carefully squeeze the frosting around the outer perimeter of your cake; this prevents the jam from oozing out. Next, fill the center of your cake with jam. Place the second layer on top, rounded side up, and spread the frosting evenly on the top and sides of the cake.
Notes and Tips
If the frosting is dry, add more milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, until it is creamy but still holds peaks.

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14 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Amber November 22, 2016, 6:46 pm

    LOVE LOVE LOVE!!! Made this cake for my husband’s bday and we ate it all in less than two days just the two of us. I did not put the jam on it, but it was so yummy with just the chocolate icing!! I love it so much that I am making it for Thanksgiving!!! I also fell in love with your brownie recipe, and I make them all the time and get so many compliments!! Thank you for sharing your recipes, and I can’t wait to try more!

  • Xiaolu April 25, 2011, 3:24 pm

    This is pretty much the same recipe as my favorite chocolate cake too. Isn’t it lovely how deep and rich the flavor is? And how moist it stays? Man I want to make it now just talking about it. Love the pairing with lingonberry and such a cute story about you 2 =D.

  • Taz April 18, 2011, 8:23 am

    oh yum, this look decadent! I love the sneaky layer of raspberry in the middle – divine!

  • Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen March 25, 2011, 3:37 am

    Well I certainly wouldn’t have any complaints if you served me a piece of this instead of the original cake, what a beauty!

  • Miri Leigh March 24, 2011, 11:40 pm

    Yum! This cake looks mouth-watering! Thanks for sharing.

  • holly March 24, 2011, 7:56 pm

    found this on foodgawker – cake is in the oven now, smells DELICIOUS, and starting on the buttercream – thanks!

    • inspiredtaste March 28, 2011, 9:03 am

      Holly – YAY, we hope the cake turned out as you expected!

  • Carolyn Jung March 23, 2011, 11:53 am

    Mmm, chocolate upon more chocolate. Ya can’t beat that! 😉

  • Amanda March 23, 2011, 8:49 am

    I just saw this on foodgawker… gorgeous!! 🙂

    • inspiredtaste March 23, 2011, 9:33 am

      Thanks, Amanda — that means a lot coming from you!!!

  • Wendi @ Bon Appetit Hon March 21, 2011, 12:25 pm

    Chocolate cake never requires an apology ; )

  • Erin March 21, 2011, 10:08 am

    This cake looks completely delicious. And I think complaints are in appropriate if Lingonberry jelly is involved!

    • inspiredtaste March 23, 2011, 9:34 am

      Erin and Wendi — I agree. There were very few complaints, we were both too occupied with cake!


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