Sunday, June 15, 2014

Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

"Dad is great! Gives us chocolate cake!"

That's the song that rings through my head whenever I think of homemade chocolate cake, the refrain from a story that Bill Cosby used to tell on one of his comedy recordings. He was put in charge of providing breakfast for his kids at an early moment in his parenthood journey and spying cake in the fridge, he fed it to them for breakfast. His kids thought he was a hero; his wife was furious...

It always made my sisters and I laugh out loud, long and hard. Our dad never did that but we could easily imagine our mother's horror if he had.

The cake pictured above was inspired by the birthday of my boyfriend's daughter. As I've protested elsewhere, my sweet tooth is nonexistent so I had to search the web for the perfect chocolate cake and hope my powers of intuition would help me find the right one. Everyone who ate the cake thought it was pretty great, so my powers were obviously in top notch form!

Don't be put off by the seemingly strange ingredients - hot coffee, greek yogurt, buttermilk.  Who ever created this recipe obviously knew what they were doing because it is a moist, deeply chocolate flavored cake that made my boyfriend take seconds, and his sweet tooth is as MIA as mine!

Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting (from Half-Baked Harvest)
(makes 2 layer 9" cake)


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup neutral oil (sunflower, safflower)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup strong brewed coffee, hot
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Whipped Chocolate Buttercream For 2 Layers
3 (1 1/2 cups) sticks salted butter, softened to room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3-4 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease 2 8-inch round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, then butter/spray with cooking spray. If you're lucky enough to have the old fashioned pans with the slider that will release the bottom of the cake, you don't need the parchment paper.

Combine the flour, sugar, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a small bowl and set aside.  In a larger bowl, beat eggs, buttermilk, Greek yogurt, oil and vanilla until smooth. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients with the mixer on low until there are no longer any clumps of flour, adding about 1/2 cup at a time. Make hot coffee and add to liquid mixture. The batter should be pourable, but not super thin. Stir in the chocolate chips until you see them begin to melt. Evenly divide batter between the 2 cake pans and bake on center rack for 25-30 minutes until the tops set and the batter does not jiggle. A knife inserted in the center should come out clean. Set on wire racks to cool for at least 5 minutes. Then run a knife around the edges of the pan to release.
Invert each layer on a flat plate and allow to completely cool before frosting.

To make the frosting, beat butter and powdered sugar in a bowl until well mixed. Add cocoa powder, and vanilla and beat until mixed, scrapping down the sides to incorporate all. Add the heavy cream and whip until light and fluffy. Taste and adjust for sweetness, adding more powdered sugar as desired.

Place 1 layer, flat side up, on a plate or cake stand. With a knife or offset spatula, spread the top with frosting. Place the second layer on top, rounded side up, and spread the frosting evenly on the top and sides of the cake. Grate a chocolate bar on top for decoration or add any other sort of decoration as you like.

Buttercream frosting is best eaten after it has time to warm up if it's been refrigerated. Allow at least 30 minutes before serving.


Recipes currently inspiring me:

Eggplant Manicotti with Creamy Pesto Filling at Eats Well With Others
Couscous with Roasted Carrots and Spiced Meatballs at Sidewalk Shoes
Chocolate Babka Muffins at Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice

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