This is the best cake I have ever had and the best cake I have ever made. Now, I know I am not a cake-baking expert by any means and I can count on my two hands how many times I have baked a cake from scratch…but I have eaten a lot of cakes, and I have to say that this is one of the tastiest cakes that I have had. I first made this cake for my sister’s birthday in January and I decided to make it again for my Pop-Pop’s 87th birthday. When I first made this cake, I followed this recipe exactly. While it was good and all, I knew that I had a better recipe for chocolate cake. It’s funny because both her recipe and the recipe that I like are Ina Garten recipes. However, the recipe of Ina Garten’s that I think takes the cake (hardy har har) is her Beatty’s Chocolate Cake recipe….which I have made several times all with great success. As for the frosting…don’t change a thing! It is perfect and I literally can’t help but eat spoonful after spoonful of it.
Chocolate Cake with Salted Caramel Frosting
Beatty’s Chocolate Cake (Ina Garten’s Beatty’s Chocolate Cake)
This recipe comes from Ina Garten. After trying a couple of different chocolate cake recipes (and tasting lots of chocolate cake) this recipe results in the best chocolate cake I have ever had and certainly the best that I have ever made. Her recipe calls for two 8″ cake pans. However, I only had 9″ cake pans and the cake still came out fabulous. Her recipe also calls for vegetable oil. I never really use vegetable oil so I just substituted in canola oil which I usually have on hand. This slight variation probably does not have too much of an effect on the result. Ina frosts her cake Chocolate Buttercream icing. I am not a big fan of chocolate on chocolate so I have made this cake with both vanilla buttercream and salted caramel frosting (which I highly recommend).
Yield: 1 8 or 9″ cake (8 servings) Prep Time: 30 minutes Cook Time: 35 minutes
- Butter, for greasing the pans
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
- 2 cups sugar
- 3/4 cups good cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup buttermilk, shaken
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil (I used canola oil)
- 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
- Vanilla Buttercream, recipe follows
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 8-inch x 2-inch round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pans.
- Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined.
- In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.
- Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely
- Place 1 layer, flat side up, on a flat plate or cake pedestal. 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.
Salted Caramel Frosting
[from Life on Blackberry Farm]
In order to make this Salted Caramel Frosting, you must first make salted caramel…which is surprisingly very simple. When I made the caramel it made exactly 1 cup of caramel…which is the amount needed to make the frosting. When making the frosting, the temperature of the butter is extremely important. You want softened butter so you can make nice and fluffy icing. If your butter is too soft, your frosting will also be too soft and runny. If your butter is too hard, the butter will not cream together well with the sugar and you will not have fluffy icing.
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, kosher or sea
1. Combine the sugar, water, and the corn syrup in a large saucepan and stir with a wooden spoon over medium heat until sugar is dissolved.
2. Cover the saucepan and let it cook over medium heat for 3 minutes.
3. After 3 minutes, remove the lid, increase the heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil.
4. Do not stir from this point on, but instead swirl the liquid around the pan so that the caramel doesn’t burn.
5. Continue to cook until the caramel turns an even amber color then remove from the heat and let stand for about 30 seconds.
6. *** Be careful here *** Pour the heavy cream into the mixture. The mixture will bubble up significantly and is very hot.
7. Stir the mixture, again being careful. Add the butter, lemon juice, and salt. Stir until combined.
8. Measure 1 cup into a Pyrex measuring cup. Stirring occasionally, allow to cool until thick like molasses and warm to the touch, about 20 minutes. Save any extra in a sealed container in the refrigerator.
Salted Caramel Frosting
- 2 sticks butter at room temperature
- 8 ounces of cream cheese
- 3-4 cups sifted powdered sugar
- 1 cup salted caramel (recipe above)
1. Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed until creamy.
2. Add 2 cups of the powdered sugar into the butter/cream cheese mixture and beat to combine.
3. Add 1 cup of the salted caramel and beat to combine.
4. Add additional powdered sugar until the frosting is the sweetness and consistency you desire.
The only unfortunate part of this whole cake process was that we weren’t even able to celebrate my Pop-Pop’s 87th Birthday because the night before his birthday he went to the Emergency Room. Thankfully, everything seems to be under control right now and there are no major issues. He is still in the hospital but should be able to go home any day now. We felt bad about eating the cake without him, but we weren’t going to let this delicious cake go to waste! haha