Beatty’s Chocolate Cake

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Nov 12, 2010 at 7:45am

Behold, the first cake I’ve baked since giving up gluten.

I baked it for John’s office’s annual United Way bake sale – which I contribute to every year – so it’s not like I was going to eat it anyhow (and therefore couldn’t cut into it for pics, sorry). But not eating it because it’s not mine and not eating it because I can’t are two different things. Not terrible, since I’m not a big dessert eater anyhow, just strange, because let’s be honest – I cook for myself. I feed my family, of course, but I cook what I like to eat.

So making this cake, knowing that I don’t eat cake, was a new experience.

It’s a beauty of a cake by the way. Thank you to Amanda of I Am Baker for the recommendation – she knows of cake! – and of course to Ina Garten for another perfect recipe. Does she ever write a bad one? I think not…  It’s easy to put together and the buttercream icing is just dreamy to spread around. A winner, big time. (Note: Sift the confectioners’ flour, as directed, to avoid the little lumps you see in the pic, ahem.)

Because the purpose of the cake is to raise money, I baked it as an 11×14-inch sheet cake (vs. as two 8-inch layers) so they could cut as many pieces from it as possible. Based on the almost 900 positive reviews of the cake on the Food Network site (not kidding – indeed a well-loved recipe), you can successfully bake the batter into any shape you like.

Here’s John standing with a cake on our deck because…it’s dark in November in Minnesota and I needed as much light as I could steal! It’s fabulous that it’s actually warm enough for him to comfortably stand out there, though, so I’m not really complaining.

Until it snows tomorrow.

Then all bets are off.

Beatty’s Chocolate Cake
Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa at Home, 2006
Serves 8

butter, for greasing the pans
1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
2 c. sugar
3/4 cups good cocoa powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 c. buttermilk, shaken
1/2 c. vegetable oil
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 c. freshly brewed hot coffee

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting, recipe follows

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter 2 (8-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.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

6 ounces good semisweet chocolate (recommended: Callebaut)
1/2 lb. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 extra-large egg yolk, at room temperature
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 c. sifted confectioners’ sugar
1 Tbsp. instant coffee powder

Chop the chocolate and place it in a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir until just melted and set aside until cooled to room temperature.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until light yellow and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and continue beating for 3 minutes. Turn the mixer to low, gradually add the confectioners’ sugar, then beat at medium speed, scraping down the bowl as necessary, until smooth and creamy. Dissolve the coffee powder in 2 teaspoons of the hottest tap water. On low speed, add the chocolate and coffee to the butter mixture and mix until blended. Don’t whip! Spread immediately on the cooled cake.

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Older Comments

  1. By FreshTartSteph on November 13, 2010 at 6:31AM

    Aw, thanks Sweetie! I'll pass along your compliment (he'll be THRILLED). Thanks for the great rec, cake was a HUGE hit. In fact, the man in the pic bought two pieces himself - ha!

  2. By manda2177 on November 12, 2010 at 8:05AM

    Your hubby is so handsome! And that cake aint bad either. :)