I don’t have enough reasons to bake cake, as evidenced by the fact that I’ll immediatley jump at any cake occasion that may arise and then obsess over photo after photo of cake recipes trying to decide what to make. My family isn’t big on cake, but you know what I think? Cake is good, and it’s fun to make too!
For me, cake pretty much always has to involve chocolate, and since almost everyone loves a good chocolate cake, I decided to start with that. My biggest rule for chocolate cake is that it has to be moist and chocolate-y, like you could practically eat it without frosting (but really why would you ever do that?). I have a go-to family recipe that fits the bill, but I decided to try something new, just for kicks, so after a bit of “research”, I went with Beatty’s Chocolate Cake from the Barefoot Contessa. I topped it with a Cream Cheese Frosting, which I thought would contrast nicely with the chocolate glaze I wanted to put on top. Plus, some people don’t need triple doses of chocolate like I do, right?. The Satiny Chocolate Glaze finished it off perfectly, making it look special and hiding my less than perfect frosting job. Speaking of which, if you can’t frost a cake to save your life, you need this glaze!
One big mess later, I had a cake that I was quite happy with. Everyone LOVED it, and some even deemed it the best cake they’ve ever eaten, which made my day. :)
A moist chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting and a glossy chocolate glaze to finish makes for a yummy cake with a pretty presentation, declared by some to be the best cake ever!
- butter, for greasing pans
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for pans
- 2 cups sugar
- 3/4 cup good-quality cocoa powder (I used dutch-processed)
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs (room temperature if you can help it)
- 1 cup buttermilk (or substitute)
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
- 6 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 10 tablespoons butter, softened (1 stick plus 2 tablespoons)
- 3 1/3 cups powdered sugar
- 2 pinches salt
- 3/4 teaspoon milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup chocolate chips
- 3 tablespoons butter, cubed
- 1 tablespoon corn syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2-1 teaspoon hot water
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter two 8-inch by 2-inch round cake pans, line with parchment paper, and butter and flour over parchment.*
- Sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.
- In the seperate bowl of a stand mixer, beat the eggs well. Add the buttermilk, vegetable oil, and vanilla. Beat to combine. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix in on lowest speed until just incorporated. Slowly mix in coffee.
- Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans and bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, or just until a toothpick stuck into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes in pan before removing. Let cool completely before frosting.
- To assemble the cake, place one layer of cake on a plate or cake stand and generously frost the top. Place the other layer of cake on top and frost along the top and sides to desired finish.
- Pour chocolate glaze on top of cake, delicately using the back of a spatula to spread it around the entire top of the cake without pushing into the frosting. Allow glaze to drizzle down sides.
- In the (clean) bowl of a stand mixer, beat the softened cream cheese and butter on high until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar, milk, salt and vanilla and beat (slowly at first to incorporate the powdered sugar, and then faster) until light and smooth.
- Melt chocolate chips, butter, and corn syrup in a double boiler over hot water, stirring constantly until chocolate chips are melted. (If you don't have a double boiler, you can achieve this same effect by placing the ingredients in a heat-safe bowl and setting the bowl over a saucepan filled with water.
- Remove from heat and stir more, if necessary, until smooth. Stir in vanilla. Add 1/2-1 teaspoon hot water as needed to make a very thin glaze that will easily puddle over the cake.
*I used 9-inch cake pans, and it worked just fine. Also, I wasn't paying attention and simply sprayed my pans with non-stick spray, but I would recommend the method instructed as I had a hard time releasing my cake from the pans.
Chocolate Cake Recipe adapted from: Food Network
Satiny Chocolate Glaze adapted from: All Recipes
Cream Cheese Frosting is a Bright-Eyed Baker Original.