Dark Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Buttercream

I know that right now, everyone is making these crazy flavor combinations and being all avante garde with their cupcake push pops, cake on a stick, and cupcakewurst (yes, it is a thing), but I have a special place in my heart for the simple things: chocolate and buttercream. As I continue reading through my Redditgifts CookBook exchange gift, I keep coming upon classics that really should be the foundation of my baking from now on. I was so excited to try out Shirley Corriher’s recipe for Deep, Dark Chocolate Cake.

I seem to have busy weekends grouped together. Last weekend, when I made this cake, I had my mom in town. This coming weekend, we’re going out of town. I look forward to having a quiet weekend eventually! Don’t get me wrong, I very much loved having mom and her friend here and I can’t wait to see more family in Houston this weekend, but having nothing to do sounds great, too.When we started preparing for mom’s visit she told me she wanted me to bake something for her. That just happens to be something that I enjoy, so I was happy to oblige. I made a mistake and waited for the ladies to be in town and hungry before I baked the cake. By the time the frosting was ready, so were they, and so I had to frost as quickly as I could so we call could enjoy some cake. That being said (and I know I’m my worst critic) I feel like this was a bit of a rush job and maybe a bit old fashioned. I didn’t cut the layers evenly, the frosting wasn’t smooth, and I didn’t really have any kind of rhyme or reason to the actual decorations.

All that doesn’t change the fact that this was the best chocolate cake I have ever had, hands down. The frosting was a perfect combination of sweet and creamy, the cake was moist, chocolatey and had the most amazing texture I have ever seen in a cake. I usually eat the last cupcake or piece of cake while I write my blog, so I can describe the taste and gather my thoughts (or maybe I just like to eat cake), but this time, we ate an entire cake between the four of us over the course of a long weekend. It was just way too good. So now I am sadly empty handed as I write about this cake, wishing I had more.

If you bake this cake, be prepared to see it sink a bit, as it is extremely overleavened. I wouldn’t worry about it, though. Just cut off a bit or turn the cake upside down and you’re just fine. Recipe for the Deep, Dark Chocolate Cake and the vanilla buttercream after the strip.

Deep, Dark Chocolate Cake Recipe

Recipe from BakeWise, by Shirley O. Corriher

  • 2 1/3 cups sugar
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup Dutch process cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  1. Prepare two 9-inch cake pans, either with copious amounts of cooking spray or with parchment paper, shortening, and powdered sugar (the method I used). Please note that this cake is so moist and heavy that it could stick very easily, so don’t be shy, no matter what method you use.
  2. In a saucepan off any heat, stir together the sugar, salt, cocoa, and baking soda. In another smaller saucepan, bring the water to a boil.
  3. While stirring constantly, pour the boiling water a bit at a time into the cocoa mixture. Don’t be concerned when you see it bubble. It will calm down. Just keep stirring as it thickens. Stir the cocoa mixture briskly and then place it on heat to bring it back to a boil. Turn off the heat and allow the pan to stand for at least 10 minutes to cool. This mixture will be super dark when you are done.
  4. Power the cocoa mixture into the bowl of your stand mixer. Add oil and vanilla, then beat on low speed for 10 seconds. Still on low speed, beat in the flour, then, with as little beating as possible, beat in the egg yolks, whole eggs, and buttermilk.
  5. Pour the batter into the pans and bake for about 25 minutes, or until the cake tester comes out moist, but clean. Let cool completely before icing.

Bethany’s Buttercream Recipe

  • 1 lb unsalted butter, brought to room temperature
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 bag (2 lbs) confectioners sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  1. Completely cream the butter in your stand mixer.
  2. Mix in the vanilla and salt and beat for 30 seconds. If you have food coloring that you are using, I recommend using it now.
  3. Pour in about a third of the confectioners sugar and mix slowly until it is completely mixed in. Add in another third and mix, finishing with the last third.
  4. Evaluate the texture of your frosting and add the cream to get the consistency you desire. I used the whole 1/4 cup. If the frosting becomes too soft for your liking, add in more powdered sugar and alternate with cream until you get the desired consistency.
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2 responses

  1. Try adding 3 ts. instant coffee powder, use sour cream instead of buttermilk and it is delicious. (I also use half cake flour and half plain flour, and substituted a little brown sugar for the white sugar). I use this recipe (with alterations) all the time! I used it for a wedding cake and countless birthday cakes!!!

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