Decadence with Friends.

So this weekend was all about comfort food for me. I was really getting into it. I made an array of grilled cheeses, pasta dishes, chocolate cake, breakfast galore. I was not very healthful this weekend! But, in any case it was a delicious one. I cooked with and for friends a lot too which is what I love to do.

It was my best friend Alyssa’s birthday so I made her my favorite chocolate cake recipe by Ina Garten. Ina truly takes the lead when it comes to chocolate; The secret is coffee. This cake recipe is not your average Betty Crocker “delight” and certainly not for the faint of heart. I paired it with a simple and elegant whipped vanilla buttercream. My family of taste testers agreed that it was divine. So throw away that Pillsbury boy and try something from scratch! Surprise yourself and your friends a bit.

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Ina’s Beatty Chocolate Cake:


  • 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
  • 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee


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.

Vanilla Buttercream:

  • 3 sticks of butter, softened.
  • 4 cups of 10x confectioners sugar
  • 2 T vanilla
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 cup of milk
Sift the sugar & whip the butter. Add the sifted sugar into the butter & mix on low speed until combined. Add salt, vanilla and add the milk in stages; a few tablespoons at a time. Once the buttercream is soft, whipped, and your ideal spreading consistency you can frost your cooled cakes.

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