I must say that while I’m not necessarily a chocoholic, I had been eying this recipe for a while! My husband, Red, was having a birthday on September 24, so I thought this would be a great birthday cake to make for his surprise birthday party. Now, Red loves almost all dessert, but not necessarily chocolate cake. He was however, optimistic by the reviews on this recipe that he might actually change his mind about chocolate cake after all. We both were definitely game to make this recipe.
After reading some of the reviews on Food Network, I decided to not change any of the ingredients in this recipe. I really wanted to leave it the way it is and see how much we would like it (or not like it). I also don’t have two 8×2 inch round cake pans, so I used (2) 9×2-inch, and they were fine. When they were cooled, they were a bit flat, and the center fell a bit more than I had wanted.
My friends asked me if I would decorate this cake, since it was intended for a party, and I wasn’t sure how well this frosting would pipe. Lo and behold, I saw this post a few days ago, and was amazed by her gorgeous cake, and decided that maybe I should decorate this cake! Also, after realizing that there is a raw egg involved in Ina’s original frosting recipe, I decided to use this chocolate sour cream frosting from Reservation Not Required. And I was literally licking the spatula, the spoon, and the piping bag. I was almost covered in chocolate by the time I got the cake done, which is not a typical kitchen experience for me.
Our friends really enjoyed this cake, and so was my very surprised husband!
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
Chocolate Sour Cream 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 Sour Cream Frosting
As seen in Reservation Required, Adapted from the New Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook
1 12 oz package (2 cups) semi-sweet chocolate pieces
1/2 cup butter
1 8 oz carton sour cream
4 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar (about 1 pound)
1 tablespoon instant coffee powder
In a large saucepan melt chocolate and butter over low heat, stirring frequently. Cool for 5 minutes. Stir in sour cream.
Gradually, add powdered sugar, beating until smooth. Dissolve coffee powder in 2 teaspoons of very hot water and mix in to frosting.
This frosts the tops and sides of two 8 or 9 inch cake layers. (Halve the recipe to frost at 13x9x2 inch cake).
Cover and store frosted cake in the refrigerator.