Ina Garten's Chocolate Cake With A Twist

Best known as the Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten hosts her own Food Network program, has written numerous cookbooks, and is unstoppable in the kitchen. One of her wildly famous recipes, Beatty's Chocolate Cake, features two layers of rich, dark chocolate sandwiched together with the most amazing homemade chocolate buttercream frosting. Every forkful of this melt-in-your-mouth cake will have you wishing you could recreate it as wonderfully as she makes it. Well, now you can.

Recipe developer Kate Shungu of Gift of Hospitality has taken Ina Garten's chocolate cake recipe and given it quite the twist. Each euphoric bite will have you saving this recipe for the next time company pops by.

"I adore watching Ina Garten and following her on social media. She works hard to create really good, solid, useful recipes that her viewers can make again and again," Shungu said. "I absolutely love chocolate cake, and I was intrigued by the addition of coffee to the cake batter. I had also heard about this chocolate cake from others who had made it and loved it, so I knew I wanted to try it."

Gather up the ingredients for Ina Garten's chocolate cake with a twist

For this fantastic Ina Garten's chocolate cake with a twist recipe, you'll need all-purpose flour, sugar, a decent cocoa powder like Valrhona, baking soda, baking powder, kosher salt, buttermilk, vegetable oil, extra large eggs, vanilla extract, freshly brewed hot coffee, seedless raspberry jam, unsalted sticks of butter, Nutella, whole milk, powdered sugar, and table salt. Both the Barefoot Contessa and Shungu emphasize using "good cocoa powder."

"This is Ina's suggestion. She encourages home cooks to use quality products as much as possible. I used Hershey's cocoa powder for this recipe, which is all that my local grocery store had, and it turned out great," Shungu said.

Combine the dry ingredients for Ina Garten's chocolate cake with a twist

With thoughts of a dreamy chocolate cake ready in an hour, head into the kitchen and preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Then line the bottom of two eight-inch round cake pans with parchment paper, then grease the parchment paper and sides of the cake pans with cooking spray.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together one and three-fourths of a cup all-purpose flour, two cups of sugar, three-fourths of a cup good cocoa powder, two teaspoons of baking soda, one teaspoon of baking powder, and one teaspoon of kosher salt. Mix on low until the dry ingredients are thoroughly combined. A handheld mixer will work in a pinch, too.

Work with the wet ingredients for Ina Garten's chocolate cake with a twist

In another bowl, whisk together one cup of shaken buttermilk, half a cup of vegetable oil, two extra large eggs warmed to room temperature, one teaspoon of vanilla extract, and one cup of freshly brewed hot coffee. With the mixer on low, pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Scrape the bowl with a spatula to ensure all of the ingredients are completely mixed.

"Any type of strong brewed coffee works well. I used decaf since it's what I drink at home. Use whatever you have available, even if it's whatever's left in your coffee pot in the morning," Shungu said.

Bake the batter for Ina Garten's chocolate cake with a twist

Divide the batter of Ina Garten's chocolate cake with a twist between the two prepared round cake pans. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes in the oven or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of each round cake layer comes out clean. Let the cakes cool for 30 minutes, then run a knife along the edges of the cakes to help loosen them from the pan. Invert the cakes onto a wire rack to finish cooling. The tops will sink a little in the center, and that's just fine, Shungu said. When the cakes have cooled completely, turn your focus to the buttercream frosting.

Add the frosting to Ina Garten's chocolate cake with a twist

Place two sticks, which is equal to one cup, of softened, unsalted butter and one cup of Nutella in a large bowl. Mix on medium with a hand mixer until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add three tablespoons of whole milk, one teaspoon of vanilla extract, and one-eighth of a teaspoon salt, and blend until thoroughly combined. Add in four cups of powdered sugar, one cup at a time, until the frosting thickens. You can add an extra half a cup of powdered sugar if it's needed. You will not be able to refrain from swiping a finger through the frosting and sampling it before spreading it on the two layers of cooled cakes.

Decorate Ina Garten's chocolate cake with a twist

Gently transfer one cake layer to a cake stand or serving platter. Spoon half a cup of seedless raspberry jam over the top and gingerly spread it with a knife or offset spatula. Be sure to leave one-fourth of an inch of space on the edges of the cake all the way around.

Top the jam with one cup of Nutella buttercream frosting, and carefully spread it across the surface. Place the second cake layer on top and spread the remaining buttercream frosting across the top and sides of the cake. It's now ready to slice and serve.

Tips for frosting Ina Garten's chocolate cake

It can be tricky smoothing the Nutella frosting over the delicious raspberry jam. Shungu suggested placing the Nutella frosting in a resealable sandwich-sized plastic bag and cut a half-inch hole in the corner. Pipe the frosting in rows across the layer of jam, then use an offset spatula or knife to carefully spread it out.

"The piping bag technique gives you a good head start on getting the frosting spread into an even layer," she explained.

The Nutella frosting will not smoothly glide over the seedless raspberry jam, so be patient and cautiously work it outward from the piped rows.

What did we change?

So how does Shungu's version of the Barefoot Contessa's chocolate cake recipe differ from the original Ina Garten's chocolate cake? She added a layer of raspberry jam to the chocolate cake and swapped out the chocolate buttercream frosting to Nutella buttercream frosting.

"Raspberries pair really well with chocolate, so I knew that flavor combination would be a slam dunk. Hazelnuts also pair well with chocolate and raspberries, which is where the inspiration for a Nutella frosting was born," Shungu explained. "The Nutella frosting is super creamy, sweet, with lots of chocolate hazelnut flavor."

Ina Garten's Chocolate Cake With A Twist
4.9 from 12 ratings
Recipe developer Kate Shungu of Gift of Hospitality has taken Ina Garten's chocolate cake recipe and given it quite the twist.
Prep Time
25
minutes
Cook Time
35
minutes
Servings
12
slices
chocolate cake with raspberry jam filling and Nutella frosting
Ready in 60 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ¾ cup good cocoa powder, such as Valrhona
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1 cup buttermilk, shaken
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 extra large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
  • 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
  • ½ cup seedless raspberry jam
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup Nutella
  • 3 tablespoons whole milk
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line the bottom of two 8-inch round cake pans with parchment paper, then grease the parchment paper and sides with cooking spray.
  2. Place the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and 1 teaspoon of salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on low until combined.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, oil, eggs, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and coffee. With the mixer on low, pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and mix just until combined. Scrape the bowl with a spatula to ensure all of the ingredients are mixed.
  4. Divide the batter between the two prepared cake pans. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let the cakes cool for 30 minutes. Run a knife along the edges of the cakes, and invert the cakes onto a wire rack to finish cooling. The tops will sink a little in the center – that's okay!
  5. When the cakes are cool, prepare the buttercream by placing the butter and Nutella in a large bowl. Mix on medium with a hand mixer until light and fluffy. Add the milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and ⅛ teaspoon salt, and mix until combined. Add the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, until the frosting is thick.
  6. Place one layer on a cake stand or serving platter. Spoon the raspberry jam over the top and spread it with a knife or offset spatula, leaving ¼ inch of space on the edges of the cake.
  7. Top the jam with 1 cup of Nutella buttercream, and spread it gently. Place the second layer on top, and spread the remaining buttercream over the top and sides of the cake.
  8. Cut into slices and serve at room temperature.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 778
Total Fat 34.1 g
Saturated Fat 18.3 g
Trans Fat 0.7 g
Cholesterol 76.6 mg
Total Carbohydrates 116.2 g
Dietary Fiber 4.0 g
Total Sugars 93.6 g
Sodium 489.6 mg
Protein 6.5 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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