Chocolate Cake (is for) Lovers

Chocolate Cake Recipe



Cake Instructions Pink



For the Cake:

  • 1 cup (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup Dutch-process cocoa
  • 1 cup hot, strong coffee
  • 2 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk or plain yogurt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Frosting:

  • 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa
  • 6 tablespoons buttermilk or plain yogurt
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 9″ x 13″ pan.
I use a lasagna pan for this cake, to ensure that the edges of the pan are high enough to hold in the delicious frosting.

To Make the Cake:

2. Melt the butter; stir in the cocoa and hot water. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, sugar, soda, and salt.

It might take a little whisking, but the cocoa will mix beautifully into the coffee/butter mixture. If you want to avoid the extra effort (and don’t mind a few additional dishes) try sifting the cocoa into the saucepan to break up any clumps.
Coffee makes everything better. . . especially chocolate flavors!
It might seem unnecessary, but whisking the dry ingredients ensures that the baking soda and salt are distributed evenly throughout the flour and sugar, making the cake rise more evenly.

3. Pour the cocoa mixture over the dry ingredients, stirring to blend. Beat in the buttermilk or yogurt, eggs, and vanilla. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

I like to make a well in the center of the flour/sugar mixture for pouring the cocoa mixture. This helps with whisking the two together evenly.
Oohhh–vanilla! Mix everything until just combined. You don’t want extra air pockets in your cake from over-mixing.
I love this part! And, yes, I lick the spoon when no one’s watching. I know I shouldn’t, but it’s just so delicious!

4. Bake the cake for 30 minutes, or until it tests done. You’ll smell the chocolate aroma, and the cake will begin to pull away from the edge of the pan. Remove the cake from the oven and cool it on a rack.

We always want what we can’t have. Right, Jasper?
Just waiting for its frosting now . . . make sure it cools completely before you start making the frosting.


To Make the Frosting:

1. Melt the butter in a medium-sized saucepan. Stir in the cocoa and buttermilk or yogurt.

I use the same saucepan that I used for the cake’s cocoa mixture. I don’t even wash it out (no need to)! This pic shows how the solids and liquids will separate at first as you make the frosting. Don’t worry–keep beating it and it will all come together.

2. Bring the mixture to a boil, then remove it from the heat and mix in the confectioners’ sugar, beating until smooth.

It takes a little time . . .
. . . but eventually it’ll be creamy and gorgeous. Just keep whisking until all of the clumps of sugar are broken up (or use a sifter at the beginning to break up the clumps).

3. Pour the frosting over the cake while the frosting is still warm. Serve the cake right from the pan.

I like to use an off-set spatula for spreading the frosting, but a normal spatula works fine too.
If you want to get a little fancy, use a wax-paper stencil to sift cocoa over the cake in any shape you like. Enjoy with your sweetie and a glass of cold milk or vanilla ice cream.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

The foundation of this recipe comes from King Arthur Flour, who are the gurus of all things flour, sugar, and chocolate!

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