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Favorite Chocolate Cake

February 21, 2017 | By Jeremy Scheck | 15 Comments

Ina Gaten’s “Beatty’s Chocolate Cake” is the best chocolate cake I’ve ever had. Moist and light with a deep chocolate flavor, it’s everything you want in your chocolate cake. Above all else, it’s SO easy to make; just requires some siftin’ and whiskin’. This is her recipe scaled up sightly to make three layers rather than two–I think three–layer cakes are much more impressive than two. This cake does not even need cake flour, it’s so delicate and light even without it.

Adapted from:

Yield: 3 layer 8" or 9" cake:

Favorite Chocolate Cake


  • 2--3/4 cups (360g) all-purpose flour + 3 tbsp for flouring pans
  • 3 cups (600g) sugar
  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp (95g) unsweetened cocoa powder (high quality dutch process is best, but natural works too for this recipe)
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1-1/2 cups (360ml) buttermilk (full fat)
  • 3/4 cup (148g) neutral oil, such as canola, avocado, grapeseed
  • 3 eggs
  • 1-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 cups (360ml) hot brewed coffee


  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
  2. To prepare your three 8" or 9" pans, spray with non-stick cooking spray, place a round of parchment paper on the bottom (here is how to cut a circle out of parchment), spray again, and flour the pans by shaking a few tbsps of flour around the pan and tapping the excess into the sink.
  3. Sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a medium-sized mixing bowl
  4. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla.
  5. Add the flour mixture to the buttermilk mixture and whisk to combine.
  6. Pour in the coffee while whisking.
  7. Divide among the three pans and bake 35-40 mins until the cakes spring back when lightly touched.
  8. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  9. Frost with buttercream and use my tips for cake decorating success. Enjoy!

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  1. Made this cake earlier this summer when I was bored one evening, wanting to be creative! First off, love Jeremy’s instructions! And the results??? STELLAR! So good!! I’m surprised I had enough batter and frosting to make the cake everything smelt amazing it was so tempting to eat it up while make it! (Don’t worry, we didn’t! ????) Can’t wait to try more recipes!

  2. hi! i really wanna try this recipe, but do i have to add coffee? are there any other alternatives? i dont want to taste the coffee in it…

    1. The coffee enhances the taste of the chocolate. It won’t make the cake taste like coffee. However, if you’re skeptical, just use plain hot water instead (but not hot water from the tap; heat it up on the stove or in the microwave).

  3. I made this for my birthday this summer along with Jermey’s chocolate buttercream frosting and omg it was perfect. It was moist and light and the frosting wasn’t too sweet either. I can’t wait to do more of his recipes 🙂

  4. I always have trouble with my cakes turning out super dense, but this recipe has never failed me! definitely a family favorite. It definitely tastes the best too.

  5. i made this for my friend’s birthday and everyone loved it! so tasty, even my boyfriend who dislikes cake was obsessed with it, highly recommend.

  6. I just made this cake for a dinner party and it is the moistest cake ever! My only recommendation is that you bake the cake a day ahead as it develops its flavour. The cake is 100 times bette the next day!

  7. No you don’t understand, this cake recipe is incredible. So moist, not overly sweet, I could eat it forever. I’d make it just for dessert, not for any special occasion.

  8. This recipe is everything!! I’ve never made a cake before so I was a little intimidated but the steps were super easy to follow plus they turned out amazing. 100/10 please use this recipe!! Also I made Vietnamese iced coffee while baking since I had some left over so my experience was overall spectacular!!

  9. Hey for anyone that might want to know this, adding orange juice and orange extract to this goes really well for an orange chocolate cake. I substituted the coffee for 1 cup orange juice and half a cup hot water. And for the extract I put the vanilla extract down to 1 teaspoon and did half a teaspoon of orange extract. I didn’t have orange zest but that would probably work nicely in here too.

  10. I’ve made this cake twice now, and it’s turned out great both times! It’s relatively easy but it always gets compliments! Highly recommend the lemon curd filling.

  11. Every chocoholic in my family demands this cake for their birthdays or other celebrations. It’s always perfect and tender.
    I’ve paired it with a cream cheese, chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla buttercream (not all at once) and even with chopped strawberries or raspberries in between the layers. The chocolate flavor isn’t too sweet or overwhelming but pairs perfectly with whatever else you put on the cake.

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