Chocolate Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
This is a celebration cake so lets celebrate! I baked this cake to celebrate my blog being in the Marin IJ today.
OMG, I just saw that I’m on the front page!
This chocolate cake was actually one of the first recipes I posted on my blog, (way back in October) and I wanted to post it again with some updates because it’s just that good folks! Seriously, this is the best chocolate cake and it’s pretty famous among my group of friends. I’m always getting requests to bake this cake for dinner parties, birthday celebrations, or just for plain old enjoyment. I’m a total cake gal. Give me the choice of cake or ice cream and cake will always win hands down. I’ve since made this cake into cupcakes and honestly they taste just as good and as moist as the cake, and don’t dry out like typical cupcakes.
This cake is super chocolaty and moist, and the cream cheese frosting adds a perfect balance to the cake, making it not too sweet! Zoe brought a piece to school the other day to share at lunchtime and there was a long line for just one bite!
There’s a secret ingredient to this cake and that is…
You guessed it coffee! I actually brew a strong batch of Peet’s coffee (love that stuff). When my kids first saw me add coffee to the batter, they were like, “Mom what are you doing adding coffee to the batter, the cake is going to be sooo gross.” I smiled and told them to “trust me” and they did, and loved it. So now when they see me adding a bit of wine or vodka to a dish, they do not question me, they may make a yucky face, but they just go with it.
Anyway, I am getting off track here, below is the recipe for the actual cake.
Chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting
recipe from Barefoot Contessa at home
For the cake:
- room temp butter for greasing the pans
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the pans
- 2 cups sugar
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup cold buttermilk, shaken
- 1/2 cup vegetable, or canola oil
- 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup freshly brewed good quality hot coffee- Don’t be turned off by the coffee in the recipe, you honestly don’t taste it at all. The coffee enhances the flavor of the cocoa powder, resulting in a more chocolaty cake, not a coffee-flavored one.
Cream cheese frosting:
- approximately 3-4 cups unsifted confectioners sugar – this is to taste – You will then sift the confectioners sugar so there are no lumps in the frosting
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 8-ounce packages of cream cheese (1 pound), at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Let’s start out by making the chocolate cake.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (I have 2 oven’s so I preheat both). Butter two 8-inch round cake pans. Line the bottom of the pans with parchment paper.
Tip: I trace the pans on the parchment paper to get the correct size, and then cut out the circles and place them on the bottom of the buttered pans.
Butter and flour the pans.
Tip: I use cocoa powder instead of flour when making this cake. It totally works and you’re not left with any white flour on your cake.
Here are 2 more quick tips before I go on!
Tip: In order not to waste that precious and expensive cocoa powder, measure over a bowl and parchment paper so the excess can be put back in the container after.
Tip: To make sure you always have fresh baking soda, fill out the “change by” section on the box when you open it. I have started doing that, and found it really makes a difference. I mean who honestly remembers when they bought their baking soda. It really helps to have fresh baking soda when baking.
In a large bowl whisk the following ingredients together until combined:
- 1 3/4 cups flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
In small bowl combine the following:
- 1 cup buttermilk – make sure the buttermilk is well shaken
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 room temp eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
Looks appetizing right?
With either a hand held mixer or an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry.
This is what your batter will look like once the wet and dry ingredients are combined and before you add the coffee. It will be pretty thick.
Now it’s time to add that freshly brewed coffee.
I always use a good strong coffee like Peets. I don’t know if that’s what makes the cake taste so rich, but I’m sure it has some part to play in it.
With the mixer still on low, add the 1 cup coffee and mix until combined, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
Sidetrack here, doesn’t that coffee look good? I always make sure I make enough for an extra cup to drink!
Below is what your mixture will look like before you pour it into the pans. See how much thinner it is once you add the coffee?
Pour the batter into the prepared pans. Make sure you make them even.
Bake the cakes for 35 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean. I have 2 ovens so my cakes are done at exactly 35 minutes.
If you have one oven, place the oven rack in the middle of the oven and bake the cakes next to each other on the same rack. This will ensure even baking.
Baking tip: It’s hard to give an exact cooking time when it comes to baking because every oven, pan and even geographic locations, can command a slightly different cooking time. A great way to know when a cake is done, is to do the finger test. Press your finger down gently in the middle of the cake, if it’s done, it should puff back up automatically on it own. If it stays dented, then the cake is not ready to come out yet. Also, a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean as well.
Cool the cakes in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely
After those cakes are completely cooled, it’s time to make the frosting. The frosting recipe was passed down from my dad. He’s actually a wonderful cook, as well as my mom.
Pour 3-4 cups unsifted confectioners sugar into a sifter and sift the sugar into a large bowl and set aside. Sifting the sugar helps to ensure you don’t have lumpy frosting.
Put your softened butter and cream cheese into a bowl and get your handy dandy mixer out. Beat the butter and cream cheese together on medium speed until well blended.
Add the 2 teaspoons of vanilla and then slowly add the confectioner’s sugar to taste. Pour in at least a cup or two and then taste it.
If you add to much confectioner’s sugar it will be really sweet and you won’t really get that cream cheese flavor. Just keep adding and tasting it till it reaches a flavor you like. You want it to be sweet, but not too sweet. I usually taste it and have my kids taste it as well. They are pretty accurate when it comes to the finished product!
Below is what your finished product will look like! Yum! Scrape off the mixers and then save them for the kids to lick!
Put one cake layer on a flat plate or cake pedestal. With a frosting knife or spatula, spread the top with frosting.
Then the side.
Once you spread the frosting on the top of the first (bottom) layer, its time to place the 2nd layer on top.
I like to the place the top part of the 2nd layer (rounded part) upside down so that the flat side (bottom side) is up. It makes the cake look taller and prettier because you have the natural flat top.
Now, frost away, making sure to spread the frosting around evenly on all sides and to get a nice fluffy layer on top.
Tip: Warm your frosting knife/spatula under hot water then dry. This will help get sides of your cake smooth.
This is what your cake will look like when you’re finished frosting it. Now, comes the fun part, the decorating!
I didn’t decorate this particular cake because I was photographing it for the blog.
Slice off a piece, (or two) and dollop it with some fresh vanilla ice cream or enjoy with a tall glass of milk.
This cake is SO easy and SO good.
As Barefoot would say, how easy is that?
I’ve also made a cupcake version of this cake and I have to say that the cupcakes taste just as moist as the cake. Give them a try!
112 thoughts on “Chocolate Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting”
OMG, this looks incredible! You have done such a fantastic job of it. I love Ina Garten and all her recipes.
I love that cake plate. It’s gorgeous.
Thanks Asmita! Ina is gotten to where she is because her recipes are truly good and truly easy!
Darn girl – you are one talented baker!! My cakes never look that pretty!!
And – HA! I remember being a kid and making a yucky face at anything involving coffee or vodka… how times I have changed!
LOVE the artcile too – everyone GO READ IT!!!
Hi Em! The cake you did for your best friend’s wedding was so beautiful! What are you talking about? This one is not gluten free of course, nor as healthy as yours but it taste extremely good.
BTW, thanks for the shout out on Twitter 🙂
Fantastic!! Yay for you!! What a fantastic article, and WHAT a cake! I certainly hope your dream does come true. I’d love to see you teaching cooking on PBS someday and I will continue to happily follow along! Congrats!!
Thanks so much Andrea 🙂
Congratulations for being on Marin IJ! This is definitely worth a celebration!
Another fantastic Barefoot Contessa recipe! Bravo! Saw this cake too in the book and the website and there is lots of great reviews with this cake. I got to try baking this cake too 😀
I saw the recipe and it looks beautiful, i just wonder about the taste of coffee in the cake! Does it taste strong? Or is it like one of those ingredients that you can’t taste!?
I got really curious, specially because I found this exact recipe except instead of coffee it adds water, so it got me thinking!
But the cake looks exceptionally beautiful… and yummy!
HI there! You totally can’t taste the coffee in the cake. Coffee is a great way to enhance the flavor of cocoa powder, resulting in a more chocolaty cake, not a coffee-flavored one. The coffee also adds a certain richness to the cake and I even use a dark and robust coffee and you can’t taste it.
This is a favorite cake of my kids and their peers and they are not coffee fans. The water sounds fine, but I don’t think your cake will be as chocolaty or rich. If you do decide to try the cake with the coffee, please comment back and let me know how it turned out for you!
I made the cake this week and you’re right! You really can’t taste the coffee..
It SO moist! I loved the taste!
I was even considering doing a frosting with mint essence instead of vanilla, I think it will go really well!
Loved this recipe! Thank you!
Yaay! I am so glad you made the cake and that it turned out amazing for you. I can say that Barefoot knows her stuff. I love your idea of the mint essence, try it and let me know how it turns out for you. I think my kids would love it as they love mint.
Sending you massive ehugs Marin Mama! I made this cake for my beautiful partner’s birthday and everyone adored it! I was looking for a chocolate cake with cream cheese icing, as I remember my Mum made one for my 5th Birthday :O Your Dad’s icing was divine and the cake is a chocolate classic. Keep up the good work and much love from Australia
Hi Basileia! Big hugs to you as well. I’m so excited that the cake and frosting turned out well for you and that your partner loved it. I will let my dad know that his frosting was a hit! This cake is the only cake I make and the recipe will be passed on to my kids. My daughter is actually going to make me this cake for my birthday and follow the step-by-step recipe I posted here. I can’t wait!
Thanks for commenting and letting me know how it all worked out for you!
Hi, just want to know is it 350 degrees farenheit, or degrees celcius? Baking these tomorrow, I wan’t to make sure everything goes well 😀 Btw, thanks so much for sharing! 😀
Hi there D! Sorry, I didn’t specify. It’s 350 degrees. I will change it in the post as well. I hope the cakes turn out wonderful for you. Let me know how it all goes.
This cake looks SO yummy! I am going to make it for my friend’s 40th birthday this weekend. Everything looks very straight forward except for the parchment paper part. Do I put the parchment paper inside the pan? The pictures make it look like you didn’t do that, but you said to line the pans with paper. If you do line it, does it mean just the bottom of the pan or the sides as well. Thanks for sharing this amazing recipe and for the support! 🙂
Also wondering if you can give me a more specific measurement for the confectioner’s sugar. I have a 2 lb bag and unsure how to make sure I do about a 1/2 lb like the recipe calls for. Thanks so much.
Hi there! Your friend is going to love this cake. Everyone that I make this for, loves it! Yes, you line the inside of the pan with parchment paper. You basically trace the outline of the pan onto the parchment paper and then cut it out and insert it in the bottom of the pan (not on the sides). I trace the paper so that I have the correct size. Next time I make this, I will include a photo of that step. I’m glad you brought up that it was confusing, so I can make the necessary changes.
As for the confectioners sugar, it’s really a taste thing. I typically use about 1 pound or a bit less with the 2 pound bag (about half the bag). I just pour half the sugar out of the 2 pound bag into a bowl (which is about 1 pound). Make sure to shift the sugar first to get out the lumps. You then want to add the sifted sugar to the cream cheese and butter to taste. You will most likely use 3/4 to all of it. You really can’t go wrong with the cream cheese frosting, as it’s to taste. You want to taste a bit of the cream cheese in the frosting but have it taste sweet at the same time. Does that make sense? I think as you make the frosting, you will begin to see what I’m saying.
Best of luck and let me know if you have any questions!
I’m planning on making this cake but on a bigger scale. Got lots of mouths to feed! 😀 How would I change the quantities and cooking time to suit a 12″ round cake tin?
You know to be honest, I don’t have the answer to that question, as I’m not a pastry chef 🙁 I would google recipe conversions and see what you can find there. I know Barefoot has a chocolate sheet cake that feeds a crowd, you can check out that recipe if you want.
This cake does feed a crowd. I have served this cake to 12 people with leftovers. It’s a rich and large cake with the 2 layers, so you want to make the slices on the thinner side (but you will still get a nice piece of cake, especially if you serve it up with a scoop of ice cream). You can always double the recipe and pour it into your two 12″ pans and then check the cakes after 35-40 minutes and gage the cooking time from there. Your cakes will be done when you insert a toothpick into the center and it comes out clean. You could also make 2 cakes, but that would be a lot, I think!
I will ask my sister-in-law on the above question though and see what she says, as she is a pasty chef who graduated from the CIA.
Also, is it Caster Sugar that is used in the cake mix?
Hi Sharon. It’s actually just C&H pure cane sugar.
Thank you 😀
Thanks for the other info too! The convertion question was also me but I didn’t put my name at the bottom. I’m off to do the 8inch version first and then I’ll try the convertion.
I have baked this same cake in a 12 inch tin. The calculations I found said I should multiply the quantities by 2.5 It seems to have worked pretty well, apart from the fact it has sunk a bit after being left to cool. Could you tell me what I could do to avoid this happening?
Hi Sharon! I’m sorry it deflated a bit for you! I hope it still tasted great. My best guess is that you took it out to soon? Cakes tend to deflate more when they are under baked. Here’s a great tip when baking a cake, do the finger test. Press your finger down gently in the middle of the cake, if it’s done, it should puff back up automatically on it own. If it stays dented, then the cake is not ready to come out yet. I would err on the side of over baking a bit than under baking when it comes to cake baking. I’m going to update my post and put this tip in.
One time I under baked my skillet cookie, as it sunk in the middle once it cooled. With cookies, that’s ok, because they still taste great if they are under baked a bit. If a cake sinks a bit but is cooked through, then you can always hide it with frosting, right?
As far as calculating the ingredients to fit at 12″ pan, I’m not sure. I’m not a pastry chef, so when it comes to baking I follow the recipe to at T. I do adapt certain things and change ingredients etc, but not measurements, as I don’t have enough knowledge there.
I hope this info helps you! Let me know if you have any additional questions.
This looks DELICIOUS, I’m so glad I found this. I have a question, my husband’s birthday is on Monday but I’m planning on making him this cake this weekend, is this easy to make? I love to bake but this is going to be the first time baking a cake. Hope you have a wonderful day!!
Oh, and does brand and kind of coffee matter? I have a guatemala coffee beans from Starbucks. Will that work or do I have to buy a different kind? Thanks so much..
Hi Lyn! Yes, you can make this cake. My 12 year old made this cake following the above step-by-step directions, and it came out amazing! I was making this cake before I knew how to bake, so I know that you will not have a problem.
One tip, make sure that you dip your measuring cup into the flour and sugars and scoop and then scrape them with the edge of a knife. Baking is all about being precise. That’s just what I do with each new recipe I try and they always seem to come out perfectly. I don’t play around when it comes to baking.
I would make the cake on Sunday rather than Saturday, so it’s fresh. Make sure your eggs are room temp before starting the cakes. I always set out my butter and cream cheese at the same time I start the cake process, so I know they will be soft enough when it comes to frosting the cake.
The coffee you have sounds perfect! I love Guatemala, as that’s where my son is from 😉
Let me know if there are any other questions as I am happy to answer them. Best of luck Lyn 🙂
Jackie, the cake was DELICIOUS!! It was so easy to make, you were right and my husband loves it so much!! The cream cheese was just right and you can’t taste the coffee but it made it more chocolaty. I am so glad I found your blog and thanks for sharing this amazing recipe. This is now on my lists of my favorite recipes.
Have a great day!! 🙂
Hi Lyn! AWESOME! I’m so happy you ended up making the cake and that it turned out to be an easy and tasty task. Thanks so much for letting me know how it turned out. I was curious if you had indeed made it and how it turned out, so it was great to hear from you. It is my only cake recipe to date. I have tried others, but I keep coming back to this one because its just such a crowd pleaser. I’m glad it’s made it to your list of favorites as well.
Have a great Tuesday!
Such a cute site! Do you think these would also make cupcakes? And if I did mini’s do you have experience change up the cook time (or I can use your tip above as well)
Hi Whitney! Yes, they do make cupcakes and they taste great! I have only made them once and that was about a year ago, but I think it took 20-22 minutes for a regular sized cupcake. If you’re going to do mini cupcakes, then it will take half that time, like 8-12 minutes. I will warn you that this batter makes a lot of cupcakes, I think I got 24 regular sized cupcakes. Also, the batter is not thick like a normal cupcake batter, so you may want to pour the batter into a large measuring cup with a pour spout and pour the batter in the cups or you can just use a cookie scoop as well. I would definitely use my finger test above to be your gage because ovens vary and cooking times therefore vary. I test muffins and cupcakes all the time with that handy finger test as well as the toothpick. It always works! Best of luck, and if you do make the cupcakes, let me know how they turned out as well as how long it took!
You are going to laugh- In the one batch I got 24 regular cupcakes and 12 minis!
I have a Convection oven so cooked at True Aero at 350F. All 3 tins on 3 different racks.
Minis- 15 min
Regular- 22 min
I feel like I could have taken them out a minute or two earlier, but they are still so moist, so delish! Thanks again and I love your blog…
I’m totally laughing, but I believe it. I gave up at 24 when I made them and remember there being leftover batter. Wow, what are you going to do with all those cupcakes? You know whats truly sad, I’ve never used the convection setting on my oven. I’ve had the same two ovens for 13 years and I know them so well that I’m afraid to use the convection and screw things up.
I’m glad the cupcakes turned out great in the end, and frosting always makes things taste better and moister right?
Thanks for letting me know how it all went down!
oh thank you, amazing cake and recipe. fast and easy loving the great taste!!!!!
Hi Haydee! I’m so happy to hear that you loved the cake. Thanks for stopping by and letting me know 🙂
Excellent moist fluffy cake, best first recipe to try out new stand mixer with! I was wondering, have you ever made it with butter instead of oil? Will that change consistency? Also, would you refrigerate cake overnight after its been iced with cream cheese frosting , or leave it on counter? ( providing we haven’t eaten it all atbfirstbcutting…
Awesome! I’m so glad to hear that the cake turned out great for you. It’s honestly my favorite cake recipe. No, I have not replaced the oil with butter. I really think it would change the consistency and texture of the cake as the oil helps to keep it moist. I know that people do substitute applesauce for oil in cakes, but I have yet to try that. There’s no need to refrigerate the cake. It does well at room temp as long as it’s covered. I keep mine out under my cake dome and it stays fresh for days!
Can this cake be made a day before a party???? And then make the frosting
On the day of the party???? Would live to make it for my daughters birthday:)
Hi Lola! Yes, you can make and frost the cake the day before. I have done that on many occasions, especially before one of my kids’ birthdays. I mean who wants to spend all day baking a cake on their child’s birthday. If you make it the day before, just make sure to store it in an airtight container. I like to frost the cake the same day I make it because the frosting helps to keep the cake moist.
If you want to make the cake the day before and then frost it the next day, then you need to tightly wrap the cakes (both halves individually) in plastic wrap so that they don’t dry out. Don’t just cover them in a container or loosely wrap them in plastic wrap or else the cakes will dry out. Keep them at room temp as well.
My personal preference is to make and frost the cake the same day, that way you don’t have to worry about the cake drying out. I always store my frosted cake at room temp in an airtight container. Let me know if you have any other questions.
Hi Lola! I don’t want to confuse you. What I meant at the bottom is that I like to make and frost my cake the same day, not make the cakes the day before and frost them the next day. Make sense?
Thankyou so much makes life so much easier:)
Anytime Lola 🙂
My go-to recipe for chocolate cake has always been Hershey’s Perfectly Chocolate Chocolate Cake … until now!! I stumbled on your recipe searching for “rich chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting.” I wanted to make a cake like the “Chocolate White Out” cake we get from our local bakery. It’s to die for. This exceeded our expectations. It’s fantastic. Interesting comparison with the Hershey’s recipe, which calls for boiling water. But the coffee in this recipe makes the cake so moist. From now on, when I make a chocolate cake, THIS is the recipe I’ll use. Thank you!
Hi Sheila! Awesome! I’m so glad to heat that this cake exceeded your expectations and that it’s going to become your new go-to recipe. That makes my day! Boiling water for cake? I’ve never heard of that technique. Thanks for stopping by and letting me know that this cake was a hit for you! 🙂 xoxo, Jackie
I want to make this cake for my daughter’s birthday party on Monday. I need to make a large rectangular cake to fill a 23 x 33 cm cake pan. Have you ever doubled this recipe successfully ? Kind Regards Tracey (South Africa)
Hi Tracey! I have to say that I have not doubled the recipe before, so I can’t tell you how it will turn out. I’m sure the recipe would be fine doubled and taste great, but the only thing that would be tough to gage is the cooking time, or if the cake would be too much to fill the pan (which I think it would if it the recipe was doubled). Here’s a website that I use when converting recipes to different pans. I think your pan converts to a 9 x 13, so check that one.
I wish I could be of more help here, but for me when it comes to baking I tend to stick to the rules, as I don’t have the baking expertise to gage how different pan sizes will work.
Thanks for your reply. I think 1 ,5 times will be sufficient and I’m sure it will require a little longer but the thickness of the cake should be similar so probably not too much longer. I will refer to the site you recommended. I’m baking it early tomorrow morning so I’ll let you know how it turns out 🙂
I think that sounds about right as well. Best of luck Tracey and fingers crossed that it works out perfectly! If it does, then email me a picture or at least let me know how it tasted. I would definitely use the finger test on the cake, as you don’t want it to sink later because it wasn’t cooked long enough. Good luck Tracey! xoxo, Jackie
I baked the cake this morning. It came out PERFECT ! I didn’t need to increase the quantity – your recipe for 2 x 8 inch round tins made 1 beautiful rectangular chocolate slab of 22 x 23cm ( 9 x 13 inch). It did not sink in the middle 🙂 I left the cool cake under clingfilm while we went to Father’s Day lunch and I’m going to ice it with Cream cheese icing this evening and decorate it with some ten-pin bowling themed cake toppers for tomorrow morning’s birthday party ! Will e-mail some photos when it is complete.
Yaay! I’m so happy to hear that the mixture made enough for your pan! Thanks for letting me know! I can’t wait to see the finished product! 🙂
What a huge success !!! The cake was a huge hit – and some of the Moms that tasted it are very good bakers ! The cake was beautifully moist yet formed a stunning slab (9 x 13″ rectangular tin) that was very easy to ice. I followed the instructions exactly, I dipped my measuring cups & spoons into the flour, etc and carefully scraped off the excess with a knife. I dusted my pan with cocoa instead of flour like you suggested. I mixed all the dry ingredients together first – except for the baking soda & baking powder. Then I mixed the wet ingredients together, then I added the baking soda & baking powder to the dry ingredients just before I mixed in the wet ingredients so the raising agents were nice and fresh when they came into contact with the buttermilk. PERFECT !!! I live in Johannesburg which is a high altitiude city (1753m or 5751 ft above sea level) and I had no problems whatsoever. Its winter here (still mild) but I ensured my ingredients were room temperature and not straight out the fridge (except for the cold buttermilk). So for any parent wanting to bake a rectangular block cake that they can easily ice, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this recipe !!! It’s a great surprise to cut into a cake and not get just another vanilla sponge birthday cake – but a moist chocolate cake instead !!! Just looking for an e-mail address to send you a photo 🙂
Hi Tracey! I just saw your email and the photo of the cake. It looked beautiful and you did a knock out job decorating it. Thanks so much for your amazing comment above, it will be super helpful for readers who have similar pans as well as live in high altitudes. I’m so glad that the cake worked out in the 9×13 pan as well as with the altitude. I love your tip of adding the baking soda and powder at the end. I never knew about that little tip, so thanks! Have a great week girl! xoxo, Jackie 🙂
Hi, I followed the recipe but the cake come out too soft . Now I think that its for my country( I live in Medellin, 1475 msnm).I’m going to try these tip. Thanks to both of you!!
Hi Akasha! I’m sorry to hear that your cake came out too soft. Maybe you needed to cook it longer or change your oven’s temperature? Oven temperatures can vary as well as baking times depending on where you live in the world. Cakes cook differently at different altitudes. Anyway, try the finger test next time you bake a cake. It’s a great way to test if a cake is done. I explain more about it in the above post. Best of luck next time Akasha! xoxo, Jacquelyn
Hi there, searching for chocolate cupcake with cream cheese frosting and found your website. The cakes look yummy It’s my son’s 7th birthday this Wednesday and I need to make cupcakes for him to take to school. Have some questions with regard to coffee: will using decaf espresso (we only have an espresso machine) change the taste? and do I need to put sugar in the coffee or is the coffee used black? Another thing, I’ve never encountered buttermilk before, can I use buttermilk substitute (milk with lemon) instead ? Many thanks and greetings from Barcelona, Eileen
Hi Eileen. So glad you stumbled across my blog 🙂 Did you see my post on this cake in cupcake form? If not, I have a link at the bottom of this post. The cupcakes taste as moist as the cake! To be honest, I use regular old black coffee in this cake and have been using it for years. Both of my kids and their friends have not been affected by the caffeine. The coffee really enhances the flavor of the chocolate and you truly don’t taste coffee at all.
To be honest, I don’t know about using expresso because isn’t expresso is a stronger brew? I’m not sure because I don’t drink expresso. If so, then it might be too much for this cake, but then again, it could be great.
Good question about the sugar, no, you don’t need to add sugar to the coffee. The coffee is black. I should add that in the post, so thanks for that question!
Yes, you can make your own buttermilk, if your grocery stores don’t carry it. I’ve never used a homemade buttermilk before. I do hear that the homemade stuff is not as good as the real thing. I would use whole milk instead of a low fat milk though. Here’s a link for a homemade buttermilk recipe.
I’m sorry I don’t have all the answers! When it comes to baking, I tend to follow the recipe to a “T” and don’t substitute, because I’m not a professional baker.
If you do end up making these, let me know how they turn out with the expresso and homemade buttermilk. I hope they turn out fabulous for your little guy! xoxo, Jackie
Just to let you know I used Espresso coffee (250ml) in my Cake that I made for my daughter’s birthday last week. You did not taste the coffee at all, but it enhances the chocolate flavour wonderfully. I’m not sure decaffeinated coffee would have the same effect. The children who ate the cake were between 6 & 9 – but 1 cup of coffee distributed across a whole cake consumed by about 35 people would be a tiny amount of coffee per person. I’m sure all the sugary sweets had more effect on them 😉
Yaay! Tracey to the rescue once again. Tracey you should be my baker consultant! 😉 Thanks so much for the input on this 🙂 You rock! xoxo, Jackie
Thanks for the tip and the recipe, Jackie. Used substitute buttermilk and it worked with the espresso though had to use about 7 cups. My son loved the cupcakes and so did all the other kids in class, including the teacher. Now I’m making the cake version (halved) for him for tonight. Thanks again :)=
Hi Elileen! I’m so happy to hear that the cupcakes turned out great with the homemade buttermilk and the espresso. You really used 7 cups, wow? I hope the cake version turned out great as well. What a great mom you are making 2 homemade treats in 2 days! xoxo, Jackie
I’d really like to try this cake recipe for my daughter’s upcoming birthday party – it looks and sounds delicious! I’m hoping you could give me some advice on how many people the reipe will feed. The guest list is 16 kids (ages 2-7) plus maybe 12 adults. I’m guessing kids will have fairly small pieces and maybe not every adult would eat cake. I don’t want to underestimate how much I need, but I also don’t want to wind up with a huge amount of extra cake!
Do you think I should make the recipe as a 2 layer round cake (I have 9″ pans), a sheet cake (I saw comments that people had success with a 9×13″ pan, which I have ), or make the 24+ cupcakes? My hunch is that the round cake would be hard to cut into 20+ pieces. I found a diagram on how to cut a 9×13 sheet cake into 28 pieces, so I suppose that would work. I just wondered if you had any input 🙂 Thanks!
Hi Emily! I have served this cake up to a crowd of 12 adults before and had leftovers. I did cut the slices on the thinner side, but with 2 layers, thinner is better, plus you can serve it up with some ice cream to make it go even farther. You know what I would do if I were in your shoes? I would make the cake, (either in the 9-inch pans or in the 9×13 pan which honestly might be easier to deal with) put the candles on top and sing happy birthday etc, and then serve up the cake to the adults and your daughter and maybe some of the older kids and make up a batch of cupcakes for the little kids. I know that’s a labor intensive process, but that way you’re guaranteed enough cake for everyone. You could also make up the cake for the party and my 12-inch skillet cookie as well. http://www.marinmamacooks.com/2013/05/the-best-chocolate-chip-skillet-cookie/
That way you have a cake and big cake cookie. I’ve made up the skillet cookie for birthday celebrations before. It’s fun and unique and really takes no time to pull together.
I hope my suggestions help. I’m actually going to make Barefoot’s birthday sheet cake soon and see how that turns out. It feeds a crowd! Anyway, please report back and let me know what you end up doing girl! xoxo, Jackie
Thanks Jackie! I made the cake 2 days ago, frosted it last night, and served it today. It was so very delicious! Thanks for sharing the cake and frosting recipes – i think this might be my new go-to party cake 🙂
I baked it as a 9×13 and just cut the pieces small, so we ended up having enough. I would have liked to try the skillet cookie but I didn’t have enough time for it. I’m definitely going to try the recipe though!
Hi Emily! Yaay! I’m glad to hear that the 9×13 provided enough cake for your crowd and that you all enjoyed it. It’s great for my readers to know as well as for me. I might try that for the next class party. Thanks for stopping back and letting me know how it all worked out! xoxo, Jackie
I just made this cake. I haven’t tested it but have tried some of the icing and its super delicious!! I was a little worried about whether or not I would need to refrigerate it because of the cream cheese in the icing? What do you think? Do you usually refrigerate yours?? Thanks in advance for your help!!
Hi there! I’m so happy that you love this cake. It’s our absolute favorite! I never refrigerate the cake, but if it’s super warm in your house or where you live, then you might want to refrigerate it. We usually just store it covered for up to 3 days on the kitchen island and it’s always been fine, but if you’re worried, then feel free to refrigerate it. It tastes great both ways. You may just want to take the cake out for 1/2 hour before serving if you’re going to refrigerate it! xoxo, Jackie
Hi Jackie! I’m an Italian mum living in The Netherlands. First of all: your blog is amazing! I really like your style and taste. I made this cake for my son’s first birthday and topped it with fresh strawberries. He absolutely loved it! I’m gonna make another one for some friends this weekend. Thank you for sharing this recipe!
I have tried this chocolate cake twice. It is delicious.
Hey, I love this blog, and the cake looks absolutely delicious! Can’t wait to try it!
I was just wondering, does the oven have to be preheated to 35- degrees Celsius or Fahrenheit? Also, if I let one pan of batter stand while I bake the other (I only have one oven) will it matter?
Thanks for your help!
Hi Ana! I’m so sorry not to get back to your comment sooner. It got lost in the shuffle and I didn’t see it till this moring as I was filtering through my comments. Ok, I would recommend baking both pans at the same time. Just use 2 racks and roate the pans halfway though to make sure that they each bake evenly. You can test the cakes the way I explain in the post. Take them out at the alloted time (30 minutes) and see where they are at. They may take a bit longer with 2 pans in the same oven.
When I say 350 degrees, I mean 350 degrees fahrenheit. I think celsius is for international ovens? Thanks for being so patient Ana and I hope you make and love this cake! xoxo, Jacquelyn
Moist and delicious cake! I was unsure of using the coffee because I dislike the taste of coffee, but the cake does not taste like coffee. Instead, it makes for a rich chocolate flavor that is complemented perfectly by the frosting. All of my family loved it, including my kids. My son wants me to make a cupcake version of the cake for his birthday. A fantastic recipe I will definitely make again! Thank you!
Hi Gloria! I’m so happy to hear that you and your family loved the cake! It’s one of our favorite cakes as well. The coffee truly brings out the flavor of the chocolate. I hope your son loves the cupcakes. 🙂 Thanks for saying hi! xoxo, Jacquelyn
I cant wait to try this recipe this weekend for my dad’s birthday. He loves coconut, have you ever tried adding shredded sweetened coconut to the cream cheese frosting|?
Hi Sabrina! No, I haven’t tried adding coconut, but I bet it would be super yummy! I LOVE coconut! I hope your dad loves the cake 🙂
Once again, your version of something is now the only one I’m going to make. I made this for a dinner with friends this weekend and ALL of us had more than one piece. Wow. We’ve been sneaking forkfulls from the fridge all day when the kids aren’t looking 🙂 You’re probably wondering how I modified it, and I actually didn’t sub too much. I greased the pans and parchment with coconut oil (I didn’t flour them, naughty me) and I had no sticking problems at all. Coconut oil works sooooo well. I used sprouted einkorn flour and coconut sugar for the cake and I used raw set honey instead of confectioners sugar in the frosting (about 1/2 cup, maybe 3/4?). The texture to this cake is ridiculous and it is still sooooo moist today. Yum, yum, yum! My daughter requested this for her birthday cake (which isn’t until April, hahaha). 🙂
Hi Angela! yaay! I’m glad you finally made the chocolate cake and that it was a HUGE success. Win win! I also love hearing about your healthy substitutions as always. So adorable that your daughter has requested the cake for her birthday in April. That makes me super happy! Raw honey in the frosting, hmmm… that sounds super interesting. How was the consistency? I would love to try it at some point as I LOVE honey. You should try the almond pancakes that I just posted. They are right up your alley girl! xoxo, Jacquelyn
I just had to come back here and comment! I made these in the cupcake version for my coworkers yesterday and they came out amazing! Everyone loved them!! Great recipe
Great recipe! I was worried that the batter was too thin after I added the coffee so I added about 1/2 c more flour. Then I realized you said the batter was supposed to be super thin. Luckily the extra flour didn’t make a difference. It was delicious! Wonderful flavor. Thanks so much!
Whew! I’m glad that the extra 1/4 cup flour didn’t change the texture or flavor of the cake, and I’m so happy to hear that you loved the cake! It’s one of our favorites. xoxo, Jacquelyn 🙂
This cake is delicious …. I have made it about 6 times since I’ve discovered this blog !! It is always a hit! And I am making it again today. Thank you
Awesome Grace! I’m so happy to hear that you’ve made this cake tons and that it’s always a hit! Yippee!!!! I’m making it up for my daughter’s 15th birthday this week! She is so excited. Anyway, thanks so much for stopping by and saying hi and for leaving a sweet comment! xoxo, Jacquelyn
I’m think I’m going to make this cake for my son’s birthday party. How many cupcakes does this recipe make?
Hi Stephanie! It makes 12 cupcakes. Here’s the link to the cupcake recipe. http://www.marinmamacooks.com/2013/02/chocolate-cupcakes-with-cream-cheese-frosting-2/
You can double batch the recipe to get 24.
Let me know if you have any other questions. xoxo, Jacquelyn
I’ve tried the cupcake version and it was the best ever! Thank you so much for your recipe. I’m going to make this cake for my sister’s birthday and I just wanted to clarify the coffee content.. So to brew one cup of coffee, do you use one tablespoon of ground coffee or more? Thanks again for this amazing chocolate cake recipe. I still crave those cupcakes I made.
Hi Beverley! I’m so happy that you made and LOVED the cupcakes. They are my FAVE as well as this cake! I would use the same exact amount of coffee that you used for the cupcakes. I usually don’t brew just one cup of coffee for this cake as I usually brew my normal batch and then drink what I don’t use in the cake. I usually make this cake in the morning, so it’s easy to do that. The coffee I brew at home is Peet’s Major Dickinson and it’s a dark roast. To be safe, I would just brew the normal amount of coffee you drink and use that. Make sure it’s hot and fresh though! Best of luck with the cake and let me know how it turns out for you! xoxo, Jacquelyn
I must thank you for the recipe again! It was amazing! So moist and light so it doesn’t get too sickly and it leaves you craving for more!
Awesome Beverley! I’m so happy that you LOVE this cake, and I love your description of it! You’re so right, it’s light and moist and not rich and heavy, so you don’t feel bad having a big slice! Have a blissful weekend Beverly! Oh, if you like this cake, then you will love our favorite chocolate chip cookies as well as Robert’s Absolute Brownies! Those are our other two favorite dessert recipes on the blog. The brownies are rich though, but oh so fudgey! xoxo, Jacquelyn
Sounds amazing! Brownies HAVE to be fudgey. I’m actually really looking forward to making your sea salted chocolate cookies. I will feedback when I do. Thanks again!
Hi Beverly! Yes, those sea salt cookies are great, but my all-time favorite chocolate chip cookies are these ones. http://www.marinmamacooks.com/2011/11/the-best-chocolate-chip-cookies/ I’ve actually put sea salt on them and they’re so tasty! Let me know what you think when you give them a try! xoxo, Jacquelyn
Hey there! Pooja here from India. I usually don’t post on blogs but I stumbled upon this recipe when I was looking to bake a cake with cream cheese frosting and it was AMAZING! I’m fairly new to baking so I wasn’t sure about taking up this two tier challenge but I followed your recipe to the T (except for the cream cheese frosting where I went a little easy on the sugar) and I was more than pleasantly surprised and so I had to let you know! I just baked this for my husbands’ birthday 2 days ago and even today, it’s still moist and heavenly! I can’t believe I made it with my own hands! Thank you so much! I will most definitely be baking this one more often! Thank you once again! I’m your new fan 🙂
Hi Pooja! Wow, a reader from India! It feels like such a small world and that’s what I love about blogging! It brings us all together! I’m SO HAPPY that you stumbled upon my recipe and blog and that it was such a success! YAY! I’m also happy to hear that your hubby loved the cake because that wouldn’t be fun to bake a cake for his birthday and not have him enjoy it right? Anyway, thanks so much for sharing your experience and for saying hi! Tell your husband Happy Belated Birthday! I truly love hearing from readers, so if you bake or make anything else, let me know! Cheers! xoxo, Jacquelyn
I am Kadri from Finland and i wanted to Thank You for this amazing recipe i made this cake for Valentine´s day and OMG all my family loved it 🙂 😛 I will definitely make it again and recommend that to all of my friends 🙂
Hi there! I’m from Austria and we do have super rich desserts but not like this one. (other than Sachertorte) So I decided to bake it for my mom (she usually doesn’t even like desserts) and she was so pleasantly surprised. I think, I have never had chocolate cake this rich but still not too sweet. It’s one of the greatest cakes i have ever tasted. Unfortunately, after trying several times, I still don’t know hot to make cream cheese frosting, since it always gets way to liquid, but i sure that’s not your fault. Nevertheless, the cake is amazing!! Thank you
Hi Valentina! Yay! I’m so happy to hear that you made the cake and LOVED it! Yippee! Wow, I love hearing that I have a reader in Austria, pretty cool! Hmmm.. I wonder what happened with the cream cheese frosting, maybe the cream cheese you have there is more liquid in form? Anyway, any type of frosting would work on this cake, like chocolate or buttercream! Thanks for saying hi and I’m so happy to hear that the cake was a SUCCESS! 🙂 xoxo, Jacquelyn
I did your recipe for a family meal and the cake was delicious!!! Everyone loved how chocolate tasted the cake and with the combination of cream cheese …was divine. I made one and a half dose for a 28 cm round cake in 3 layers of cake and 2 layers of cream cheese.My only problem was, the runny cream cheese…and trust me I did not beat the butter so much.To rescue the butter I added 250 ml cold heavy whipping cream and some confectioners sugar and the result was good.Thanks for the recipe …
I fixed this for my daughter’s birthday, and it was a huge hit by all! It was so delicious! Everyone had a second piece! :
Hi I would like to try this recipe for my sons first birthday.. I am going to use two 10” round baking tins. Would it be ok to double the recipe, fill each equally then if there is left over make cup cakes?
Sure, to be safe I would do as you suggested as I’m not the best at rounding up for different size pans when it comes to baking. Make sure to not overfill your pans, as you will have more batter than needed. I would fill up both pans no more than 2/3 full or the batter may overflow.
When you increase recipes and bake in larger pans, you should anticipate longer baking—anywhere from a little longer if the pans are filled to the same level as the original recipe.
Good luck and let me know how it turns out 🙂
Thank you will do
My sons birthday was yesterday, and I have to say that everyone absolutely loved it and they all wanted the recipe. It’s definitely the best chocolate cake I’ve ever made and the only one I’ll be using from now on.
I used 1 batter in a 10” pan and made two to place on top of eachother. Baked for exactly 45 minutes.
I also used 1 batter to make about 25 cupcakes.
Delicious! Thanks for the recipe
I found your recipe and had a question, would putting coffee in the cake make it have caffeine? Seems like yes but not sure. Thanks !!
Hi Vicki, No the coffee doesn’t add any additional caffeine to the cake, it’s there to bring out the flavors in the chocolate. It’s a must in this recipe! 🙂
Hi I am planning to bake this cake for my kids birthday. Will it be ok if I add a bit of blue food coloring to the frosting ?Since they want a blue cake..
Hello! I really love this recipe it is amazing and everyone loves it! I have a question on baking time for two 6 inch round cake pans though? I am going to enter your recipe in a baking contest and am making a smaller cake in hopes that I will have enough to make a few cupcakes as well. ( I cant make this without my family being able to eat some!) Thank you so much! I also plan on making the cupcakes for my daughters birthday!
Hi Jessica. It’s tricky figuring out how to adjust the baking time. There is no hard and fast rule, so you’ll have to rely on your senses and checking the cake for the usual signs of doneness, such as pulling away from the sides of the pan or springing back when you touch the center lightly. Maybe check them at 25 and then 30 minutes and see how they’re doing? Sorry I couldn’t be of more help here. Super excited that you’re making both the cake and cupcakes 🙂 I hope everyone loved them!
Hey Marin –
If I’m making this Cake Using a glass 9×13 – will reducing temp by 25 degrees work?
Also, it’ll be one layer. Do I frost the whole thing, or cut cake in middle (no leveler, with a knife) and frost middle and outside so it has same effect as your 2-tier cake with frosting inside?
Hi Laouratou, I’m not sure about reducing the cake temp from 350 to 325. I would keep it at 350 and just test it at 25 minutes instead of 35. You can do the cake tester trick I show in the recipe. I’ve made this cake into cupcakes and kept the same oven temp and it worked great, I just reduced the overall cooking time. I would also just frost the top of the cake, as it will look awesome! You will then cut the frosting recipe in half, as you won’t need a double batch, so 1 package of cream cheese and 1 stick of butter and 1 teaspoon vanilla should be enough to cover the cake. Let me know if you have any other questions. Best, Jackie
Hi Marin, I made this cake yesterday and it was amazing! So moist and a great chocolate flavour, perfect with the cream cheese frosting. Everyone enjoyed it! I made 2×7inch cakes. They didn’t seem to rise as much as yours. Do you have any tips to make sure the cakes rise well? I’ll be making it again for sure! My favourite chocolate cake! Thanks. Michelle
Hi Marin, i love how your cake turned out with flat top. Mine always turn out having a dome. I tried baking it in slightly lower temperature and turned the temperature up mid way into baking. It However it still did not turn out as good as yours. May i know how to overcome this?
If you look down the page where I am actually frosting the cake, you will see that my top did not come out flat. I actually placed the top part of the 2nd layer (rounded part) upside down so that the flat side (bottom side) is up. It makes the cake look taller and prettier because you have the natural flat top. That was my trick. You also don’t want the cake to sink as that means it’s undercooked. Let me know if you have any additional questions.