Barefoot Contessa’s Chocolate Cake Recipe

If you are looking for another chocolate cake recipe, then we found one for you.  There is something about cold weather that makes me crave chocolate in any form.  In fact, I could probably main-line it and be happy.  If you have been around here for a while, then you know that I am obsessed with The Barefoot Contessa.  Luckily, Santa brought her latest book, Make It Ahead,  and I just had to try her chocolate cake with mocha frosting recipe.  In fact, I even ordered the Pernigotti cocoa powder she always uses just so the cake would taste just right.  I have often wondered if the high end cocoa powders are any better than Hershey’s.  Now I know.  The answer is yes, yes, yes!!!  But, we like to keep it real here on the blog, and I feel a need to tell you the whole story.  I actually made this cake twice.  I was awake at 4 a.m. yesterday morning and decided to get up and bake the cake since I knew it was going to be our recipe of the week (and my birthday cake.)  I mixed it, (my Kitchen Aid actually behaved), poured in the batter, put it all in the oven, loaded all of the pans into the dishwasher, and started to wipe the counter.  That’s when I saw the three eggs sitting on the counter.  They were supposed to be in the batter.  Whomp, whomp.  So, I sighed (yes, I really just sighed), got out a clean set of pans, measuring cups, beaters, etc. and made it again.  All before 6 a.m.  Luckily, the second effort turned out just the way I wanted, and the photos prove it.

 Choc. Cake




12 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature

2 cups sugar

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

3 extra-large eggs, at room temperature  (Don’t forget!!!)

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon kosher salt

2/3 cup hottest tap water

2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, such as Pernigotti

1 teaspoon instant espresso powder

2/3 cup half and half

Mocha frosting (recipe below)

Preheat oven to 35o degrees.  Grease and flour a 9 by 13 by 2 inch cake pant.

Mix butter and sugar till fluffy, about 4 to 5 minutes.  Add vanilla and then beat in the eggs one at a time till incorporated.

Sift flour, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl.  In another bowl whisk together the hot water, cocoa powder, espresso powder until smooth.  Add the half and half and whisk till smooth.  With the mixer on low, add the flour and chocolate mixtures alternately in thirds, starting and ending with the flour.  With a rubber spatula, scrape down the bowl to be sure the batter in well mixed.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.  Cool completely before adding frosting.





12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, such as Lindt, 1/4 inch chopped

 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced, at room temperature

1 1/4 cups heavy cream

2 teaspoons instant espresso powder

1 tablespoon Kahlua

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Place the chocolate, butter, and espresso powder in a bowl.  Heat the cream to simmer and pour it over the chocolate mixture, stirring occasionally until the chocolate is melted.  (If the chocolate isn’t melted, microwave for 15 seconds.:)  Stir in the Kahlua and vanilla and stir until the mixture is smooth.  Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes only, until cool but not cold.

Scrape down the bowl and beat the frosting with a handheld mixer on high speed for 15 to 20 seconds ONLY, until the mixture forms soft peaks.  (If you overheat, it will curdle!)  Spread on the cake immediately with a metal spatula.


In case you have a thing for chocolate cake like we do, check out some more recipes here and here.  We will see you back here tomorrow with our Seasons’ Saturday Selections.

 Jordan here

I want to wish my mom a very happy birthday.  She is a wonderful mother and I love being her daughter.  It is wonderful we get to spend time together and do this blog.  I wish her many more birthdays and can’t wait till we are together again.  Happy Birthday Mom!

Birthday cupcakes

Take care.

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  1. says

    Oh, I’m sitting at the kitchen table with a cup of coffee and WOW does that cake look fabulous. Coffee and chocolate go great together! YUMMY! I will give it a try! Hope all is well with both of you! xo

  2. says

    Hope that you have an awesome birthday!! The cake looks amazing and what a great way to celebrate by having such a delicious looking cake. I love Ina and I don’t think I have ever fixed a recipe of hers that we didn’t like. I have been thinking about getting her new cookbook, do you rate it as good as her other ones?

  3. Joan says

    I am half way through this recipe – cake in the oven! Frosting – how much cream???????? Is not listed and I can find the recipe no where on line!!!!!!