I follow Ina Garten on Instagram because I know what’s good for me—she is the queen of joyful cooking! Recently, she posted about her famous Beatty’s Chocolate Cake, a recipe that has collected fans around the world since it was first published in her 2006 cookbook, “Barefoot Contessa At Home.” I’ve baked the cake a few dozen times for birthdays, dinner parties, and chocolate cravings—it’s my go-to chocolate cake recipe.
In her Instagram post, she noted that you can now order her famous cake online through Goldbelly for a whopping $99.95. Here’s a better idea: make Beatty’s Chocolate Cake at home. I am here to tell you that it’s the best chocolate cake I’ve had in my life. No other chocolate cake (or cake, in general) comes close. And it’s easy enough to bake at home, so you shouldn’t have to spend $100 to buy one.
3 Reasons Why Ina Garten’s Beatty’s Chocolate Cake Reigns Supreme
- It’s such a simple cake to make. Ina’s recipe calls for a stand mixer, but I used a bowl, a large whisk, and my strong arms—it’s a runny batter that’s easy to mix so I didn’t have to flex any muscles. Mix the dry ingredients. Mix the wet ingredients. Combine both with brewed coffee, and bake. Boom! Done! Since it’s such a wet batter, it’s also hard to over-bake. Once, I accidentally left it in the oven for 10 extra minutes, and it tasted just as good.
- It has a secret, brilliant ingredient. The chocolate cake calls for freshly brewed coffee in the batter and instant coffee granules in the frosting (a trick Ina swears by). Since I have three young kids, I keep decaf coffee around just for this cake. You won’t taste the bitterness from the coffee. It’s added to bring out the intense chocolate flavor, and it does.
- The frosting is divine. I typically don’t make chocolate frosting with melted chocolate—cocoa powder is so much easier—but boy am I glad I followed Ina’s recipe. Melted chocolate whipped with butter, powdered sugar, and an egg yolk yields the glossiest and fluffiest frosting I’ve ever had. You could skip the egg yolk, if you insist, but the frosting won’t be as fluffy or glossy.
4 Tips For Making Beatty’s Chocolate Cake
- It’s okay to use large eggs. Ina calls for extra-large eggs in her chocolate cake, but I usually buy large eggs—so that’s what I did. This little swap had no notable impact on the recipe (I’ve made it both ways!).
- Make sure the cake is baked properly. To check if the cake is baked properly, stick a toothpick or chopstick into the center of the cake. It should come out with some crumbs, but not wet batter.
- You don’t need to bloom the instant coffee in hot water. When making the frosting, Ina calls for dissolving the instant coffee in a little bit of hot tap water before adding it to the frosting. I’ve found that it’s just as easy to stir the coffee into the melted chocolate.
- Melt your chocolate in the microwave. There are many ways to melt chocolate. Ina uses a double-boiler—a bowl set over a pot of simmering water. You can melt chocolate in the microwave too! Place the chocolate in a small microwave-safe bowl, and microwave in 30-second intervals until fully melted, stirring well after each time.