Ina Garten Chocolate Cake (Beatty’s Recipe, Tips, Video & More)

This post will give you everything you need to make the famous Ina Garten chocolate cake. You might have seen it called Beatty’s Chocolate Cake.

Double layered, fluffy moist chocolate sponge with a generous layer of chocolate frosting in the middle. Covered in a layer of chocolate, coffee infused frosting. It looks incredible. An Ina Garten chocolate cake with coffee – adding the coffee takes the chocolate flavor to another level.

Beatty’s chocolate cake is the chocolate cake Ina Garten has described as ‘the best chocolate cake ive ever had’.

This post is the genuine recipe Ina uses to make Beatty’s chocolate cake – its not one of the many Ina Garten cake inspired recipes you find online.

I recommend following this original Ina Garten chocolate cake recipe before attempting to change it. It is not particularly difficult and has thousands of 5 star reviews online for a reason.

This recipe is so popular that I include it in my list of the best Ina Garten cake recipes and as one of the most divine chocolate cake recipes, period.

What Kind Of Cake Is Beatty’s Chocolate Cake

Beatty’s chocolate cake sits somewhere between a light & airy chocolate sponge and a thick & dense mud. It has a semi springy sponge crumb, which is somewhat moist.

The recipe calls for cocoa powder in the cake mix and semi bittersweet chocolate in the icing, making it chocolatey and not overly sweet. The bittersweet chocolate adds richness and decadence. 

The addition of hot, fresh brewed coffee adds moisture, a hint of coffee taste & smell and accentuates the flavor of the chocolate.

Read on if you want my tips to making this famous Barefoot Contessa chocolate cake. 

Scroll below the tips for the full recipe with step by step instructions. 

Feel free to watch my step by step instruction video if you prefer. I make this recipe in 2 x 9 inch round cake pans and walk you through the entire process, with instructions and ingredients in under 2 minutes.

Other Ina Garten chocolate cake recipes

If you are looking for something more decadent, or something which works well in small portions, Ina Garten’s bittersweet chocolate tart might be what you need.

If you are looking for a different Ina Garten chocolate cake recipe, I have listed another 5 Ina Garten chocolate cake recipes under the recipe and instruction video below.

They are a combination of genuine Ina Garten chocolate cake recipes and recipes inspired by her style.

The list also includes a decadent gluten free chocolate cake by Ina Garten.

Before We Start – Why Is It Called Beatty’s Chocolate Cake

Its called Beatty’s chocolate cake and not Ina’s chocolate cake because the recipe came from a friend’s grandmother – the grandmother’s name was Beatty. 

Ina could have easily claimed it as her own. It is a testament to Ina’s good character that she attributes this recipe to the person she got it from.

Ina Garten Chocolate Cake with slice

Tips To Making Ina’s Beattys Chocolate Cake

Take a minute to skim through these quick tips.

They dont repeat the instructions, they are just meant to give you an idea of the process.

When you get to the recipe & instructions in the next section you will be good to go.

My video linked under the recipe below will also help if you are unsure of anything (watch time under 2 minutes).

  1. Mixing The Cake Batter
    • Ina uses a stand mixer when she makes this recipe. 
    • Don’t be put off if you don’t have a stand mixer or don’t want the hassle of getting it out.
    • The cake mix can be mixed easily with a hand mixer or by hand with a spatula. I used a spatula to mix the cake when I made the video and it was fine. 
    • Watch the video below and you will see mixing by hand is relatively light work because the cake mix is loose, particularly once the hot coffee is added.
  2. Preparing the two cake layers
    • Ina’s chocolate cake recipe calls for two 8 inch round cake pans. You can adjust the ingredient quantities if you want to take a different approach.
      • Only one cake pan:
        • You could bake one thicker cake and simply cut it into two even layers. A couple of things to keep in mind if you want to do this:
          • Is your cake pan deep enough? The cake could rise by double whilst in the oven. Make sure your cake pan is deep enough.
          • Cooking time and temperature. Baking one larger cake will increase your cook time. You might also need to reduce your oven temperature so as not to overcook the outsides of the cake.
      • Different size cake pans:
        • Do not assume that a 7 inch pan, or a 9 inch pan is close enough to 8 inch.
        • Adjust your ingredient quantities if you plan on using something other than 8 inch pans.
        • For example, a 9 inch round cake pan is approximately 25% larger than an 8 inch round pan.
        • If you use 8 inch quantities you would end up with very thin 9 inch cake layers.
        • When I made this Ina Garten chocolate cake in the video below, I used 2, 9 inch round pans. (I was wanting a bigger cake because I knew we had guests coming the following day and wanted plenty to go around) 
        • I multiplied the ingredients by 1.25, to increase the amounts by 25%. The increased ingredients are listed in the notes section under the recipe below if you want them.
  3. Adding coffee – the ‘secret’ ingredient
    • Almost every recipe post for Ina’s chocolate cake calls for a so called ‘secret’ ingredient – coffee.
    • Its safe to say the secret is out.
    • Ina’s recipe calls for freshly brewed hot coffee to be added to the cake mix and a touch added to the icing. 
    • The coffee serves to highlight the chocolate’s natural flavors. 
    • I like what the coffee does to this recipe and don’t think it takes away from the chocolate.
    • The key takeaway here is, if you use fresh brewed coffee you will certainly taste and smell the coffee in the cake. 
    • If you are sensitive to coffee, you could use decaf or simply add weaker coffee to the mix.
  4. Preparing the frosting
    1. Frosting ingredient quantity:
      • I recommend increasing the frosting quantity to make sure you have plenty to work with.
      • In the ingredients section below, I have increased the frosting ingredients by around 50%. This will allow for a nice thick layer of frosting inside and out and worst case scenario will give you extra in case you make any mistakes.
    2. Mixing the frosting:
      • Preparing the frosting is relatively easy. In saying that, its probably the most tricky part of the recipe if you’re mixing by hand. 
      • It is important to whip the butter until its light yellow in color and soft & fluffy. 
      • It can be done by hand but might be a touch difficult, especially if you have any strength or mobility issues in your hands or shoulder.
      • A stand mixer would be easiest – you just add everything and turn it on. 
      • As an alternative, you can use a hand mixer. 
      • I used a hand mixer when I made this recipe for the video. The hand mixer is light, takes up next to no space and is easy to clean up. Watch the video below and you will get the idea.
    3. Frosting the cake:
      • Let the cakes cool completely before preparing the frosting. If the cake is still warm, your frosting can melt.
      • Once prepared, apply the frosting to the cakes immediately.
      • Using a cake turntable makes it much easier to apply the frosting.
      • Cake turntables are relatively cheap and easy to order online and can be used for various things in the kitchen.
      • Watch my video to see how using a cake turntable makes the frosting process easy.
  5. Baking the cakes (if using 2 cake pans)
    • Prior to baking:
      • Weigh the wet cake batter and pour the batter equally between your 2 cake pans. Use a kitchen scale as needed. This ensures both layers are as uniform as possible.
    • Baking:
      • Ideally you want to bake both cake pans on the same oven rack for uniform cooking.
      • If the 2 cake pans will not fit on the one rack, you can bake on separate racks. 
      • Keep in mind the oven temperature may vary between higher and lower oven racks and the higher cake may cook quicker. 
      • Use a cake tester at the 35 minute mark and then every 2-3 minutes after. Remove each cake once the cake tester comes out clean.
      • (In my oven, the top cake was ready about 4 minutes before the lower cake)
  6. Assembling the cake
    • After baking, slice the tops of both cakes so they are nice and flat. 
    • If using two layers, for the top layer cake, turn the cake upside down, so the flat underside becomes the top of your cake. Don’t be too concerned about how it looks at this stage, you wont see it once you have spread the frosting.

Ina Garten Chocolate Cake | Beattys Chocolate Cake

Recipe by Barbara HuntCourse: DessertDifficulty: Moderate
Servings

6-8

servings
Prep time

50

minutes
Cooking time

40

minutes
Calories

700

kcal

The chocolate cake made famous by Ina Garten – Beatty’s chocolate cake. Enjoy this double layered, moist chocolate sponge with coffee infused chocolate frosting. Not overly sweet, with a touch of bittersweet decadence.

Ingredients

  • For the cake (2 x 8 inch round pans)
  • 1 teaspoon of butter (for greasing the cake pans)

  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour

  • 2 cups white sugar

  • ¾ cup cocoa powder

  • 2 teaspoons baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 cup buttermilk

  • ½ cup vegetable oil

  • 2 extra-large eggs (room temperature)

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee

  • Frosting (original quantities increased by 50%)
  • 9 ounces semisweet chocolate

  • 12 oz (3 sticks) unsalted butter (room temperature)

  • 1 extra-large egg yolk (room temperature)

  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 1 ¾ cups sifted confectioners’ sugar

  • 1 ½ tablespoon instant coffee granules

Directions

  • For the chocolate cake
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour the sides of 2, 8 inch round cake pans. Line the bottom of both pans with parchment paper.
  • Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl: flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Mix until combined. (Use paddle attachment if using a stand mixer, otherwise combine by hand with a spatula)
  • In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Whisk to combine.
  • Gradually add the buttermilk mixture to the dry ingredients and mix until combined. (Refer to my mixing tips above if needed).
  • Add the coffee and stir to combine.
  • Pour the mixture into the baking pans (distribute evenly if using two pans). Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Refer to my tips above if needed. After baking, cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then remove and cool completely on a wire cake rack.
  • For the chocolate frosting (prepare the frosting only once the cakes are completely cooled)
  • Chop or breakup the chocolate and place it in a heat-proof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Stir until melted and set aside until cooled to room temperature.
  • In a large bowl, add the butter and beat until light yellow in color and fluffy in appearance. (Use a paddle attachment if using a stand mixer or regular beaters if using a hand mixer. Approximately 3 minutes. (May take longer if beating by hand).
  • Add the egg yolk and vanilla to the butter and continue beating until smooth.
  • Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar. Beat at medium speed until smooth and creamy (Scrape down the bowl as necessary).
  • Dissolve the coffee powder in 2 teaspoons of hot tap water. Add the cooled chocolate and hot coffee to the butter mixture and mix to combine. Don’t whip. Spread immediately on the cooled cake.
  • Frosting the cake
  • Place 1 cake layer on a flat plate or cake pedestal. Spread a thick layer of frosting on top.
  • Place the second layer on top, flat side up. Spread the frosting evenly on the top and sides of the cake. Style as desired. Serve immediately or refrigerate for 1 hour if you want frosting to set.

Notes

  • Chocolate cake ingredient list for 2 x 9 inch round cake pans (approximately 30% more than 8 inch).
  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 ½ cups sugar
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 ¼ cup buttermilk
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 extra-large eggs
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ¼ cup freshly brewed hot coffee

Ina Garten Chocolate Cake – 5 Different Recipes

Ina Garten has been a key figure in home cooking for more than 20 years.

She has shared a few chocolate cake recipes in her time.

These are the most well known Ina Garten chocolate cake recipes (other than the famous Beatty’s chocolate cake covered earlier in this post).

1. Ina Garten Chocolate Ganache Cake

Ina’s chocolate ganache cake is a single layer chocolate cake, covered in a layer of chocolate ganache and finished with an ultra fancy treat on top.

Ganache is essentially a cake glaze that is made by melting chocolate in heated heavy cream. Its poured over the cake before it sets.

This is a relatively standard cake recipe, needing mostly standard cake ingredients.

In the original recipe Ina finishes this cake by decorating with either candied violets or crumpled gold leaf placed in the centre of the cake.

Given these are purely decorative, they shouldn’t stop you from trying this delicious cake.

2. Ina Garten Bittersweet Chocolate Cake

Ina’s bittersweet chocolate cake is a single layer chocolate cake.

It is a standard cake recipe with relatively standard cake ingredients.

It is no more difficult to bake than any other chocolate cake.

The chocolate flavor comes from 7 ounces of bittersweet chocolate.

The bittersweet chocolate makes this a rich and decadent treat, so you might only need to serve small pieces.

Small pieces means this recipe could be a good option if you need many slices.

Ina’s recipe calls for this cake to be served with sweetened whipped cream, vanilla ice cream or crème fraîche.

Crème fraîche is a cultured cream is cream soured with a bacterial culture, similar to sour cream or Mexican crema.

The sweetness helps balance the richness of the cake.

3. Ina Garten Gluten Free Chocolate Cake

Ina’s gluten free chocolate cake is a dense, decadent single layer chocolate cake, covered in a thick ganache made with bittersweet chocolate and heavy cream.

Ina’s recipe does call for 1 tablespoon of gluten free flour, instead of regular flour.

Other than the gluten free flour, the other ingredients are standard.

The baking process for this cake is slightly different to usual, but not any more difficult. After the recommended baking time, the cake is simply left in the oven for 1 hour with the door slightly ajar to cool.

Given its gluten free, expect the cake to sink in the middle.

It does use 1 pound of bittersweet chocolate though so prepare yourself for a rich and decadent treat.

4. Ina Garten Chocolate Cake With Mocha Frosting

The chocolate cake in this recipe is your standard, soft and fluffy single layer chocolate cake.

Its made with standard ingredients and gets put together like any other regular cake.

The cake includes a touch of coffee which some might consider a surprise.

Ina likes adding coffee to her chocolate cakes. She says it brings out the flavor in the chocolate – I agree. Coffee also features in her most popular chocolate cake, Beatty’s chocolate cake.

While the cake is standard the mocha frosting that covers the cake is not.

Other than the usual frosting ingredients like sugar and chocolate, Ina’s mocha frosting includes 2 teaspoons of instant espresso coffee powder and 1 tablespoon of Kahlua.

5. Raspberry Chocolate Cake – Inspired By Ina Garten

This is not an original Ina Garten cake recipe.

It is a slightly tweaked version of Beatty’s chocolate cake – which is where the inspiration came from.

Its practically the same as Beatty’s chocolate cake, except for two main differences.

  1. Raspberry jam. The recipe adds a layer of raspberry jam between the cake layers. The idea is that raspberries and chocolate go well together – which they do.
  2. Nutella. Ina’s chocolate buttercream frosting is swapped for Nutella buttercream frosting. The Nutella adds creaminess and a warming chocolate hazelnut flavor.

The process to make the cake is similar to Ina’s.

The only real difference is the layer of jam can make it a touch more difficult to spread the frosting between the cake layers.

Single layer Ina Garten Chocolate Cake

Ina Garten Cake Recipes With No Chocolate

If you have come this far down and still dont know what cake you want to make, perhaps check out one of these Ina Garten cake recipes that dont involve chocolate.

They are a combination of original Ina Garten cake recipes and those inspired by her.

Barbara Hunt

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