917-604-7591 [email protected]



I just posted a review of 20 Recipes Kids Should Know. Which recipe did I pick to test? This one: Best Chocolate Cake Ever. It’s good, a twist by the authors on an Ina Garten recipe. It has the classic combo of cocoa powder and buttermilk. The surprise is the frosting, which is butter and cream cheese plus powdered sugar.

The frosting recipe gives you enough to do the top and middle. If you want to frost the sides as well, in total decadence, then just double the recipe. Personally, I always like to have the sides of the cakes bare, so you have the reveal of what flavors are to come.

Having some frosting left over is actually a good idea. It’s quite a treat on its own!

Best Chocolate Cake Ever!

Yield: one 8-inch two layer cake


For the cake:

  • 1¼ CUPS all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 CUP plus 1 tablespoon Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ TEASPOONS baking soda
  • ½ TEASPOON baking powder
  • ¾ CUP salted butter (1 ½ sticks), at room temperature, plus more for greasing
  • ½ CUP granulated sugar
  • ½ CUP firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 TEASPOONS vanilla extract
  • 1 CUP buttermilk
  • ½ CUP (120 ml) plain whole milk yogurt (nonfat, low-fat, or vanilla yogurt can also be used)
  • 2 TABLESPOONS brewed coffee, preferably decaffeinated (optional)

For the cream cheese frosting:

  • ½ CUP salted butter (1 stick), at room temperature
  • 8 OUNCES cream cheese, at room temperature
  • About 3½ CUPS confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 TABLESPOON heavy cream, plus more as needed
  • 1 TABLESPOON vanilla extract



Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line 2 (8-inch / 20 cm) round pans with parchment paper. Butter the paper and the sides of the pans. Lightly dust the par with flour, tapping out any excess.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and baking powder. Make sure the dry ingredients are thoroughly mixed together.

In a large bowl, beat the butter with a large spoon or 3-pronged fork until soft. Slowly add the granulated and light brown sugars and continue beating until ligh1 and fluffy with a smooth and uniform texture, 2 to 5 minutes. (You can also use a hand mixer or a stand mixer.) Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and vanilla and mix well.

In a small bowl, combine the buttermilk, yogurt, and coffee and mix well.

Alternate adding ⅓ of the flour mixture and ⅓ of the buttermilk mixture to the butter mixture, mixing until just combined. Do not overmix. ·

Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pans. Bake until a toothpick or skewer inserted in the cake comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes.

Remove the cakes from the oven and set on a wire rack. Let cool in the pans for 10 minutes. Carefully remove the cakes from the pans, place directly on the wire rack, and let cool completely before icing.


In a large bowl, beat the butter and the cream cheese by hand using a large spoon until soft and creamy, about 1 minute. Add the confectioners’ sugar and heavy cream and continue beating until smooth. Add vanilla and beat until the frosting has a smooth and spreadable consistency. If the frosting is too stiff, add a bit more heavy cream.


Place one cake layer on a plate with the flat side facing up and ice the top with frosting. Place the second cake layer, flat side facing up, on top of the frosted layer and ice the top. Ice the sides of the cake, cut, and serve.

Source: 20 Recipes Kids Should Know by Esme Washburn and Calista Washburn [Prestel, 2019]

Photo Information: Canon T2i, EFS 60mm Macro Lens, F/4.5 for 1/60th second at ISO‑500