Top | Cakes and Muffins

Carrie's Chocolate Cake

(recipe, Carrie Floyd)

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This recipe for chocolate cake lends itself to a number of variations. In my family it’s called Birthday Cake when paired with Chocolate Ganache Frosting, cream-cheese frosting, or whipped cream and berries. Dressed up with Coconut-Pecan Filling, it becomes German Chocolate Cake. Baked in a loaf pan, sans frosting, we call it Chocolate Bread.


  1. 1¾ cups all-purpose, unbleached flour
  2. ¾ cup unsweetened, Dutch-process cocoa powder
  3. 1 cup sugar
  4. 1½ tsp. baking powder
  5. 1½ tsp. baking soda
  6. ½ tsp. salt
  7. 1¼ cups buttermilk (low-fat is fine)
  8. 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  9. 1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
  10. ¼ cup canola or vegetable oil
  11. 2 tsp. vanilla
  12. 1 cup hot, strong black coffee


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9-inch round pans or one 13-inch-by-9-inch pan, or use cupcake papers in a muffin pan.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In another bowl, mix together the buttermilk, eggs, brown sugar, oil, and vanilla until just combined. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and beat, either by hand with a large whisk or with an electric mixer on medium speed, for 2 minutes.
  4. Whisk in the coffee, about ⅓ cup at a time, and stir until completely incorporated. Batter will be quite thin.
  5. Pour batter into prepared pans and bake for 30 to 40 minutes (slightly longer for the rectangle cake and 20 to 22 minutes for cupcakes), or until a toothpick stuck in the center comes out with a few wet crumbs on it. (The secret to this cake is erring on the side of underbaking rather than overbaking; if your toothpick comes out dry, then the cake is overbaked.)
  6. Remove from oven and let cool before frosting.


This cake is any easy one to adapt given the contents of your pantry. I've substituted melted butter when I ran out of oil, a friend tells me that it turns out just fine using milk instead of buttermilk, another friend has subbed beer for the coffee.