Chocolate cake, chocolate buttercream, chocolate ganache… Movita style

First thing… can you please go vote for me at Movita’s place! Then I’ll explain…

And remember this isn’t about the best cake- it’s a popularity contest people. So just vote for me ok!!! Although, there are some pretty slick jobbies over there. But trust me, if you could sink your teeth into this chocolate cake, I guarantee it would rock your world.

I ran across movitabeaucoup this winter and must say, I was moved by her wit, charm and clever contests. I’m not usually one to participate in this sort of thing, a contest, but this time I decided I’d give it a go. Clueless where to start, I began trying to decide fruity or chocolaty. I thought and thought about what to bake. Despite the flood of ideas, just one, and only one, failed to surface and I procrastinated a bit.  Then sweet Movita posted a chocolate cake she made for her mother’s birthday. So call me unoriginal or brilliant but I decided if this was the cake she baked for her mother… someone should bake it for her. And we were all very happy with that decision, despite another 3# on the scale! It was incredible. The first words out of my almost 14yr old daughter, Chloe, was foodgasm. I was proud and scared in the same moment.

I had so much fun making it. I had a new box of Valrhona chocolate baking powder and a new bottle of vanilla… which I do not take for granted anymore as it isn’t easy to come by in Hamburg. We see a lot of recipes calling for a packet of vanilla sugar.

This cake also goes out to my son who turns 24 on May Day. When he was a kid, we did a yearly treasure hunt for his birthday party. They became increasingly difficult year to year, culminating with a year of hand torched parchment paper clues wrapped with twine. My last memory of those hunts brings back the image of six to eight highly motivated boys and girls, most home-schooled and ready for a challenge. These children, not easily willing to surrender were ready to beat me with the piñata stick when they finally had to give in. The clues were so numerous and convoluted, I even had a hard time remembering where I had hid the next.  Let’s just say that was the last one.

My son and I have not shared his birthday since he turned 18. He lives in NYC now.  I am so proud of him and all he has accomplished in his 24 years. He is an amazing young man, human being and friend. One year, we will get to share a piece of cake like this on his birthday.

So here is Movita’s chocolate cake recipe. I’m going to send you right to her link to print the recipe where she also credits her sources… such a good girl!

Cake ingredients:

  • 2 cups granulated white sugar
  • 1  3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1  1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1  1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
  • 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee

The batter itself was quite thin. But this will bake into a lovely mmmmoist cake.

Buttercream: Itty bitty modification- I substituted vanilla for the almond extract.

  • 3 cups confectioner’s (icing) sugar – you may need more to adjust for consistency
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 4 tablespoons heavy (whipping) cream – you may need more to adjust for consistency

I liked how the buttercream came together…

And I made a batch of chocolate ganache from Nigella Lawson’s Domestic Goddess for the filling between layers.

  • 90 ml (6 TB) cream
  • 45g (3 T) unsalted butter
  • 150g (6 oz) chopped chocolate
  • dash of vanilla

Put all ingredients in a saucepan on low. Gently heat till the chocolate is melted. Remove from heat and whisk till smooth. When cool I like to lighten it up by beating it on medium till you see the color soften. Spread with a knife.

Buttercream on the left… ganache on the right.. doesn’t that sound good? We had a hearty coating of buttercream frosting… cause I didn’t eat too much of it out of the bowl. You can see the ganache is not finished cooling.

Ready to go into preheated 350°F/180°C oven… try to keep it even…

Bake about 35-45 minutes till toothpick comes out clean… I checked every 5 minutes after 30.. cool in the pans 10 minutes then invert onto rack till completely cooled.

Once cooled begin to cream and frost…ganache anyone?

2nd layer…

And pull it all together…candles and mood

Cut one large piece…

Then eat it with loud groans of pleasure…


And please go vote for wendy @ … movita’s

Happy Birthday to all you Taurus out there…


38 responses

  1. Wonderful .. rich … and beautiful – I think a big ice cold milk would go down as a treat with this cake – with me it would go down with or without anything. Fantastic photos, Wendy … glad it’s over internet otherwise I would have been very ill in the end of this cake.


  2. I was just over at Karen’s for her seafood delight and thought I would stop here for dessert. Good decision!! This looks amazing. A three pound foodgasm indeed!


  3. I am so excited to attempt making this! Looks so yummy! I am thinking I may try a butter cream frosting instead. Have a good recipe for that?


    • Hi there! It’s really not a difficult cake. And it is so freaking good! I just wish I could make it every week with no negative consequences. I only used the ganache in the filling. There is buttercream frosting on the top and sides and the recipe is here and at Movita’s blog. It too, was really good.


      • Thank you! I guess I should have specified. I would like to a vanilla or cheese cake like buttercream.


  4. Yes… you must. You won’t be disappointed! And you can skip the ganache to make it a tad easier and just use the buttercream frosting. I had just enough frosting without using it in the middle. But I frosted and decorated heavily.


  5. What a beautiful and fitting tribute to our Movita! That’s the sort of cake that either fills my dreams, or keeps me up all night because I’ve had a plateful. Really lovely!


    • Thanks… I’ve already confessed to how much we did eat. Honestly, I could make this on a regular basis. It’s a perfect chocolate cake recipe if you like a rich, dense chocolatey cake, a light buttery frosting and a ganache that gives your teeth a little something to sink into.


  6. A-mazing! This is possibly the nicest chocolate cake I’ve ever laid eyes upon. As per usual, you’ve got some glorious photos to match


  7. Pingback: Ultimate Spring Strawberry Short Cake…. Grande « Chez Chloe

  8. Pingback: How To Make Grandpop's Special Chocolate Cake | Cake Recipes Made Easy.

  9. I made this cake today and it was simply amazing, so moist and tasty, it was gone in minutes.. the whole family loved it, definitely making it again and soon upload the pix …love you for sharing this recipe 🙂


    • Man you are cruising through the archives. I love that! Thanks 🙂
      I’ve gained about 10 pounds this year. Partly from moving into my mid 40’s but mostly from creating this blog!!!


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