Chocolate Cake Recipe

Chocolate Cake Recipe with Vanilla Bean Buttercream

Chocolate cake with vanilla bean buttercream is a dessert that is perfect for any occasion. It is rich, decadent, and absolutely delicious. It is moist, fluffy, and has a rich chocolate flavor. The frosting is light and creamy with a hint of vanilla flavor that compliments the chocolate perfectly.

The Birthday Girl. 

I love the look of a simple frosted cakeā€”just smooth sides, flat top, minimalist perfect. I think after seeing too many cheesy grocery store sheet cakes that just look so dated and not my style. Going to many patisseries in Paris, even though I was only there for a few days, and that was five years ago.

I still can remember exactly what I had at each one, how they looked, tasted, and all the other pastries I wanted to try, but there were just too many for my short visit. There is really nothing like that where I live. It’s a land of prepackaged desserts and sheet cakes, and everything seems to come in a plastic container. I have to drive an hour into the city to get anything remotely close; San Francisco has some amazing bakeries, but it’s just not the same. 

Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Bean

So that’s why I really want to be able to frost a cake in a smooth, even layer, super classy looking. It will be the start of me teaching myself to make pastries like the ones that fill my memories of Paris. Did anyone see ‘Kings of Pastry’? Amazing movie, and what I wouldn’t give to go to that pastry school in Chicago. My school is dedicated to only making the spectacular desserts that I always wished I could do? Too amazing. I wish I had the money. 

And perfecting this seems to be the most difficult thing for me. It always comes out lumpy, bumpy, or not even at all. I want those perfectly even, smooth sides and flat top, where you think at first they covered it in fondant, but no, it’s buttercream. So after many Youtube videos later…

This is as smooth and even as I could do. And to get this took… FOREVER. I’m happy with how it turned out and kinda love how it just fits in the palm of my hand. So hopefully, after lots of practice, I will be able to make a normal-sized cake.

Chocolate Cakes

And guess how long it took me, from start to finish, on this cake? 5 hours! Yes, it only bakes for 35 minutes, and of course, there is cooling time, but I spent over 2 hours trying to get it smooth. Frost-smooth-chill-frost-smooth-oops, not smooth-smooth-chill, and so on and so on. 

97 years old. Crazy huh? She’s my great Aunt.

She asked who’s cookbooks I liked best. I said, Martha Stewart. She said, ‘whos that.’

It’s funny to hear her refer to a 90-year-old as ‘little brother.’

She said, ‘Oh, just cut me a very little piece’ She saw the piece I cut and went, ‘I said little!’ and then it somehow disappeared from her plate…


Hello Lovelies

Here are the two videos that I found most helpful: One, Two

It seems like it just takes practice and patience. Well, I’m normally lacking in the patience aspect. If any of you little bakers out there have any tips on getting a smooth cake, let me know! And I will let you know if I figure out any tricks!

How to Making Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Bean Buttercream

  • 1/2 cup (114g) butter, softened
  •  1 cup (200g) brown sugar
  •  1/2 (100g) cup sugar
  •  1 egg
  •  1 cup (236ml) buttermilk
  •  1 tsp vanilla extract
  •  1 1/2 (187g) cups flour
  •  3/4 cup (88g) cocoa powder
  •  1/2 tsp baking soda
  •  1/4 tsp salt

Oven 325

Butter and flour in a 9-inch loaf pan or 5-6 small ramekins. Cream butter and sugars for 3 minutes, until smooth and fluffy. Add egg, then buttermilk and vanilla. Sift in the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Stir, do not over-mix. Pour into pan and bake. 35 minutes for small ramekins, and 50 minutes for a loaf. Time varies on pan size, so keep checking and testing with a toothpick until it comes out clean. 

 Cool completely.


  • 1 1/2 cups (187g) powdered sugar
  •  1/2 cup (114g) butter, softened
  •  1/4 tsp salt
  •  2 tsp vanilla bean paste
  •  1 tbsp milk

Put all ingredients into food pro and blend until smooth

 Frost your loaf cake or small cake

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