Ina’s Chocolate Cake Recipe

Yields: 1 Serving Difficulty: Medium Prep Time: 30 Mins Cook Time: 1 Hr Total Time: 1 Hr 30 Mins

Sanjana pulled her loose hair and tied it into a ponytail. She looked at Rishi. He was tucked in a sapphire blanket and he was in a deep sleep with his mouth wide open.  She smirked and whispered Happy fifth anniversary into his ears without waking him up.  Seven years ago, she wouldn’t have believed that they will get into a courtship.  Sanjana still remembers the day. She was immersed in to a file when she was disturbed by a chime that notified she had a new email in her inbox. She decided to ignore until she saw the message in the Subject line ‘Hi from Rishi Rengachari’. She was full of surpirse, What? Mail from Rishi? Is he the same guy whom she met in her high school. They never met nor spoke in the last eight years. It felt like a dream.  Quickly Sanjana collected herself and opened the email. Rishi was visiting New York and expressed his interest to meet her and couple of their classmates who lived there. Without any hesitation she responded yes and passed on her contact details. Even before she knew they fell in love and tied nuptials.  And the rest was history.

Like every couple they were excited to celebrate their first anniversary. Rishi had made quiet a few plans to impress his wife. On the other hand Sanjana wanted to treat him with something delicious. It had to be something special to celebrate their love. Chocolate, Cake and Red Roses? Yes, Chocolate it is, nah Chocolate cake, she spoke to herself. But her enthusiasm sank immediately. I don’t have a good recipe to bake this cake. Then she remembered about few recipe blogs she had come across while searching Rishi’s favorite Badusha recipe. That is how she bumped into a foolproof Chocolate Cake recipe posted by Ina Garten. Sanjana rolled up her sleeves and pulled all the required ingredients from the refrigerator and pantry.  She buttered a heart shaped pan and prepared the cake batter. In the end she added some melted Callebaut chocolate and a cup of instant coffee, quickly stirred it and slid the cake pan into the oven. While waiting anxiously she prepared the swiss merignue buttercream frosting. In the end she had made a photogenic cake that looked pretty and utterly delicious in the silky peach frosting. When Rishi saw the silky peach colored cake, he yelled out of surprise. Did you make this, he asked? Instantly her cheeks turned pink and she nodded yes.  Sanjana felt proud and happy.  Their dinner ended with a slice of this rich and moist chocolate cake. Rishi recalls it even today and boasts about it, Like a renowned food writer, he describes to his friends; About the cake, its melt in mouth pillowy texture, the deep chocolate flavor and the pleasure he derives eating every bite.

Sanjana came to the present moment when she heard her toddlers voice. She woke up from the bed and cuddled her. After the morning chores, she started making a list of dishes that she should cook for the afternoon meal. And like every year she baked Ina’s Chocolate cake for desserts minus frosting.

I hope you liked this story. Just like Sanjana and Rishi, we are deeply in love with this chocolate cake and it has become a tradition to bake this cake on our wedding anniversary. It is such a simple recipe and will never fail you. Over the years I have made some alterations to the original recipe to adapt it to our taste. Our family and friends rave about this cake that I really wanted to share it with you all. So that you can delight and surprise your loved ones just like Sanjana & I did. I had made this cake for our fifth wedding anniversary. Unlike Sanjana I did not frost this cake. Thanks to my super crazy schedule. However you can frost it with your favorite frosting or some fresh fruits or simply sprinkle some confectioners sugar. Happy Baking!! Let me know for whom you are baking this cake?


0/18 Ingredients
Adjust Servings


0/20 Instructions
  • Preheat the oven to 350 F / 180 C
  • Generously Butter or Oil the pan. Line it with parchment paper. I usually turn the pan upside down, place the parchment paper and eyeball the edge. Then fold it in square and cut it in round shape with a scissor
  • Sift the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cocoa powder into a bowl
  • Add sugar and to above mix and sift one more time. Keep aside
  • Meanwhile boil 1 cup of water until it starts rolling, add coffee powder. Stir well. Keep aside
  • In another bowl, add buttermilk, eggs, oil and vanilla extract
  • Using a hand mixer beat on low speed (2 or 3) until the eggs and mixture blends or for 15 seconds
  • Melt chocolate using double boiler method or microwave for 30 seconds adding few tablespoon of water
  • Add dry ingredients in batches and continue to beat on lowest speed (1). Then add coffee, melted chocolate and beat for another 10- 15 seconds until combined
  • With a rubber spatula scrape the sides and pour in the prepared cake pans. I used the leftover batter to make 3 cupcakes for the little one
  • Bake 25-30 minutes until the toothpick inserted comes out clean
  • Allow it to cool for 30 minutes in the pan. This is mandatory else the cake will get ruined while transferring to the cooling rack
  • Then transfer it to the cooling rack and allow it to cool completely
  • Then cut into slices or frost it using your favorite icing recipes
  • Store it in air tight container. It usually lasts for a week, for us only 3 days :)
  • Notes
  • 1. I have used home made buttermilk, you can use the store bought ones. In worst case add 1 or 2 tsp of vinegar or lemon juice to 1 cup of milk. Stir and keep it aside. Use after 5 minutes
  • 2. I have baked this cake in a heart shaped pan and a 9 inch pan. It take usually the same time to bake. You can also make cupcakes using this batter. They are usually done in 15 mins.
  • 3. You can use bittersweet chocolate chips/bar. In this case, use 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4. This cake can be frosted using buttercream / whipped cream or swiss meringue buttercream
  • 5. Sometimes I use stove top expresso maker to brew coffee

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