In honour of International Women’s Day today, I wanted to honour one of my all time favourite female cooks – Ina Garten – a home cook, who ran a stunning little food business in the Hamptons. She was one of my biggest inspirations for heading into the career I choose.

I adore her and this chocolate cake is sensational and like no other I’ve made. It is not my creation and nor is it Ina’s either actually. Ina got this recipe from a friend of hers, Grim her florist friend, and he got it from his grandmother.

And for me…. this is the epitome of heritage and learning from other generations of women and cherishing that wisdom, those connections, those recipes. Bringing them back to life and sharing them with a whole new audience is such a privilege, so today we bake the Beatty Chocolate Cake.


Aisling Signature
Six O'Clock Show Beatty's Chocolate Cake
Six O'Clock Show Beatty's Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Cake

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aisling larkin chocolate cake
barefoot contessa chocolate cake
ina garten beatty cake
ina garten chocolate cake
Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 10


For the Chocolate Cake

  • Butter for greasing the pans
  • 210 g plain flour plus more for pans
  • 400 g caster sugar
  • 90 g good cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 240 ml buttermilk shaken
  • 120 ml vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla essence
  • 240 ml freshly brewed hot coffee this will enhance the chocolate flavour

For the Chocolate Buttercream

  • 175 g plain chocolate less than 70% cocoa solids
  • 250 g unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 egg yolk at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla essence
  • 155 g sifted icing sugar
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee powder


For the Chocolate Cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Butter 2 (20cm) round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pans.
  • Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined.
  • In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.
  • Place 1 layer, flat side up, on a flat plate or cake pedestal. With a knife or offset spatula, spread the top with frosting. Place the second layer on top, rounded side up, and spread the frosting evenly on the top and sides of the cake.

For the Chocolate Buttercream:

  • Cut the chocolate and place it in a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir until just melted and set aside until cooled to room temperature.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until light yellow and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and continue beating for 3 minutes. Turn the mixer to low, gradually add the icing sugar, then beat at medium speed, scraping down the bowl as necessary, until smooth and creamy.
  • Dissolve the coffee powder in 2 teaspoons of the hottest tap water. On low speed, add the chocolate and coffee to the butter mixture and mix until blended. Don't whip. Spread immediately on the cooled cake.