chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream frosting

chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream frosting | movita beaucoup

This is the cake I made for Rosie Beaucoup’s birthday. This is the cake you should consider making for someone you love. Because it will make that person love you back. (Even if they don’t want to.) That’s basically how I snagged 2.0; I won him over with baking. Also, this cake says: I forgive you for making me wear white oxford shirts under absolutely everything when I was growing up.

chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream frosting | movita beaucoup

When my sister and I were young, Rosie Beaucoup required us to dress appropriately at all times. Knee socks, Mary Janes, Holly Hobby inspired skirt/vest combos, culottes and white oxford shirts. The white oxford shirt was a mainstay. Our wardrobe was the opposite of cool. It was quilted. It was knit. It was straight out of a Simplicity inspiration book. It was lovingly crafted by our mother, and it wasn’t appreciated the way it should have been. Because when you’re the runt of the class? With crooked teeth, glasses and a droopy eye? Holly Hobby ain’t doin’ you any favours.

Haddy and I had to wear white oxford shirts under everything. A crisp, white collar, we were told, was a perfectly lovely way to tie an outfit together. (Even if our friends didn’t agree.) Also, layering prevents scrawny children from catching a chill. So we wore white oxford shirts under sweaters, cardigans, vests, AND t-shirts. We hated it. Paired with the compartmentalized Tupperware lunch boxes we had to carry (everyone else had brown paper bags, mom), sensible shoes and a sweater vest? Not a lot of pre-teen curb appeal.

chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream frosting | movita beaucoup

My mother’s response? A few years back she lamented:

… if you pointed out that other kids didn’t have to wear oxford shirts or slips under their skirts, or get their shoes at Kiddie Kobbler because the staff there make sure the shoes fit your feet properly and children who don’t wear perfectly fitted shoes end up pigeon-toed, bowlegged and pregnant in highschool, you would say that their mothers don’t take care of them and probably also let their kids eat white bread and work on science fair projects without doing a proper outline first. 

Run-on sentences aside, she makes a pretty good case. And now that I think about it, I ain’t got no kids, my legs are basically well formed, and I’m a borderline genius. So maybe I didn’t win 2.0 over with my baking. Maybe it was my uninhabited uterus and sturdy legs.

chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream frosting | movita beaucoup

You should consider baking someone you love a cake just like this one here. A cake that is all a chocolate cake should be – dark, rich and moist. A cake that makes people ooh and aah. A one bowl cake that kicks it old school. No trendy ingredients here – no rosewater, lavender, or bergamot infused anything. Not a cocoa nib in sight. This cake won’t hang with the cool kids, but it’ll be pretty awesome just the same. This is an old-fashioned cake topped with a sweet, chocolatey, buttercream frosting. This is a cake that makes your mother reach for a second piece when she almost never, ever reaches for a second piece. This just might be the white oxford shirt of birthday cakes.


. . .

Chocolate Cake

recipe: from foodess, with wee adjustments to the notes

print and bake for someone you love

  • 2 cups granulated white sugar
  • 1  3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1  1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 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

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and line two 9-inch circular baking pans with parchment paper. (To line with parchment paper, trace your pans onto a sheet of parchment paper and then cut out – trim if necessary to get a nice fit in the bottom of the pan.)

In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.

Add eggs, buttermilk, melted butter and vanilla bean paste and beat for 2-3 minutes on medium speed. Stir in hot coffee, mixing until well combined. You will have a loose, satiny batter.

Pour the batter evenly between the two prepared pans and bake on middle rack of the pre-heated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.

Allow to cool on wire racks for 5 minutes before removing the cakes from the pans. Then allow the the cakes to cool completely on the racks before frosting.

(Chocolate Buttercream Frosting recipe below.)

. . .

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

recipe: inspired by many, and adapted in the barest of ways from Savory Sweet Life

print and frost

  • 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

Yields enough to frost a 2 layer, 9-inch circular cake.

In a medium sized bowl, sift together the confectioner’s sugar, cocoa and salt, and then set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter for 3-4 minutes with the paddle attachment on medium speed.

Turn off the mixer. Add the sifted sugar mixture and almond extract to the butter, and then mix on the lowest speed until the mixture starts to come together. Add the heavy cream and beat for about 3 minutes on medium speed. If your frosting needs a more stiff consistency, add a little more sugar – just a tablespoon at a time. If your frosting needs to be thinned out, add additional cream – a teaspoon at a time.


  1. Sydney Jones on April 25, 2012 at 11:12 am

    This is absolutely gorgeous!! And the chocolate buttercream looks and sounds incredible, I’m drooling 🙂 I bet Rosie LOVED it! xo

  2. themessybakerblog on April 25, 2012 at 11:13 am

    Movita, this cake looks divine. I love the fluffy clouds of chocolate frosting. If I were near that cake, I wouldn’t be able to resist dunking my finger into one of those clouds. My mother used to hand make our sweaters for Christmas- puff paint, glitter, and ribbons. It was scary. Also, she used to buy us argyle sweaters that match, and dress my brother and I up in sailer garb for Easter. She claims she did because she loved us. I still have my doubts. Oh, I’d totally love you if you delivered this beautiful chocolatey cake to my house. Just sayin’.

    • movita beaucoup on April 26, 2012 at 5:49 pm

      SAILOR GARB? CHRISTMAS SWEATERS? Holy crow. I’m feeling a little better now…

  3. K on April 25, 2012 at 11:15 am

    that cake is gorgeous! how did you frost the sides like that??

    • movita beaucoup on April 26, 2012 at 5:45 pm

      Scroll down – I put a wee description there for y’all!

  4. thekalechronicles on April 25, 2012 at 11:24 am

    What, all this and not a word tucked in there about birthday cake for Movita? You didn’t forget, did you? Or is this you being subtle? This is one beautiful cake.

    • movita beaucoup on April 26, 2012 at 5:50 pm

      Oh, you’ll be seeing loads of cakes for movita very, very soon…

  5. Crystal (@Im_CrystL) on April 25, 2012 at 11:48 am

    How do you frost the sides like that? would really like to know!

    • movita beaucoup on April 26, 2012 at 5:46 pm

      Crystal, scroll down – I put a wee description of how to frost below…

  6. juanitascocina on April 25, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    I ADORED Holly Hobby when I was young. I had the lunchbox and everything. In metal (way back when, yo) with the thermos.

    My mother used to make us dress in our fineries to get on the airplane. Or to go to dinner. And she would send us a look if we were to even think about putting our elbows in the table.


    Also, my mother loves chocolate more than me. And she would LOVE this cake!

    • movita beaucoup on April 26, 2012 at 5:52 pm

      I had Holly Hobby glasses in elementary school. They didn’t help the situation…

  7. spree on April 25, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    I am not much of a cake person. Well, until just now. Now I am the biggest fattest Happy Birthday Rosie Beaucoup cake loving person there might ever have been. I WILL bake this cake, though it can’t possibly be as stunning as yours. Immediately afterwards, we’ll take a second honeymoon. xox
    (ps…wasn’t button down white oxfords for me…it was bifocal glasses with nose-pinchers (to keep them up) and “sensible shoes” when everyone else was wearing ballet slippers. Think nun shoes and you’ll get the picture. How I ever grew up to be so cool is a wonderment considering my slow start. 😉 )

  8. Renee @ Tortillas and Honey on April 25, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    Your cake looks so rich and delicious. I absolutely love how you frosted it! I actually had a Holly Hobby birthday cake (twice, I think) when I was younger. 🙂

  9. cravesadventure on April 25, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    Beautiful cake – thanks for sharing – YUM!

  10. elizabeth on April 25, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    I would happily, permanently defect from Team Pie (only because cheesecake is allegedly a pie) to Team Cake for this cake.

  11. E. M. Wynter on April 25, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    Reblogged this on Wynter Kitchen and commented:
    I’ve been searching high and low (and low and high) for a legit chocolate cake recipe that is sure to pack on the chocolately goodness. Let’s be real; there are a lot of posers out there…And even though cake is, in reality, just a delivery mechanism for frosting, it still has to taste great on its own. The inclusion of coffee in this batter should ensure that. Nicely done, Movita! Can’t wait to try it out!

  12. Steph@stephsbitebybite on April 25, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    This is just what I need to cure my chocolate craving!! Loving the frosting!

  13. stirandstitch on April 25, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    i’m so glad i’m not the only once-ungrateful child who despised her lovingly home-made clothes! i particularly remember the jeans my mom made, with rivets and everything…so not cool at the time. and the lunchbox/thermos when everyone else had the paper bags…oh the trauma of childhood.
    the cake looks beautiful, by the way!

    • movita beaucoup on April 26, 2012 at 5:57 pm

      I snorted when I read this. Homemade jeans are next level, sista. NEXT LEVEL.

      • stirandstitch on April 27, 2012 at 2:16 pm

        it has taken me decades to face dark denim and multiple lines of gold topstitching again. the trauma.

  14. Eggton on April 25, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    Once you form your band, please name your first album “Not A Lot Of Pre-Teen Curb Appeal.”

    Also, as someone who went to her 8th grade graduation in what my friends called “a burlap sack” and what my mom called “lovely linen separates” (as she bought them), I appreciate everything about this post.

    Finally, I like that you tried out the word “uterus” in a comments section and worked your way up to using it in an actual post. THAT is the kind of personal growth and narrative initiative we need around here.

  15. glutenfreezen on April 25, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    I tried reading through this recipe twice this morning but was rudely interrupted by a husband who wanted me to Google something and then again an hour later when he came home from a run with our dogs whom I noticed had Ticks on them! (I think possibly because he is almost bald he doesn’t worry about having ticks making a home in his head after they’ve gotten bored with the dogs. I, on the other hand, have enough hair on my head for three people, and it freaks me out that Ticks might want to build a condo.) Now hubby is off on a flight to a far away land for work and I’m finally able to really read through your post and sit in awe of your absolutely breathtaking frosting job.

    I agree that chocolate cake should be simple and delicious. I actually get irritated sometimes when I read post after post of ridiculously exotic ingredients that have been added to recipes that are perfect the way they started a million years ago.

    I think if you ever decide to have children and end up with girls, you might begin to understand your mother’s wisdom of not wanting pre-teen daughters with curb appeal. Hahaha! 😉

  16. fiercelyfresh on April 25, 2012 at 7:56 pm

    Looks delicious! How did you make the sides like that?

    • movita beaucoup on April 26, 2012 at 5:47 pm

      I put a wee description of the frosting technique below… xox

  17. The Smart Cookie Cook on April 25, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    Mmm a rich chocolate cake just as it should be! It looks beautiful. Hahaha that oxford shirt thing is pretty funny. At least you know you were loved 🙂

  18. Amy on April 25, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    Beautiful cake! Sounds like you found the perfect recipe. How did you do that frosting technique?? it looks awesome!!!

    • movita beaucoup on April 26, 2012 at 5:48 pm

      Amy, scroll down a bit – I put a wee description of the frosting technique below! Hope it makes sense…

  19. musingmar on April 25, 2012 at 9:35 pm

    What a swoonworthy cake! When I see something like that I wonder why you’re not running a baking school instead of enrolling in one! In contrast to the excitement generated by the cake, your oxford shirt story has reawakened long-supressed memories of pre-teen geekiness that my mother amplified by having me play the accordion. Let’s just say that was a major social liability back in the day – nothin’ remotely cool about it. I may have to bake your cake now as therapy!

  20. pencilkitchen on April 26, 2012 at 12:44 am

    That wardrobe is coming back as a retro/school girl. Although, not the white oxford T. That’s just… white oxford T… Nevertheless, awesome chocolate cake. Smear it across your perfect get-up and you’ll be well along with the cool kids 😉

  21. Kita (@passthesushi) on April 26, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    I look back and got ticked because my parents let me pick out awful pastel splattered glasses when I was in the second grade and made me wore skirts with brightly colored flowers on them and leggings constantly. After reading that, I’ll keep my neon leggings and steal a slice of cake. 😉

  22. birchbarksoap on April 26, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    Mmmmmmm! The hubs has a big birthday on the weekend, and although he insists on having his mom’s cake recipe, he conceded that I can branch out on the frosting. I think I’ll make this one! 🙂

  23. Eva {Not your mama's dinner} on April 26, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    This cake makes me wish you’ld have something to forgive me for. If I say nasty stuff, will you forgive me with a cake like that?

  24. lovefoodcookfood on April 26, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    That looks absolutely fabulous. Almost a shame to cut into it. I did say almost. 🙂

  25. cravingsofalunatic on April 26, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    This is gorgeous and I hope someone makes it for me one day. My mom never made me wear oxford shirts, maybe that’s what went wrong. Something to ponder.

  26. The Neighbour on April 26, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    and I quote : A crisp, white collar, we were told, was a perfectly lovely way to tie an outfit together.

    Speak to my sister, a crisp blouse is EVERYTHING!!

  27. movita beaucoup on April 26, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    Friends, icing this cake was über easy. I just put a crumb coat of icing on the cake, and then filled a piping bag fitted with a large, round pastry tip with the buttercream, piped on dots of frosting (sets of three, top to bottom) and then used a small offset spatula to drag from the centre of the circle outward. Then I over-lapped each tail with a new mound of icing and repeated! You can do a cake like this in about 10 minutes (excluding the time it takes to do the crumb coat). You could also vary the size of the mounds, or the pattern. I’ve seen it all over the interweb – it’s going to be as big as ruffle cakes! xox

  28. mellissa @ ibreatheimhungry on April 26, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    I laughed out loud at your Simplicity inspiration book comment! We were dirt poor growing up and my mother made a lot of my clothes. The woman loved polyester, snaps, and collars. I cringe to this day when I see pictures of myself. Like you, I was in zero danger of getting knocked up though so maybe our mom’s were on to something. Glad I have a son and not a daughter that’s for sure! Great cake – love the frosting treatment! Lovely…

  29. cookingactress on April 26, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    This cake is absolutely beautiful and gorgeous! I’m sure your mom loved it. My mom made me do uncool things, too–like wear ponytails so tight my eyes became almond shapes, or wear my pants up to my belly button, etc. But…I don’t think she had as good of intentions as your mom ;P

  30. Just A Smidgen on April 27, 2012 at 12:52 am

    In our house, birthday cakes were always the simple affairs.. it was the sticky icing, tons of candles and singing that we loved. Oh and the presents too! We had buster brown, dickies and penny loafers.. I guess I’m dating myself here.. But later we had head-bands, suede belts and fringed vests.. still dating myself. I think your mom would have liked a school uniform by the sounds of it!!

  31. Maureen (@OrgasmicChef) on April 27, 2012 at 6:28 am

    I’m trying to imagine the holly hobbie. I love your blog! I’m so glad I found you.

    I can’t wait to try this cake. There are times I think if I see another cutesified recipe I’m going to punch the next person I see. I probably won’t. This is a sturdy, reliable cake. I want.

  32. afternoondlite on April 27, 2012 at 8:00 am

    OMG! a work of pure art! How did you eat it? I would end up staring and admiring it for hours! I have to try this cake, I fear my icing skills will be called into question however! GREAT blog, great photos!

  33. Debra Kapellakis on April 27, 2012 at 10:46 am

    It’s chocolate, it’s cake, i’m in! Also the story that came before had me rotflol! thank you sweetie

  34. Emily @ She Makes and Bakes on April 28, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    This cake looks awesome…and beautiful. I ca’nt wait to try it. My husband would love this!

  35. Anonymous on April 28, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    It was so beautiful and so delicious. Aren’t I a lucky Mama??

  36. Rosie Beaucoup on April 28, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    The above comment, WordPress, was not anonymous! It was from Rosie Beaucoup!

  37. Julia on April 28, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    Gorgeous! You have mad decorating skillz. I shall bake it for someone who deserves it: me.

  38. […] 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 […]

  39. Ann on May 5, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    LOL… you said moist again. someone should really make a proper synonym for that word. And I nominate YOU. 🙂

  40. […] Birthday’s aren’t ALL bad. Especially when you get cake like this. […]

  41. A Birthday Cake for Little Miss on August 24, 2012 at 12:33 am

    […] found this recipe at Movita Beaucoup, here, and am presenting it with some adaptations. Movita found it at and made some […]

  42. themessybakerblog on February 3, 2014 at 4:02 pm

    I’m putting together Squirrel’s birthday menu. He will only eat chocolate cake with chocolate frosting, so I’m baking him this cake for his birthday. Quite frankly, he’s lucky I love him.

    • movita beaucoup on February 3, 2014 at 4:50 pm

      Ooooooh! I love this cake! I hope Squirrel will love it, love it, love it!!

  43. wee eats on March 5, 2014 at 11:11 am

    Hey Movita, so, my birthday is next week (kinda) and if you wanted to make this cake and then send it to me, I wouldn’t be mad about it. 🙂

  44. Kerry Cooks on March 6, 2014 at 8:32 am

    Whoa, could this cake look any more amazing?!

  45. A Birthday Cake for Little Miss on September 2, 2014 at 10:39 pm

    […] found this recipe at Movita Beaucoup, here, and am presenting it with some adaptations. Movita found it at and made some […]

  46. lee-ann on October 27, 2014 at 3:06 pm

    How does one make that pattern on the chocolate cake… would love to try it for my daughters birthday

    • movita beaucoup on October 27, 2014 at 3:09 pm

      Scroll through the comments – the answer is above. There are also a lot of tutorials online – youtube is a great place to start!

  47. movita beaucoup on October 29, 2014 at 8:09 am

    Comments on this post are now closed as it was published in April 2012. Happy baking!

  48. […] found this recipe at Movita Beaucoup, here, and am presenting it with some adaptations. Movita found it at and made some […]