Scott's Chocolate Cake with Ganache

Scott, my father-in-law, has spoken multiple times about a chocolate cake he and Donna (my mother-in-law) had eaten on a trip a few years back. This year for his birthday I asked Donna a lot of questions about the cake they had eaten that one trip. Based on her recollections, here is what I made. This was my first chocolate cake from scratch.  

Chocolate Cake (Adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe)


  • 1 1/4 cups unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 2 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 2 1/2 cups White Sugar 
  • 2 1/4 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1 1/4 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1 1/4 tsp. Salt
  • 1 tsp. Instant Coffee (decaf)
  • 2 large eggs and 1 egg yolk
  • 1 1/4 cups Warm Water
  • 1 1/4 cups Buttermilk (I used 2% milk with a teaspoon of white vinegar)
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp. Vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 2- 8 or 9 inch pans with cooking spray. Line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper. Dust with cocoa powder and spray again (I forgot this part and it does matter!). 

Sift the dry ingredients together: cocoa, flour, sugar, baking soda & powder, salt, and coffee. Add all of the wet ingredients and beat together for about 3 minutes on low. 

Pour half of the batter in each pan and bake for 30-35 minutes. Cakes are done when a toothpick comes out clean or with a few crumbs. 

Let sit for 10-15 minutes on a wire wrack. Remove the paper & allow cakes to cool the rest of the way. Ice with the following ganache recipe. 

Chocolate Ganache (adapted from Martha Stewart)


  • 1 pint Heavy Cream (2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup Powdered Sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. Salt
  • 1 lb. Semisweet Chocolate Chips


In a large saucepan, bring cream, sugar, and salt to a boil. Be very careful to stir frequently as the edges may burn. Remove from heat and add the chocolate chips. Let stand, without stirring, for 1 minute. Whisk to combine. Refrigerate, until spreadable, about one hour (or overnight). Spread on the cake above. DELICIOUS!

I'm linking up with Jessica and her Ultimate Recipe Swap: