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If Ina Garten Bakes This Cake for Jeffrey, It's Good Enough for Us

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It's the last day of The Fall Cookbook Cake Parade: a new cake from a new cookbook every single day. We're ending with the food of love: a superlative devil's food cake from Cooking for Jeffrey.

Ina Garten's Devil's Food Cake
Ina Garten's Devil's Food Cake

The perfect cake mostly exists in daydreams and on supermarket boxes: utterly moist and, somehow simultaneously light and rich, with an incredibly tender crumb, all swathed in icing that's creamy and fluffy but not so sugary it makes your teeth hurt. Layered. Perfect-slicing.


It comes as no surprise, of course, that Ina Garten—the Barefoot Contessa, for crying out loud!—would be the one to master it. This recipe comes from her latest cookbook, Cooking for Jeffrey. And she knows it's good:

This cake is a showstopper! I bake the cakes one day and make the buttercream and assemble the cakes the next so it is not too daunting. I adore the combination of moist chocolate cake and lighter-than-air buttercream.

It would have to be a showstopper to be Jeffrey-worthy, no? Make it for us and win our hearts forever. (Seriously.)

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Ina Garten's Devil's Food Cake

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Makes one 9-inch 4-layer cake; serves 12 to 16

For the cake:

  • 3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, such as Pernigotti
  • 3/4 cup hot brewed coffee or espresso
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • Coffee Meringue Buttercream (recipe follows)
  • Chocolate espresso beans (for decoration)

For the coffee meringue buttercream:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 6 extra-large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 pounds (6 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup coffee liqueur, such as Kahlúa
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Go to Recipe
Cooking for Jeffrey: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook
Cooking for Jeffrey: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook

Gratefully excerpted from Cooking for Jeffrey.

See more of our Fall Cookbook Cake Parade

Tags: devil's food cake, ina garten