Celebrations and the best chocolate cake

There has been a beautiful, new community I’ve found this year.  Initially, I felt a little awkward because I was very clearly the youngest.  My internal dialogue told me they too saw me as immature or not deserving to be in those social circles, but I was so wrong and they are so great.

We gather on Monday’s to watch Dancing With the Stars aka mainly cheer on James Hinchcliffe and Laurie Hernandez, our favorites.  It is so silly looking back now, but I convinced myself to go at first as an act of self-care.  Because I knew it would be good to let my brain relax and have time with other people.  And it is self-care because it is just that, but I never needed to feel guilty about watching a good show with friends in the first place.


But it has become a favorite weekly rhythm of mine and it was also the place we got to celebrate halloween and my friends birthday.  I am a firm believer that birthdays require a special, homemade cake, so I was totally on board to make the cake.  It had to be chocolate, too.  I scoured the internet for inspiration and was thinking I would do some sort of combination, but landed on a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting that was on several websites.  It’s her Beatty’s Chocolate cake and it’s amazing.  Rich, divine, and my go to chocolate cake.

I am thankful for friends worth celebrating and for excuses to gather and do life together.

Beatty’s Chocolate Cake

by: Ina Garten


1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups sugar

3/4 cocoa powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 large eggs, at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup hot coffee


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray 2 9 inch round cans with non-stick spray
  2. Combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment until combined.
  3. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla.
  4. With the mixer on low, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry one.
  5. Keep the mixer on low and add the coffee slowly until just combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35-40 minutes.
  7. Cool for 30 minutes and then turn out on cooling rack.

Chocolate Frosting:


6 ounces good semisweet chocolate

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 large egg yolk, at room temperature

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar


  1. Chop chocolate and put it in a heat-proof bowl over a pan of simmering water, stir until melted and set aside until cooled to room temperature
  2. Beat the butter with an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the egg yolk and vanilla to the butter and continue beating for 3 minutes
  4. With mixer on low, slowly add the confectioners’ sugar, turn speed up to medium until smooth and creamy
  5. On low speed, add the chocolate to the butter mixture until combined. Don’t whip!
  6. Spread on the cooled cake

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