I can hear you whining. “Not another chocolate cake recipe!”. Yes. Simply put, this is the best chocolate cake I have ever tasted. I have backup on this: nine neighbors in five households keep telling me how good the Grand Marnier cupcakes were. They are relentless. They are wanting more. They want me to make them for a birthday in November. My standing in the neighborhood has gone way up due to these cupcakes. I needed that boost. I’ve not recovered my social standing since I quit making cinnamon rolls for the neighborhood garage sale. I keep telling you, it’s a tough audience!
After the cupcake event, a few weeks ago, even I could not get that cake out of my mind. I had a good amount of the Orange Buttercream Frosting leftover, sitting in the freezer, I needed to use up. Do you like how I said…needed? Instead of making more cupcakes, I made a two layer cake from the recipe. Since I didn’t have enough of the frosting for the cake, I plopped the leftover frosting into the mixing bowl and added about a third of a plain buttercream frosting recipe to the mix. (I skipped the ganache part) It was wonderful. It still had that orange flavor in the background and it complemented the chocolate cake perfectly.
I texted my taste testing neighbors and told them I had “cake to go” if they wanted to drop by and pick some up. And so they did. I have to share the cake. There is no way the two of us could even begin to eat all the goodies I love to make. I even took some over to the folks the next day. That is the most fun about baking and cooking, sharing what I make.
A pretty good sign that a recipe is a keeper, is how many times it is shared online as well as the comments left by people who had made the recipe. This recipe is no exception. I read on the site, where I found this recipe, that it had been shared many times. I shall continue the tradition on this one. I’ve included links to the other sites at the end of the recipe. I almost forgot, I made no changes to the recipe for the cake, the ganache, nor to the frosting. Can you believe it? It’s that good.
The Chocolate Cake Recipe
This recipe was adapted by Jamie, My Baking Addiction, from Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa, the recipe is all over the internet and everyone who makes it loves it!
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cups good cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk, shaken
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners; set aside.
2. 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.
3. Using a large scoop, distribute the batter between 24 muffin wells, filling each well 2/3 full. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack and cool completely.
4. Once cupcakes have cooled, hollow out a small circle in the center of each cupcake; I just used a serrated knife. My husband ate the scraps with the leftover ganache.
The Grand Marnier Ganache Recipe
Recipe from Jamie, My Baking Addiction. Thank you!!
5 ounces heavy cream
12 ounces dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier
1. Place chocolate in a large heat safe bowl.
2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat the cream until it comes to a simmer. Remove from heat and pour the hot cream over the chocolate. Allow the mixture to sit for about five minutes. Whisk the chocolate and cream mixture until smooth and glossy. Stir in the Grand Marnier. Allow ganache to cool at room temperature for about 1 hour.
3. Pipe or spoon the ganache into each hollowed cupcake and top with buttercream.
The Orange Buttercream Frosting Recipe
Recipe from Jamie, My Baking Addiction.
4 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 pounds confectioners’ sugar, sifted
Zest of one large orange (about 1 tablespoon)
pinch of fine grain sea salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons Grand Marnier
1-3 tablespoons milk
1 drop orange gel dye (optional) I didn’t use it, I liked the little specks of orange zest to be visable.
1. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter with an electric mixer until fluffy. Slowly add in confectioner’s sugar, and continue mixing until well blended.
2. Add orange zest, salt, vanilla, and Grand Marnier. Blend on low speed until moistened. Add 1 tablespoon of milk and beat until thoroughly combined. If frosting is too thick, gradually add in milk until the desired consistency is reached. Add a tiny bit of orange gel dye to create a pale orange color, if you want. Spread or pipe the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes.
If making a layer cake, butter and flour two 8 inch cake pans and then line with parchment circles on the bottom of the pan. Bake 25-35 minutes or until a toothpick poked in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then remove from pans and let completely cool on a rack.
These cupcakes and cake are best served the day they are made; however, they will keep covered and stored in the refrigerator for up to two days. Allow to come to room temperature for 45-60 minutes before serving.
If you look close, you can see flecks of the orange zest in the frosting. Now THIS is a snack. Here is a list of sites where I read about this wonderful cake: