This chocolate cake is special, the cake is dark, moist and deeply chocolatey and the meringue frosting is light, smooth and not overly sweet. Two things that take this over the top is the addition of raw sugar to keep the cake from sticking to the pan and the chocolate drizzle on top that hardens and those two elements add the perfect amount of delicate crunch to this sophisticated chocolate cake. It is The Barbuto Family Birthday Cake.

Growing up my mom’s chocolate cake was everyone’s favorite, at least her first four children, I was an ice cream cake requester (sorry mom). Over the years I grew to love this cake as well (and made some modifications such as increasing the chocolate and swapping out water for coffee) and when this social distancing is over I am going to challenge my mom and siblings to a bake-off to see who now makes this cake the best.

Recipe makes one 8″ two layer cake, one 9×13 cake or 30 cupcakes.
Cake Ingredients:
Butter for pans, 2T Sugar in the Raw
4 oz. unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup butter
1 cup strong coffee, warm or room temp.
2 cups sifted cake flour
1 1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 1/4 cup sour cream
2 cups vanilla sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350*.
2. Rub two 8″ pans with butter and coat with sugar in the raw ( you can sub the raw sugar for flour).
3. Combine the unsweetened chocolate, butter and coffee in a double boiler (if you don’t have one, use a heat proof bowl over simmering water) and stir until it melts, let cool.
4. Sift flour, baking soda and salt into a large bowl.
5. Beat 2 eggs with sour cream in a medium bowl until blended, then beat in sugar and vanilla.
6. Stir in COOLED chocolate mixture until smooth.
7. Add all into flour and mix until smooth. Pour into prepared pans.

Bake for 40 minutes, or until center springs back. Let cool and loosen edges with a knife to ensure smooth transfer to cooling rack. (If you want to use 9″ pans, decrease cooking time, keeping an eye toward the 30 minute mark and about 15 minutes for cupcakes.)

If making as cupcakes you can make 1/2 a frosting recipe.
Frosting Ingredients:
4 egg whites
1 1/2 cups vanilla sugar
1 tsp. cream of tartar
2 dashes salt
4-5 tsp. cold water
2 tsp. vanilla extract

1. In double boiler over low-medium heat, combine all but vanilla extract and beat for 7 minutes or until you have firm peaks.
2. Take off of heat and stir in vanilla extract.

Melt one ounce of chocolate with 1T butter and use to decorate.

If you need to make a large cake, you can double it and make 2 9x13s and cut them in half horizontally to frost between layers, it’s a little tricky but serves a crowd. Writing out this recipe is making me crave this cake so bad, it will be the cake that I make for the first post-quarantine celebration for sure . I hope you make this recipe and your family loves it as much as mine. Happy cooking!

About Julie Parkis

About Julie Parkis

Mom, MBA, Yogi, CIA grad and food enthusiast looking to share knowledge of food/cooking and general wellness information.

I am happiest in the kitchen with people who love food as much as I do!


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