Ina Garten’s Chocolate Cake Recipe With Foolproof Frosting Is an Easy Dessert to Feed a Crowd

Ina Garten’s chocolate cake with mocha frosting is a delicious cake recipe that can serve a crowd. It’s an easy cake to bake, with next-level frosting that uses one secret ingredient to enhance the chocolate flavor.

Ina Garten on the Today show during a cooking segment
Ina Garten | Nathan Congleton/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Ina Garten’s chocolate cake with mocha frosting recipe is an easy dessert

While demonstrating how to make her chocolate cake with mocha frosting recipe, Garten shared the ingredient she loves to use in dessert recipes “to enhance the chocolate flavor.”

She started by creaming the butter and sugar together until it was light and fluffy before adding the vanilla and eggs. Garten whisked together hot tap water, cocoa powder, and instant espresso powder, then added half-and-half.

“It’s very strong but it’ll be good with the chocolate,” she said about adding espresso.

Garten sifted flour, baking soda, and salt together in another bowl and added the dry ingredients and chocolate/coffee mixture to the butter and sugar mixture.

Once everything was mixed together, Garten poured the batter into a 9 x 13 inch cake pan. “I buttered it, put parchment paper down, and then buttered and floured the whole thing,” she explained. “There’s no point in making a cake if you can’t get it out of the pan. I’m very careful about that.”

She baked the cake in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for 30 minutes and, once done, allowed it to cool completely.

Ina Garten has a foolproof and delicious mocha frosting

After the cake cooled completely, Garten showed how to turn the cake over onto her hand, peel off the piece of parchment paper, and put it on a platter to frost it.

“The mocha frosting couldn’t be easier,” she explained as she got to work melting bittersweet chocolate, butter, espresso powder, and heavy cream in a bowl over a simmering pot of water. For even more delicious flavor, Garten added coffee liqueur and vanilla extract, then stirred the frosting mixture until it was smooth.

She refrigerated the frosting for 30 minutes then used a hand mixer to beat the frosting. “It’s really like ganache,” Garten explained. “If you whip ganache or chill ganache, it ends up like frosting, just like this.”

“Just want to make sure it’s nice and firm and smooth,” she added.

Garten poured the frosting over the top of the cake, frosting only the top and making decorative swirls. “I like when you can see the cake and the frosting,” she explained.

RELATED: Ina Garten’s Brownies Recipe Uses This ‘Magic’ Ingredient She Says Enhances the Chocolate Flavor

Ina Garten has the perfect trick for cutting a cake

Garten said the cake can serve 12 and she shared her trick for cutting the perfect sizes. “In order to get 12 pieces that are exactly the same size, what I do is I score it in half and then score it in half again. And then you’ll see it’s easier to get four even sized pieces,” she explained.

After running her knife through the frosting to make guidelines for the cake pieces, she sliced into it.

You can find the full recipe on the Food Network website.