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  • Beatty’s Chocolate Cake is a popular Barefoot Contessa dish.
  • However, Ina Garten didn’t come up with it herself. 
  • She first tried the chocolate cake at a dinner party and loved it so much that she asked how to make it. 
Ina Garten, who has a Barefoot Contessa recipe for Beatty's Chocolate Cake, wears a blue shirt
Ina Garten | Daytime Emmy Awards 2021 via Getty Images

Ina Garten just might be the unofficial queen of chocolate cake. She has different versions of the dessert, each one just as chocolatey as the next. Her fellow Food Network stars have even been known to make her chocolate cakes for their birthdays. However, one stands out above the rest. Ask any Barefoot Contessa fan and chances are they’ll say, Beatty’s Chocolate Cake. This particular cake is wildly popular. But Garten didn’t actually come up with the cake herself. How she discovered Beatty’s Chocolate Cake — and gave it her own Barefoot Contessa twist — ahead. 

Beatty’s Chocolate Cake has nearly 3,000 five-star reviews on Food Network’s website

Right up there with Perfect Roast Chicken and Flag Cake as some of the most popular Barefoot Contessa dishes is Beatty’s Chocolate Cake. It’s downright beloved by fans of Garten’s. 

At the time of writing the chocolate cake has wracked up nearly 3,000 reviews — 2,865 to be exact — on Food Network’s website. On top of that it averages five stars. 

One look at reviewers’ comments and it’s easy to see why Beatty’s Chocolate Cake is so highly rated. 

“I can’t even express how wonderful this cake is,” one person wrote, calling it life-changing. “Delicious doesn’t even begin to describe it,” added another. 

“I have made this cake numerous times and it is ALWAYS a winner!” one reviewer wrote. “I have friends, family, and co-workers asking for it repeatedly! It is the best ‘from scratch’ cake I have ever made.”

A friend of Ina Garten’s served her Beatty’s Chocolate Cake when she came over for dinner

The cookbook author discussed the origin story behind Beatty’s Chocolate Cake in a 2022 interview with ​​Goldbelly TV

“Beatty’s chocolate cake came about because a very good friend invited us for dinner and he served us a chocolate cake,” Garten recalled. 

She continued, remembering how she loved the cake. “I was like, ‘This is the best chocolate cake I’ve ever had and where does it come from?’ And he said, ‘Well, my grandmother made it.’” 

Garten’s friend gave her “the recipe for the chocolate cake and that became a really important thing.”

“It’s a classic American chocolate cake, but it just tastes better than you expect it to,” she added. 

Inside the barn at her home in East Hampton, New York, Garten shared more about Beatty’s Chocolate cake. 

“My friend Michael Grimm’s grandfather was a milkman in Pennsylvania Dutch country, and his grandmother’s name was Beatty,” she said. “She would take orders for chocolate cakes, and they would deliver them with the milk. How good does that sound?” 

She went on to name coffee as the cake’s “secret ingredient.” 

Ina Garten’s adapted the cake since it first appeared in her 2006 cookbook

Ina Garten, who has a Beatty's Chocolate Cake Barefoot Contessa recipe, signs cookbooks
Ina Garten | Amy Sussman/Getty Images for Food Network

Beatty’s Chocolate Cake is featured in Garten’s 2006 cookbook, Barefoot Contessa At Home. Over the years she’s made a few variations due to its popularity. She adapted Beatty’s Chocolate Cake into cupcakes for 2022’s Go-To Dinners. Garten also shared her instructions work for making the cake into a sheet cake as opposed to the original layered cake.