Tag Archives: Cake

Versatile Vanilla Cake with Dark Chocolate Ganache

12 Apr

I knew I wanted to make a cake on Superbowl Sunday for Robbbb since his Patriots were playing. I wanted to make a vanilla cake since that’s his favorite, but wanted to use chocolate icing since that is MY favorite.

Basic ingredients - except buttermilk is something most people dont have on hand


I looked around for a couple days for some decent recipes. I ended up turning to Martha Stewart. I read some reviews on various cakes and netted out on her Versatile Vanilla and Dark Chocolate Ganache.

Beautiful Layers

Chopped Chocolate

I hadnt made a cake in a long time so I was excited. And I’m ashamed to admit this, but I’ve NEVER made a layer cake with icing before. And as you all know, I am always excited to get out my KitchenAid mixer and mix something!

Cream mixing with the Chocolate

Cooling the Ganache

I set out slowly and with confidence. I followed Martha’s instructions to a T and used quality ingredients. For the icing, you HAVE to use quality chocolate – 60 or 70% cacao at least. I used Ghirardelli brand 8 oz at 60% and 8 oz at 70%.

Iced Cake

It turned out AMAZING. The cake was moist and delicious and so flavorful. The chocolate ganache was the richest icing I’ve ever had. I will ALWAYS use this ganache from now on. It couldn’t have been simpler to make, too. I think the next time I make it, I’ll try using 2 cups of whole milk instead of 2 cups heavy cream just to see if I can make it a smidge healthier.


I have since made this cake again for a Girls Night get together and it was once again, a total crowd pleaser. Robb’s compliment about this cake: “This cake reminds me why I love cake so much“. Believe it.

Versatile Vanilla Cake

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pans
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup low-fat buttermilk


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two 8-by-2-inch cake pans, tapping out excess flour. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  2. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. With mixer on low, beat in eggs and yolks, one at a time. Beat in vanilla. Alternately beat in flour mixture and buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture; mix just until combined.
  3. Divide batter between pans; smooth tops. Bake until cakes pull away from sides of pans, 32 to 35 minutes. Let cool in pans 10 minutes. Run a knife around edges of pans and invert cakes onto a wire rack. Let cool completely.
  4. Place one cake, bottom side up, on a cake stand. Tuck strips of parchment paper underneath. Using an offset-spatula or table knife, spread top with frosting. Top with remaining cake; frost top, then sides.

Dark-Chocolate Ganache

(Makes 3.5 cups)

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped


  1. In a large saucepan, bring 2 cups heavy cream, 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, and 1/8 teaspoon salt to a boil. Remove from heat; add 1 pound bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped, and let stand, without stirring, for 1 minute. Whisk just until combined. Refrigerate, stirring occasionally, until spreadable, about 1 hour.
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