Beatty's Chocolate Cake

I made a concave cake today. Good thing it is a layer cake. Good thing that frosting can cover a multitude of issues. I am meticulous about following directions so I have no idea what happened. I baked them in the convection oven. They raised beautifully. When I checked on them before it was time to take them out I saw that the centers had collapsed. I was a just a tad disappointed.

I checked ChowHound and found others who have had the problem but none had an answer. In searching further I found some reasons why a cake may sink in the center while baking.

Since I hadn't opened the oven. I didn't have too much liquid, and the amount of fat/sugar and/or leavening wasn't incorrect. I guess it has to be that I over mixed the batter or that I baked it in the convection oven as that temperature is automatically reduced by 25 degrees and too low of a temperature is listed as a reason. (I doubt it was using a convection oven.)

Regardless of the collapsed center, this cake is delicious! It is very, very moist and almost melts in your mouth! This I knew from the crumbs I was eating! You can get the recipe for both the cake and the frosting here or you can get the recipes from Barefoot Contessa at Home.

I made the frosting as directed. The chocolate melted nicely.

The frosting spread smoothly.

My daughter came in to lick the spatula and paddle. She frowned and asked what I put in the frosting. "Just coffee"..."Yuck," she responded. I was thinking that it must be really bad if she wouldn't finish licking the paddle and the spatula!

I licked the paddle. I found the coffee flavor rather strong for my taste, too. I decided that a spoonful of Kahlua just might help. It didn't really, but it made me feel better to have tried. There was just enough frosting to make it around the cake. The recipe certainly doesn't yield an abundance. Personally, I didn't really like the frosting. I think the ratio of butter to powdered sugar is off. There is 1/2 pound of butter in the frosting!! The consistency when you take a bite is like you are biting into a stick of butter. (Could be just me.) Of course, I was only sampling from the bowl!

The proof is in the final taste test. Maybe the cake and the frosting together will make me smile broadly.

It is beautiful!

You can see that it is moist!

Two thumbs up for the cake! One thumb for the frosting!

The Barefoot Bloggers are making Beatty's Chocolate Cake. The recipe was selected by Mary at Passionate Perseverance. I was really excited about this cake. I read some of the reviews earlier this month and everybody was excited except for those who had pan issues....I used a regular 8 inch cake pan. Nothing over-flowed, my oven survived...but I am not doing a "cake dance" as I am a perfectionist and my layers are concave. Hummm, I said that. And, the frosting is ho-hum to me. Grandma Opal's chocolate fudge frosting is definitely the answer. Grandma Opal's frosting will make this cake rock!

It is a beautiful cake!

Stop the presses!!!

The Kitchen Gnome just had a piece...he says he really likes the cake! ....and the frosting? Yep, he likes it. Who would have known?!

I took some to work. Everybody loved it. I must be the only one who has issues with the frosting. Based on the response from everybody this cake fits the bill. Wonderful chocolate, moist crumb, smooth frosting that is not too sweet....where's my fork, let me try again!


  1. LOL! I used a 9" pan and my baking bands. Mine sunk just a wee bit, if you look at my photos. One of mine didn't release. I liked the frosting, but I love strong coffee. Overall, my husband said the cake was amazing. Me? It was too much chocolate for me. It's in the freezer, for when hubs craves chocolate!

  2. omg these looks so moist and so good!
    sometimes my cakes sink too.
    but usually they dome up and i have to level them.

  3. Nope, this is obviously not up to your standards. Send it to me--I'll get rid of it for you... :-)

    Enjoy your dinner tonight. Let me know if you make the soup!

  4. It looks sinfully good! I ahve had that happen too:( More times than once.. are's perfect.

  5. Looks great! We really love this recipe. I have a recipe for a chocolate sour cream frosting in my blog that I have paired with this cake. Its a great and kid friendly frosting recipe. I added some espresso powder to it but you could leave it out.

  6. hello, :)

    the chocolate looks yummy..I find the frosting's butter-sugar ratio off too but it does taste great with the cake..

  7. I have no idea about the concave issue... but this cake looks incredible!

  8. Oh no! I deleted my comment.

    I loved the cake, super super moist. We didn't make the frosting, but a white one instead. I'll have to remember the Kaluah... maybe. Drink the Kaluah, eat the cake.

  9. Your cake looks fantastic, Kate. My last chocolate cake did the same thing. I just evened it out with frosting. Sometimes I'm not happy with convection baking. I've had some bad luck with cakes. They looked like they are ready to come out of the oven, but they aren't. Don't know what the answer is.

  10. We really enjoyed this. Also was dissapointed that the middle sunk (it looks lower as the time elapsed), but it tasted great nevertheless. I am going to post my pic hopefully sometimes this weekend!

  11. Beatty's Cake is my favorite chocolate cake recipe and I make it all the time but I make cupcakes.

    I've not had a problem with a sinking center before. Could it be your oven is not heating evenly? Have you tested it? Just get an oven thermometer and place it on the left side of your oven on the middle rack. Wait about 25 minutes and note the temperature on the thermometer. Then move it to the back center, wait 25 minutes and again note the temperature.

    Move the thermometer to the right side, then front, then into the center, each time waiting 25 minutes and noting the temp. If there is any variation in the temperature then your oven is not heating evenly.

  12. Kate, you really can see that the cake is really moist. I wouldn't turn down a nice big piece of your cake.

  13. You have me intrigued. Is the recipe for Grandma Opal's chocolate fudge frosting available?

  14. I think it's interesting that you leapt to the conclusion that you must have somehow, someway done something wrong in order to make your layers sink. But this seems to be a common problem with this recipe, which indicates that the recipe is out of balance, not that you made a mistake. It sounds like it has a bit too much liquid and maybe a bit too much fat in it - both of which also contribute to that super moist crumb.

  15. I think this is one of the best tasting chocolate cake recipes I've ever tried. That being said, it always sinks a bit on me as well. I've gone through all the trouble-shooting tips to no avail. I will continue to make it and cover up the "sink" creatively!


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