STREAMING NOW: Nigella: At My Table

Want more from Genius Kitchen?

Watch on your Apple TV, Roku, or Fire TV and your iOS, Fire, or Android device.

Learn More
“Here's a planning tip: This can be made through step 21, wrapped in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature 1 day, or cover plastic-wrapped cake with foil and freeze up to 2 weeks. Frost with Cocoa Whipped Cream up to 1 day ahead.”
2hrs 15mins

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Position rack in lower third of oven- Heat to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease a 13x9x2 inch baking pan with solid shortening- Dust with flour, tap out excess and line bottom with parchment or wax paper.
  3. Sift flour onto wax paper.
  4. Measure 2 cups by lightly spooning flour into a measuring cup (the nested kind), mounding it slightly (don't tap cup on countertop)- Sweep off excess flour with back of knife, put into a medium bowl, whisk in baking soda and salt.
  5. In a medium bowl, whisk 1/2 cup lukewarm water into the cocoa- Let cool.
  6. Pour buttermilk, 1/2 cup water and vanilla into a liquid cup measure.
  7. Crack eggs into a small bowl; whisk to mix yolks with whites.
  8. Beat butter in a large bowl with mixer on medium speed 30 to 45 seconds until smooth.
  9. On low speed, gradually beat in granulated sugar then brown sugar- Scrape down sides of bowl (mixture will appear sandy).
  10. Beat on medium speed 6 to 7 minutes until mixture is light in color and comes together.
  11. Gradually add eggs and beat, scraping bowl at least once, until fluffy and increased in volume (This, including adding eggs, should take about 1 minutes).
  12. Add cocoa mixture; beat just to blend.
  13. With a rubber spatula, stir in 1/4 the flour mixture, then 1/3 the buttermilk mixture- Repeat, alternating dry and liquid ingredients, ending with flour mixture and mixing until blended and smooth.
  14. Pour into prepared pan- Spread from center out, creating a slightly raised ridge around rim.
  15. Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until top springs back slightly when touched lightly in center, sides contract and a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean- Cool on wire rack 10 minutes.
  16. Prepare frosting while waiting: Stir in 1/2 cup sugar and 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder in a large bowl to blend.
  17. Add 1 cup heavy whipping cream; stir to combine.
  18. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes for sugar and cocoa to dissolve.
  19. Beat with mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form when beaters are lifted- Use immediately (makes 2 cups).
  20. Once the cake has cooled on a wire rack for 10 minutes, run a thin knife around edge of cake, place a wire rack over pan and flip both over- Remove pan and paper.
  21. Turn paper sticky side up, place non-sticky side on cake, cover with a rack and flip both over so cake is right side up- Cool completely.
  22. To assemble: Place cake in freezer 15 minutes.
  23. Using a serrated knife, slightly trim narrow ends.
  24. Cut cake crosswise in thirds.
  25. Place 1 third on a platter; spread with 1/3 the Cocoa Whipped Cream- Repeat with another third.
  26. Top with remaining layer; spread top with remaining cream.
  27. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes or until ready to serve.

Watch more

Join the Conversation

  • all
  • reviews
  • tweaks
  • q & a