I stumbled upon this cake recently and have been dying to make it. Basil butter cream and Ina Garten’s chocolate cake… Sounds equally interesting and incredible. If you’ve ever tried Ina’s Beatty’s Chocolate Cake recipe, which I have before, you will know that it’s a home run every time. She adds a cup of freshly brewed coffee into the batter and it really brings out the rich chocolate flavor. When we decided to make this cake we had no idea that the trip to the grocery store would turn into three trips to three different stores due to the Nashville “Flash Freeze.” The low was six degrees Sunday night, which is not normal for Nashville. Apparently people got a little nervous and cleared out the grocery stores. The shelves were bare and it looked like we were in the middle of a natural disaster. Persistence paid off and the multiple trips were worth it.

This cake is the best and the buttercream recipe is a new favorite. It would be so great with Rosemary or Rose, or maybe a splash of Grand Marnier.

Chocolate Cake with Basil Buttercream

Beatty’s Chocolate Cake via Ina Garten

1 3/4 cup flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup good cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk, shaken
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee

Preheat the oven to 350. Butter two 8 inch round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pans.

Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low-speed until combined. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs and vanilla. With the mixer on low-speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With the mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.

*Batter will be very runny, but do not worry*

Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35-40 minutes, until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely, removing parchment paper.


Basil Buttercream

1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 cup fresh basil leaves, packed
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups (three sticks) unsalted butter, soft but cool, cut into small pieces
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

In a heavy saucepan, combine milk, heavy cream and basil. Heat until simmering but make sure it doesn’t boil. Remove from heat. Let the basil cream cool and then refrigerate for at least two hours and up to overnight. Remove basil leaves from the cream and discard.

In a heavy saucepan, whisk the flour and sugar together. Add in the basil cream and cook over medium heat, whisking every now and then until the mixture thickens. It takes about 10-15 minutes.

Transfer the mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer and using the paddle attachment, beat on high until cool for 7-9 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and add in the cubed butter, mixing until combined. Increase the speed to medium high and beat until the frosting is fluffy and doubled in size. About 1-2 minutes. Add in the vanilla extract and mix until incorporated. Set frosting to the side.

Place one of the two cooled cakes on a cake stand. With an offset spatula or knife, spread the top with a layer of basil buttercream. Place the next cake on top and spread the rest of the frosting all over the cake in an even layer. Garnish cake with fresh basil and serve.


  • Stephanie

    This cake looks mouth-watering! I’ve been looking for recipes lately and Im heading to the store now so I can make this cake today. Thanks for sharing! The “Flash-Freeze” was so bad here in canada, our house is pretty much buried!

  • Ana Mei

    This looks delicious! I loooooove chocolate cake so I’m definitely going to give this a go during the weekend!

  • Maz Hemming

    Looks beautiful, may try a vegan version of this. Chocolate with basil is always a lovely combination :)

  • becca waterloo

    Seriously looks amazing, and the mint is such a great touch. I’ll have to try this one!

  • Caitlin

    what a beautiful cake! we’ve been having the same issues in philly with the super markets getting cleaned because of impending snow. i cannot wait until spring.

  • Amie

    What a beautiful cake! I bet it’s just so yummy!!

  • LaTonya

    I was literally just pinning cakes for my daughter’s birthday. It would be my first homemade cake, and I am a bit intimidated. I think I’ll try the original chocolate recipe for starters. Unless you have another easy cake for starters?

    Thanks for inspiring me


  • Eva

    If an unusual chocolate cake is your thing, try this one:

  • Ruthy @ Omeletta

    Wow- I’ve never thought of adding basil to buttercream, but this is a definite make for me now. I love Ina Garten, she’s always so foolproof!

  • nanette

    wow must try this! thanks for sharing.

  • OnceLostBoutique

    WOOW :)) what a great start of my day ))I will totally will give it a try. Last summer basil one of the MUST HAVE herbs in our kitchen )

  • petal and plume

    seriously… you are amazing. this is perfect!

  • Iwona

    This looks delicious! Thank you for idea and recipe: ) Today on my blog pineapple: ) My parents always told me not to play with food, but by looking on food photography, I think they might be wrong. For me food, is always one of the greatest inspirations, very tasty inspiration: )!!! Do you also think so?

  • shell

    I would love to make this!! But unfortunately my husband is borderline diabetic. Do you have any cake recipes for that?

  • sarah

    Looks delicious!

  • Amanda

    looooove this idea of using basil. can’t wait to get my oven fixed and try this recipe.

  • Taylor

    I love these pictures! And I can’t wait to try out this recipe! We had the same problem with the grocery stores here in Michigan. My weekly routine of buying my groceries Saturday night for the upcoming dinners turned out to be half a disaster and I ended up having to go back out in the negative temperatures the following couple of days to make up for what I missed. I’m still a little unsure as to why everyone panicked so badly as if we’ve never with a snow storm here in Michigan. haha.

    Hope you’re all staying safe and warm though!


  • Robyn

    Fabulous! Sounds so fresh!

  • Stephanie


Leave a Comment

Comments are moderated.

All Content © 2014 Bleubird. All Rights Reserved.
Site designed by Jane Reaction + Developed by Brandi Bernoskie