Dr. Sharon Duncan

Love: Chocolate lovers option to Christmas dessert

Love: Start your own family traditions - a special series of recipes have been running in the Langley Advance since Dec. 8, here’s another.

My go-to recipe on a lot of occasions is my family’s favourite chocolate cake recipe by author Ina Garten.

I whip up this easy-to-make chocolate cake recipe and make cupcakes a few times a year and everyone always seems to love them.

Even my husband loves them and he is one of those unusual people that doesn’t really enjoy desserts.

I think the secret of this chocolate cake recipe is in using buttermilk… and also adding the coffee!

Our children are nine and 13 years old, and love to help bake goodies to take to school.

I often work a lot over the holidays, and like so many people, we sometimes struggle to find time to bake cookies and other traditional treats.

When we wish to bring treats for celebrations at school at Christmas time, we often make these chocolate cupcakes and simply add red, white, and green sprinkles on top.

A busy family’s twist on a Christmas tradition.

from Dr. Sharon Duncan,palliative care physician Langley Hospice Residence

Easy-to-make chocolate cake

From Barefoot Contessa At Home by Ina Garten


• Butter for greasing the pans

• 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the pans

• 2 cups sugar

• 3/4 cup good cocoa powder

• 2 teaspoons baking soda

• 1 teaspoon baking powder

• 1 teaspoon kosher salt

• 1 cup buttermilk, shaken

• 1/2 cup vegetable oil

• 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature

• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

• 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Butter and flour two 8-inch round cake pans (or cupcake pans).

Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the 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 mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.

Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes (or about 20 minutes for cupcakes), until a cake tester comes out clean.

Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.

Ice the cake or cupcakes with frosting (I use milk chocolate icing, below)

Milk Chocolate Icing

(My own recipe)

• 3 cups icing sugar

• ¾ cup cocoa powder

• 6 tablespoons butter (room temperature)

• 6 tablespoons milk

• 1 tablespoon strong brewed coffee

• Beat the butter with electric mixer until light and fluffy.  Add icing sugar and other ingredients to the butter, while mixing until smooth.

Add additional milk and/or coffee to your taste.

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