The Best Chocolate Cake Recipe with Basil Buttercream

February 15th, 2016


One day, I decided to make a cake.


The last time I decided to make a cake was… never.  I am not a cake maker. In fact, it is a running joke among my husband and I. I love to cook. I am a great cook and am very comfortable in the kitchen. But Baking? Nope.


However, when my son’s first birthday happened upon us on a Wednesday and we had nothing planned to celebrate him, my mom guilt set in as I planned a party the following Saturday and decided to bake a cake… and then hopped on Pinterest for the cutest cake to photograph for my blog most tasty cake I could find for a 1 year old.


I stumbled upon this incredible basil mascarpone buttercream frosted chocolate cake recipe and thought “I can do that.” Also, it sounds insanely delicious right? Easiest decision on earth. Done.


Next, I went to the store to pick things up for the recipe, but as a true non-baker I went down the list saying out loud “Eh. I think I have that at home” and “I can probably use that weird flour to replace this” etc… Which resulted in a recipe gone… a tad awry but not necessarily bad tasting. In fact, it was quite DELICIOUS. It just had a hard time staying in one piece. But hey, don’t we all?


Without further ado, here is the CORRECT recipe (as recorded by miss Molly) with a few notes on what I used as substitutions.


Cake Ingredients

1 3/4 c sugar

1 3/4 c all-purpose flour (or coconut flour if you are me)

1 c unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 tsp kosher salt (or regular salt if you are me)

2 large eggs

1/2 c canola oil

1 c whole milk (or 1/2 c whole milk and 1/2 c kefir if you are me… We had limited milk)

1 tb vanilla extract

3/4 c boiling water


Frosting Ingredients

10 fresh basil leaves, torn

2 sticks unsalted butter

8 oz mascarpone

3 cups organic powdered sugar

a pinch of kosher salt


You can follow along on My Name is Yeh to get the full step by step instructions for baking the cake, and also to see how a true naked cake should look at the end of all this.


For the opposite… See below.



Best Chocolate Cake Recipe with Basil Buttercream


Best Chocolate Cake Recipe with Basil Buttercream


After I whipped up the frosting and thought “oh yum… I think I might actually succeed at this!” I started trying to flip the cakes out of their pans (even after almost waiting for them to be completely cooled!). This is when things started to go a bit awry.


Best Chocolate Cake Recipe with Basil Buttercream


I literally shoved pieces of cake together to try and simulate a nod to a spherical shape. It was a mess. However, I did squish and smush enough to where I think it looked… a little bit better than if Benjamin had made it himself. And that is saying something, right?!




Best Chocolate Cake Recipe with Basil Buttercream


Best Chocolate Cake Recipe with Basil Buttercream


Most importantly, this guy seriously loved it. So… #worthit.




Best Chocolate Cake Recipe with Basil Buttercream

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Maddie Richardson


Co-Founder, Marketwake Digital Marketer, Web Designer,
Atlanta Creative

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