This cake is a showstopper! I bake the cakes one day and make the buttercream and assemble the cakes the next, so it is not too daunting. I adore the combination of moist chocolate cake and lighter-than-air buttercream. Most buttercreams aren’t the real thing; they’re made from shortening, butter, and flavorings and they’re generally pretty awful. Real buttercream is lighter than air and just melts on your tongue. It takes a little time to make, but it’s so worth it! If you’ve never made buttercream, do a practice round and you’ll be fine when the pressure is on.
Make Ahead: Bake and frost the cake completely, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Serve at room temperature. I use skewers and a long, thin flexible knife to cut the cakes evenly.
Photographs by Quentin Bacon. Cooking for Jeffrey, Copyright © 2016 by Ina Garten. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.
For the coffee meringue buttercream: