Best Michigan Chocolate Cake Recipe from the Kalamazoo House

Chocolate cake with white sugar powder on top

Every month at the Michigan Bed and Breakfast Association,  we have a different food recipe contest with our members! Since May brings summer picnics, graduation celebrations, and summer parties, we made May’s category- the Best Chocolate Cake Recipe.

Drum Roll Please…..the winner of May’s Best Chocolate Cake Recipe is…

Chef Russ’s Chocolate Cake Recipe from the Kalamazoo House

This cake has a special story from innkeeper/chef Amy- “Chef Russ was my mentor while working with him at the New Albany Country Club in New Albany Ohio. He would say, “A good chocolate cake is adding wet TO the dry and not the other way around”.

Slice of chocolate cake

Chef Russ’s Chocolate Cake

Pre-heat oven: 350 F                                                             Bake time: 40-50 minutes

Grease and flour 1-10” round pan or 2-6” round pans           Serves 10-12


  • 8 ½ oz. pastry flour
  • 4 oz Dutch cocoa powder – unsweetened
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 5 oz unsalted butter – melted
  • 3 large eggs – blend together
  • 8 fl. Oz buttermilk
  • 1/2 TBS Vanilla Ext.
  • 15 oz granulated white sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 8 fl. Oz HOT water (for a deeper chocolate flavor, sub out water for HOT STRONG coffee)

Quick Ganache:

  • 8 oz chocolate (bitter or white) – chopped in small pieces, place in a medium mixing bowl
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 1 cup Heavy cream – bring to a rolling boil. Pour hot heavy cream over the chocolate, and let it set for 2 minutes. Stir until the chocolate is melted.


  • In the mixing bowl, place 1st for ingredients. Turn the mixer to low-medium speed and add butter and eggs. Scrap down the bowl.
  • Add the next 4 ingredients and mix on medium speed for 1-2 minutes. Scrap down the bowl.
  • While the mixer is on low speed, slowly pour the HOT liquid into the batter. Continue mixing for 1 full minute.
  • The batter will be runny and poured into the prepared pan(s).
  • Place in the middle rack in the middle of the oven for 40-50 minutes. It will be done when the cake tester/toothpick comes out clean from the middle of the cake.
  • Cool in pan for 10 minutes before runny knife round the sides. Place a wire rack on a lined sheet pan and turn out the cake to cool completely.
  • Once cool completely, pour ganache over the top.

Added note from Chef Amy- “I tweaked this recipe by adding strong coffee instead of water.”