The cake from "Matilda" that we all fainted! Like The Trunchbull, I'm sure you will agree that this is "the most delicious cake in the whole world."

One of my favorite films of all time is Matilda. I remember when I was going out at the cinema, and I did NOT wait to go and see it. Since being released to the cinema almost exactly 20 years ago (geez, I'm old), I've probably seen it about 92,000 times. In fact, I even have two copies - a good DVD and a VHS version.
So I'm sure you can imagine how excited I was to meet Miss Amanda Thripp (AKA, talented Jacqueline Steiger) in the self-management class for actors when I lived in Los Angeles ...

Every time I make any kind of chocolate cake, I want to add espresso powder (or strong brewed coffee). It makes a BIG difference in strengthening the taste of chocolate in chocolate cake. Believe me, it will NOT make the cake taste like coffee.

Now, coming from someone who usually prefers freezing real cakes (I take photos as morning fuel), I must say that the cake is PERFECT. I can eat it myself, it's delicious! It's so moist that it almost melts in your mouth, and has a rich ratio of perfect sweetness. VERY heavenly! I can honestly (and humbly) say that I have never had a cake this good.

As for freezing, I use two different types. To fill each layer, I made the softest and softest milk chocolate buttercream with butter, powdered sugar, melted milk chocolate, and a little vanilla and salt. Very good, and very contrast for rich dark chocolate cake.

To freeze the outside, I went with a delicate semi-sweet chocolate ganache. Once ready, I let the ganache cool and adjust a little so that I could spread it on the cake like frosting.
Not going to lie, I might sneak in a few tastes here and there ...
And in the right way of celebration, a little reenactment is definitely needed ...
So what are you thinking about? Am I close?


  • 1 and 1/2 cup (355 ml) boiling water
  • 2 and 1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • 4 and 1/2 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate
  • 2 and 1/2 cups (355g) of all-purpose flour
  • 2 and 3/4 cup (550 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 and 1/4 cup (100 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 and 1/2 cup (360ml) buttermilk *
  • 3/4 cup (175ml) vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla

Chocolate Ganache

  • 14 ounces of semi-sweet or bitter chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 and 1/4 cup (300ml) thick cream

Milk Chocolate Buttercream

  • 3/4 cup (170g) unsalted butter
  • 1 and 1/2 cup (170 g) of powdered sugar
  • 4 ounces of milk chocolate
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • A little salt

Make cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Row three 8-inch round cake pan ** with baking paper and oil with butter or non-stick spray; set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir with boiling water, espresso powder, and semi-sweet chocolate until the chocolate is dissolved and the mixture is smooth. Set aside to cool.
  3. In a large bowl, stir in the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt until mixed.
  4. In another bowl, beat the eggs, buttermilk, vegetable oil, and vanilla. Next, pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients then stir until smooth.
     Add the cold chocolate espresso mixture, stir until evenly mixed.
  5. Divide the dough evenly between the three pans and bake in the oven for 31-33 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out with a few crumbs attached. Remove the cake from the oven then allow it to cool completely.

For Ganache

  1. Place the chocolate in a medium bowl. Pour the thick cream in a large beaker and heat it in the microwave until it starts to boil. Lift, pour over chocolate, cover with plastic wrap, and let stand for 5 minutes. Stir the ganache until blended.
  2. Allow the ganache to cool until it reaches the desired thickness before freezing the cake. You can also cool the Ganache, stirring occasionally until it is thick enough.

Make Milk Chocolate Buttercream

  1. Place the milk chocolate in a small bowl that is safe for microwaving and heat it in the microwave until smooth and melted, about 1 minute. Stir, and allow to almost reach room temperature.
  2. In a mixer stand equipped with paddle attachments, shake the butter at medium speed until creamy. Add powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt, and continue to shake, rub the sides of the bowl as needed. Add cold chocolate and shake in high temperature for about 2 minutes, until the freezing is smooth and fluffy.

To assemble

  1. Place one layer of cake on a cake holder or plate. Pour half of the milk chocolate buttercream on top and spread evenly with a knife or balance the spatula. Add a second layer of cake, and spread the remaining chocolate milk butter evenly over the layer. Top with the third cake layer. Frost the top and sides with chocolate ganache.

* Buttermilk can be replaced by adding 1 1/2 tablespoons of vinegar or lemon juice to a measuring cup and then pour enough milk into the measuring line of 1 1/2 cups.
** For tips on making this cake in two 9-inch pans, see the update above.
*** Inspired by a bajillian recipes


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