The One Dessert Giada De Laurentiis Eats on Her Birthday Every Year

Giada De Laurentiis
Photo: Beth Dubber/Freeform

Seeing as Giada De Laurentiis is a world-famous chef, it makes total sense that she'd treat her birthday as a National Food Holiday. But who knew that her go-to treat would come courtesy of rival TV host Ina Garten? "I have the same chocolate cake every year," she recently told InStyle at a dinner with Frangelico at Italian restaurant Bar Primi in New York City. "Ina uses uses a cherry liqueur in the frosting that is just freaking phenomenal and actually seeps into the cake itself." Read on below for the much-ballyhooed recipe, and whether or not it's your birthday, treat yourself like Giada tonight.

Giada De Laurentiis Cake - Embed
courtesy of Quentin Bacon

Chocolate Cassis Cake

Serves: 10 to 12


For the cake:

Baking spray with flour, such as Baker's Joy

12 tbsp (1½ sticks) unsalted butter

10 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I use Perugina 60%)

½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, such as Pernigotti

6 tbsp crème de cassis liqueur

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

5 extra-large eggs, at room temperature

1 cup sugar

¼ tsp kosher salt

For the glaze:

6 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped

¼ cup heavy cream

2 to 3 tbsp crème de cassis liqueur

½ tsp pure vanilla extract

To serve:

2 (½ pint) boxes fresh raspberries

1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and thickly sliced

1/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup crème de cassis liqueur


1. For the cake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-inch round springform pan with baking spray. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper and spray it again with baking spray.

2. Melt the butter and chocolate together in a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes. Whisk in the cocoa powder, cassis, and vanilla and set aside.

3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (you can also use a hand mixer), beat the eggs, sugar, and salt on high speed for 3 to 5 minutes, until pale yellow and triple in volume. Pour the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and carefully but thoroughly fold them together with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until just barely set in the center. Allow to cool in the pan for 30 minutes and then release the sides of the pan. Invert the cake carefully onto a flat serving plate, remove the parchment paper, and cool completely.

4. For the glaze, melt the chocolate and cream together in a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir until smooth. Off the heat, whisk in the cassis and vanilla. Allow to cool for 10 minutes and spread over just the top of the cake.

5. Fifteen minutes before serving, toss the berries gently with the sugar and cassis. Cut the cake in wedges and serve with the berries on the side.

Note: Chocolate that is labeled 60 to 70 percent cacao is considered bittersweet: the higher the percentage of cacao, the less sweet it will be. Don’t refrigerate this cake or the glaze will collect beads of water.

Reprinted from Barefoot Contessa Foolproof. Copyright 2012 by Ina Garten. Photographs by Quentin Bacon. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.

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