How a chocolate cake became the star of ‘The Bear’ (and the recipe to make it)

There are still a couple of months to go before the premiere of the second season of 'The Bear', but we make your wait sweeter by revealing all the details of the cake that has become one of the protagonists of the series.

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If there is a series that in recent months has caused a furor among foodies (and not so foodies) that is ‘The Bear’. The hit series starring Jeremy Allen White has become a benchmark in the world of fiction, and fans are eagerly awaiting the premiere of the second season, scheduled for June. One of the recipes for its success -never better said- has been the dishes prepared in the main character’s restaurant. And, undoubtedly, one of the most sensational has been the chocolate cake, being almost like another character. This already iconic cake was created by Sarah Mispagel-Lustbader, pastry consultant for the series and owner of the Loaf Lounge coffee shop in Chicago.

In an interview for Food & Wine, Sarah explained the whole process of creating the dessert. As a good pastry chef, she already had a lot of experience in making chocolate cakes. Throughout her career, she has been perfecting a recipe that began inspired by a mini layer cake prepared by Mindy Segal at MK in Chicago, the first restaurant where Mispagel-Lustbader worked. Over time, she perfected the formula and added other details, such as the slightly sweet Italian meringue cream.

Recipe for ‘The bear’ chocolate cake

When she started working as a consultant on ‘The Bear’, she did not hesitate to choose her chocolate cake recipe, although she had to adapt the presentation to the context of the main character. The chocolate cake appears in the seventh episode of the series and, as Sarah herself told in the interview, she had to prepare up to 12 cakes until the filming shots were given for good.

In Food & Wine, Sarah Mispagel-Lustbader also shared her famous chocolate cake recipe, which is composed of a chocolate mousse placed between a chocolate cake and covered with another chocolate glaze. Here it is for you to bake at home.


  • For the chocolate mousse:
    • 225 g finely chopped 64% cocoa dark chocolate
    • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • 10 egg yolks
    • 45 g sugar
    • 4 egg whites
    • 100 g heavy cream
  • For the cake layers:
    • Baking spray with flour
    • 500 g flour
    • 225 g cocoa powder
    • 2 teaspoons baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
    • 5 eggs
    • 500 g sugar
    • 225 g ground coffee
    • 180 g unsalted butter, melted
    • 250 g crème fraîche
  • For the icing:
    • 500 g sugar
    • 250 g cocoa powder
    • 225 g softened unsalted butter
    • 100 g heavy cream
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


To make the mousse:

  • Bring water to a simmer in a small saucepan. Place a medium heatproof bowl over the saucepan and add the chopped chocolate and butter. (Make sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water.) Cook, stirring occasionally and adjusting the heat as needed, until the mixture is smooth (about 3-5 minutes).
  • Remove the chocolate mixture from the heat. Let cool at room temperature until warm to the touch (about 10 minutes). Keep the water boiling in the saucepan over medium-low heat.
  • Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks with 2 tablespoons of sugar in the bowl. Place the bowl over the saucepan of boiling water, whisking with the whisk until the mixture registers 70 °C on an instant-read thermometer.
  • Remove the bowl from the heat and transfer it to a stand mixer. Beat on medium-high speed until the mixture turns a very pale yellow color and has tripled in volume (approx. 5 minutes).
  • Fold the egg yolk mixture into the cooled chocolate mixture.
  • In another bowl, beat the egg whites on medium-high speed for 15 seconds until foamy. Gradually add the remaining sugar, beating until stiff peaks form, a couple more minutes.
  • Meanwhile, whip the cream in another bowl.
  • Fold the egg white mixture into the chocolate mixture three times. Fold in the whipped cream until the mixture is smooth. Cover and chill for 8 to 24 hours.

To prepare the cake layers:

  • Preheat the oven to 180 °C. Grease 3 round cake pans with baking spray and line the bottom with parchment paper, spraying the parchment paper lightly with the spray.
  • Sift the flour, cocoa, baking soda and baking powder into a large bowl and stir in the salt until just combined. Set aside.
  • Beat the eggs until frothy and gradually add the sugar. Continue beating until well blended.
  • Add the flour mixture 3 times alternating with the coffee and melted butter (starting and ending with the flour mixture).
  • Beat until almost blended, add the crème fraîche and beat again for about 30 seconds.
  • Divide the batter evenly among the prepared pans and distribute the batter evenly, eliminating air bubbles.
  • Bake in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes.
  • Let the cake layers cool on wire racks for 10 minutes. Then remove them from the molds and let them cool completely for about 2 hours.

To make the icing:

  • Sift the sugar and cocoa into a medium bowl, and set aside.
  • Beat the butter until creamy and gradually add the sugar, mixing with a mixer until fluffy.
  • Gradually add the cream and vanilla and continue mixing. Use a piping bag.

To assemble the cake:

  • Place a layer of sponge cake on a plate and on the edge put a little frosting.
  • Pour half of the chocolate mousse in the center of the cake and spread it evenly.
  • Cover with the second layer of sponge cake and repeat the process with the remaining mousse.
  • Cover with the third layer of sponge cake and spread the remaining glaze over the top and sides. Let cool for a quarter of an hour.

If you want to try the chocolate cake that appears in the series, there is a coffee shop in Chicago that prepares it just as it is. In fact, Sarah Mispagel-Lustbader, is one of the owners of the Loaf Lounge. You can try it at almost 7 € a slice.