Cocoa-Buttermilk Cake

"I adopted this recipe 9/06. It is incredible. The great reviews are not misleading. I don't get why the instructions tell you to trim the cake. I just chilled the cake for a bit and then spread the frosting on the sides of the cake. This will be my main chocolate cake from now on. I didn't take a great picture of the cake, but the one I took gives you a hint of how much I loved this cake. I didn't share it, I just got a fork and ate it for 3 days right off of the platter. The original description follows..... This is a super chocolatey buttermilk cake and icing. Very easy to make. This cake is "the" employee comfort food at the catering company where I work."
photo by twissis photo by twissis
photo by twissis
photo by Mrs Goodall photo by Mrs Goodall
Ready In:
1 9x13 cake




  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Butter and line with parchment a 9 x 13 cake pan Melt butter, stir in water and cocoa and whisk until smooth.
  • set aside.
  • sift together flour, sugar, salt and baking soda.
  • In a separate bowl, whick together eggs, buttermilk and vanilla.
  • Add cocoa mixture and buttermilk mixture to dry ingredients.
  • Combine very well.
  • Pour into cake pan and bake until skewer comes out clean.
  • Cool for 20 minutes while making icing.
  • ICING: Melt butter, add buttermilk and cocoa.
  • Whisk until smooth.
  • Put powdered sugar into a food processor.
  • With motor running, pour cocoa mixture through feed tube.
  • Do not over process.
  • Put a platter over the cake pan, flip over so that the cake comes out onto the platter.
  • Remove parchment Pour icing over the top of cake and spread evenly over cake to the edges using an offset spatula.
  • Do not worry if some goes over the sides.
  • Refrigerate cake for 2 hours.
  • Remove from refrigerator and with a serrated knife, trim all 4 sides of the cake about 1/4 inch.
  • Cut into pieces to serve.

Questions & Replies

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  1. I was in need of "baking therapy" this morning, so I started with this. The batter alone deserves 10 stars. The cake is more like 15 stars. Can't wait for my husband to get home and try it. I'm sure he'll tell the kids his usual "this cake has something wrong with it - no one should eat any of it - don't touch it kids".
  2. I made this for my mother-in-law's birthday this weekend, and I must say it scored me extra points. It was very easy to make and turned out rich, moist and definately chocolate. The only real comment I can make about putting it together is the cooking time. The recipe indicates 30 minutes of cooking time; in my oven, which generally proves to be pretty close on other recipes, it took about 42 minutes before this cake was done. Otherwise, it was just as advertised; and I have already been asked to make it again.
  3. This is a winning recipe, Mean Chef! The chocolate and buttermilk make an excellent combination. Such a simple recipe which produces a moist rich, chocolatey taste that will please the most discriminating chocolate lovers. Thank you again, Mean Chef, for sharing these fabulous recipes with us!
  4. This cake is a chocoholics dream, and a definite must for those that love chocolate. The cake is full of flavor with a dense melt in your mouth texture that I can only attribute to the butter and buttermilk. I didn't flip my cake onto a platter but rather left it in the pan so that I could store my leftovers in the refrigerator. I added an extra 3/4 to 1 cup of confectioner's sugar to the icing to thicken and sweeten (a little to bitter chocolate for me) it up a bit prior to pouring it over the top of my cake. The cake had a lovely sheen to the frosting and was great served with french vanilla ice-cream. My leftover cake kept very well in the refrigerator though it didn't last long. Thanks for a keeper!
  5. This has a strong chocolate flavor. If you crave chocolate, this is the cake for you!


  1. Huge hit at last night's barbeque! I messed up the icing recipe (even if you are in a hurry read through all directions first, when will I learn this) and was then out of cocoa so I made a sweetened whipped cream topping instead. I loved it. It was moist and dreamy. Make again and again!
  2. No parchment paper & leave cake in the pan, no sifting, no food processer, make frosting after the cake comes out of the oven and pour over warm cake PLUS we heat the frosting. You do have some lumps of powdered sugar but the taste will have you saying: "lumps? what lumps?"



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