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Buttermilk chocolate cake recipe

Buttermilk chocolate cake recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Cake
  • Celebration cakes

A dense chocolate cake made in a tube cake tin. Dust with icing sugar for a nice presentation.

318 people made this

IngredientsServes: 16

  • 340g butter, softened
  • 500g sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons instant coffee granules dissolved in 60ml hot water
  • 250ml buttermilk
  • 250g plain flour
  • 65g best quality cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt

MethodPrep:30min ›Cook:1hr ›Ready in:1hr30min

  1. Preheat oven to 170 C / Gas 3. Grease and flour a 25cm tube cake tin.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the dissolved coffee and buttermilk. Pour cake mixture into prepared tin.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven for 60 to 70 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in tin for 20 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(359)

Reviews in English (309)


I have a dessert business & several clients asked for a chocolate pound cake for the holidays. After experimenting with several cookbooks, I tried Shelley's recipe. What a success. This cake is very moist, rich and has the best chocolate taste. After making the cake 2-3 times, I made a few minor changes. I cream the butter and sugar for 5 minutes (with stand mixer; longer with hand held mixer) and mix 30 seconds after adding each egg. I can adjust the amount of coffee depending on the client, but 2 tsp is perfect. I use a dark 12 cup, 10 inch bundt pan and have to reduce the baking temperature to 300 and bake for 70 minutes. Occasionally, I bake the cake at 285 for 75-80 minutes and it is wonderful--no burning or dry chocolate taste. I usally glaze the cake with one of the satiny chocolate glazes on this site or dust with powdered sugar. It is fun to fill the center of the cake with either whole raspberries or strawberries and serve. I agree with other reviewers that this cake is better the next day or even after refrigerating (wrap really well-the cake will pick up refrigerator odors). It freezes beautifully. Great recipe.-17 Dec 2002

by What a Dish!

A great recipe! I omitted the coffee and put in 1/4 cup extra buttermilk (I also made my own buttermilk with milk and lemon juice). Cut back on the sugar by 1/2 cup, it was pefectly sweet. I used Ghiradeli's cocoa which added to the great flavor. Frosted with my own white chocolate glaze and had this for Christmas Eve!-24 Dec 2005

by Dianemwj

From all the reviews, I thought this cake would come out with a very intense chocolate flavor, but I was disappointed. The chocolate taste was very mild. The batter was delicious; I could have sat down with a spoon and a glass of milk and just eaten a bowl of it. And I should have. Although I followed the recipe exactly, and used a 10 inch bundt pan, the batter overflowed the pan during the baking process. Luckily I had set the pan on a baking sheet, so I didn't have to clean my oven. My husband asked me why I keep trying new recipes when my old standards are so much better. I have rated this 2 stars because of the overflow problem, but regardless of the lack of chocolate flavor, it is, after all, cake, and certainly edible. It won't go to waste, but I won't make it again.-14 Aug 2007

Recipe Summary

  • 1 1/2 cups (9 oz.) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 1/4 cups bleached cake flour (such as Swans Down), plus more for pans
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup whole buttermilk
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Vegetable shortening, for greasing pans
  • Swiss Meringue Buttercream
  • Magnolia Flower Cake Toppers
  • Camellia Flower Cake Toppers

Preheat oven to 350°F. Microwave chocolate chips in a microwavable bowl on MEDIUM (50%) power until melted, about 2 1/2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds. Stir until mixture is smooth. Cool 5 minutes.

Beat sugar and butter with a heavy-duty stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on medium speed until well blended, 3 to 5 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Add melted chocolate, beating just until blended.

Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Add to chocolate mixture in 3 additions, alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat on low speed just until blended after each addition. With mixer running on low speed, gradually add hot water in a slow, steady stream, beating just until blended. Add vanilla beat on low until incorporated.

Grease (with shortening) and flour 3 (8-inch) round baking pans. Line bottoms with parchment paper lightly grease. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake in pre-heated oven until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 22 to 26 minutes. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks, gently remove parchment paper, and cool completely, about 1 hour.

Place 1 cake layer on a cake stand. Top with 1 cup of the Swiss Meringue Buttercream. Spread to edges. Repeat with second cake layer and 1 cup of buttercream. Top with third cake layer. Frost top and sides of cake with remaining buttercream, using a small offset spatula to achieve a textured look. Garnish with Magnolia or Camellia Cake Toppers.

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Old Fashioned Chocolate Buttermilk Cake

The perfect recipe for an old-fashioned chocolate buttermilk cake that is so moist that your guests will think it came from a bakery!


  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 (1-oz.) squares unsweetened chocolate, melted
  • 2 cups sifted cake flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 Tbsp. vinegar

Chocolate Frosting

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3 cups confectioners&rsquo sugar
  • 3 (1-oz) squares unsweetened chocolate, melted
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Half-and-half (if necessary)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 2 9-inch cake pans. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper.
  2. In large bowl or standing mixer, cream butter until light and fluffy. Add sugar and beat until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in melted chocolate.
  3. In separate bowl, combine four and salt. Add buttermilk and chocolate mixture, alternating. Stir in vanilla.
  4. In small bowl, dissolve baking soda in vinegar. Slowly add this to the chocolate mixture. Mix just until blended. Do not over-mix.
  5. Pour batter into prepared pans and bake for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes then remove from pans. Transfer to wire racks and cool completely before frosting.

Chocolate Frosting

  1. In large mixing bowl, cream butter until light and fluffy. Slowly add sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well between additions. Stir in chocolate and vanilla. If necessary, thin frosting with 1-2 tsps. half-and-half.
Nutrition Information

Nutrition data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix, and should only be used as a general guideline. This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information will be completely accurate.

Recipe Summary

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/4 cups low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 cup fat-free plain yogurt
  • 1 medium red beet (5 ounces), peeled and finely shredded
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • Raspberries, for serving

Preheat the oven to 350°. Spray a 10-by-2-inch cake pan with cooking spray. In a bowl, whisk the flour with the granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder. In another bowl, whisk the buttermilk with the yogurt and beet. Mix the beet mixture into the dry ingredients. In another bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the cake batter.

Scrape the batter into the baking pan. Bake for 55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the cake on a rack for 20 minutes, then turn it out and let cool completely.

Sift the confectioners' sugar and cocoa powder into a bowl. Whisk in the water until smooth.

Cut the cake into wedges and transfer to plates. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the glaze over each slice. Serve with the raspberries.

How to make buttermilk chocolate cake

  • Start by combining the granulated sugar with the eggs, oil, and vanilla extract.
  • Once that has been mixed, and the sour cream and mix until well combined.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the remaining dry ingredients. I always recommend sifting the cocoa powder and flour when making a chocolate cake. It helps to easily incorporate them into the wet ingredients.
  • Next, alternate adding the dry ingredients with the coffee and beat until everything is well combined. I definitely recommend giving the bowl a good scrape down.
  • Bake your cake for 18-22 minutes. The baking time will vary by type of pan used and true oven temperature. Cool the cake completely before adding the frosting.

Do I have to use sour cream for this recipe?

The sour cream is used to help keep these nice and moist. If you don&rsquot have sour cream, I recommend using a nonfat Greek yogurt. I&rsquove also heard mayonnaise can be a good substitute, but I&rsquove never tried it.

I also use light sour cream because it&rsquos not quite as heavy. However, if you only have regular sour cream, that&rsquos okay to use too.

Can I use milk instead of buttermilk?

Yes, you can use regular milk instead of buttermilk. I always have nonfat milk in my fridge but any milk will work.

Buttermilk isn&rsquot a common ingredient that most people just have laying around in their house, but you can also make homemade buttermilk substitute with some lemon juice or vinegar. Once I hear about how to freeze buttermilk, it was a game changer for me.

I don&rsquot have Dutch processed cocoa powder, can I still make this recipe?

This recipe is intended to be made with dutch processed cocoa powder. If you&rsquod like to make a chocolate cake recipe, you can still make my super moist chocolate cake recipe and just swap out the frosting recipe if you desire.

This Chocolate Buttermilk Cake Recipe is a light and fluffy chocolate cake perfect for birthdays or just your average Saturday night.

Follow Beyond Frosting:

If you love no-bake recipes, be sure to check out my cookbook, No-Bake Treats!

Quite a few of my previous Bundt cake efforts have ended up in flow-over/smoke-up-the-kitchen incidents and many, many stuck-to-the-pan cake crumble disasters. I almost gave up on Bundt cakes altogether, but I sure am glad I didn’t cause this triple chocolatey cake sure was worth the wait!! It’s moist and rich and full of chocolate flavor without being too heavy or dense. In my second test of the recipe, I decided more glaze is better and I doubled it…couldn’t you just slide down that glaze waterfall into the puddle of chocolatey goodness at the bottom…

The cake pairs really well with juicy fresh fruit and whipped cream. I served it with summer cherries for my Mother-in-Law’s birthday. YUM!

The recipe is a chocolate chip studded and resized version of the chocolate batter from my Oreo Upside-Down Sheet Cake. It’s my new “go-to” chocolate cake batter. I’ve learned the hard way that baking spray (with flour) is very handy with preparing your Bundt cake pan as it really lubricates all the nooks and crannies to help prevent “stickage.” I’m so glad Bundt cakes and I are now on better terms as I love the unfussy nature of Bundt cake.

Why use buttermilk in cakes & cupcakes? Chocolate Buttermilk Cupcakes with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

Buttermilk, the unsung hero of cakes & cupcakes. Most cupcakes don’t call for buttermilk but in my opinion buttermilk can take a good recipe to a great recipe! Buttermilk’s tangy flavor adds depth and complexity to finished baked goods while adding very little fat. It also helps tenderize the gluten in the batter, giving baked goods a softer texture and more body for fluffy melt in your mouth cupcakes, exactly how I like them but also keeping enough weight to hold up a good addition of necessary frosting. (The only reason to eat a cupcake in my husband’s opinion.)

Even though the name might suggest it, buttermilk does not contain butter. It is the liquid left behind after churning the butter out of cream. Hence the milk of butter….or buttermilk. It has a tart and tangy taste due to the acid in the milk. It is also the acid in the buttermilk that reacts with baking soda to create bubbles of carbon dioxide. Not to get too science-y on you guys, but it’s these bubbles or air that is created in the batter that gives your cupcake volume so this is good. And the acid also interferes with gluten formation which is what keeps your cupcake tender and light.

A good rule of thumb to remember is that 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda will neutralize 1 cup of buttermilk. Therefore, when substituting buttermilk in recipes, reduce the amount of baking powder by 2 teaspoons and increase the amount of baking soda by 1/2 teaspoon to neutralize the acids for every 1 cup of buttermilk.

If that didn’t convince you that buttermilk is delicious in cupcakes, then you must try this recipe! If you are dying to try it but don’t feel like running out to the store for buttermilk, you can also try this substitution. Combine 2/3 cup plain non-fat or low-fat yogurt with 1/2 cup 1% milk for 1 cup buttermilk.

Buttermilk Chocolate Cake

Coming to us straight from The Smokehouse at Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, savor this indulgent, warm Buttermilk Chocolate Cake with whisky-salted caramel sauce and spiced pecans.

1/3 cup canola oil
1 large egg
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup, 2 tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 1/4 cup cake flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda

2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon corn syrup
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 1/2 cups sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup Jack Daniels Whiskey

1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
2 cups pecans, broken into small pieces

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Place oil, egg, sour cream and buttermilk in bowl of standing mixer equipped with whip attachment. Add remaining ingredients on top of wet in mixing bowl.
  3. Start mixing on first (lowest) speed for about 30 seconds, then to second speed for another 30 seconds, and finally to third speed, mixing for about 3 minutes.
  4. Place 1/4 cup of batter in greased half-cup ramekins. Place ramekins on baking sheet.
  5. Bake 13–15 minutes until tops of cakes crack. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack.


  1. Combine sugar, corn syrup, water, and lemon juice in stainless-steel saucepan. Cover and cook over medium heat until mixture turns amber color, stirring occasionally.
  2. Reduce heat to low and stir in condensed milk.
  3. Add whiskey and mix until smooth. Keep warm until ready to serve, being careful not to burn sauce. Can also be prepared 1–2 days in advance and refrigerated. To serve, warm over low heat, adding splash of water to return to sauce consistency.
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Place a sheet of parchment paper on baking sheet.
  2. Melt butter in small saucepan over low heat. Stir in brown sugar and cayenne pepper. Once brown sugar thickens, stir in pecans.
  3. Remove from heat and spread mixture on baking sheet. Bake for 8 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack. Set aside until ready to serve. Spiced pecans can be stored in airtight container for 3–4 days before serving.
  1. Unmold warm cakes from ramekins and place on dessert plates.
  2. Drizzle caramel sauce over and around each cake. Top with spiced nuts.

What to drink: Sip a sparkling sweet Italian red wine with the flavors of fresh raspberries and strawberries.

Recipe Summary

  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups white sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9x13-inch baking dish.

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and baking soda in a large bowl. Cut butter into flour mixture until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Reserve about 1 cup butter crumbs.

Stir buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla extract into remaining crumbs until batter is just combined pour batter into prepared baking dish. Sprinkle reserved butter crumbs over batter.

Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 35 minutes.