A moist Chocolate Buttermilk Cake covered in creamy chocolate buttercream and chocolate chips. This quick and easy chocolate cake recipe takes only minutes to make but tastes better than a box mix. It’s the perfect cake for parties and celebrations!
Chocolate Buttermilk Cake = chocolate-covered bliss! ❤️
If you’re looking for a moist chocolate cake that’s quick and easy to make, look no further. This quick and easy one-layer cake is perfect for chocolate lovers.
The not-so-secret ingredient, buttermilk ensures this cake has a super soft crumb that stays moist for days.
And the frosting is a scaled-down version of my popular Chocolate Buttercream. It has real melted chocolate in it, which makes it super creamy and easy to worth with.
It takes only minutes to frost this cake, making it the perfect chocolate cake recipe.
why you will love this recipe
- The cake is quick and easy to make (no electric mixer needed)
- Buttermilk ensures a soft, moist and tender crumb
- The frosting is thick, creamy and oh-so-chocolatey
- This recipe makes a tall one layer cake that takes just minutes to frost
Chocolate cake can be a fickle thing. Sometimes it’s a little too dry, too dense or not chocolatey enough. And while I love my tried and true Chocolate Fudge Cake recipe, I wanted a quick and easy, no mixer chocolate cake.
And that’s where this recipe comes in. A thick one-layer chocolate cake that can be made without an electric mixer.
My first attempt used melted butter, and while it looked great in form, it was too dense and dry.
I then switched to oil as the main fat, as it tends to lend itself to moist chocolate cakes, like my fave Olive Oil Chocolate Cake. However, the cake rose too much in the middle and tasted vaguely of oil.
The third time around I went back to melted butter, but this time added a little more sugar, a little less buttermilk and a little more water. The perfect Chocolate Buttermilk Cake was born ❤️
why use buttermilk in cakes?
Buttermilk is the answer to moist cakes that stay fresh for days. The acidity in buttermilk helps to act as a tenderiser in baked goods, resulting in soft and tender cakes, muffins, scones and pancakes.
Buttermilk can also help cakes to rise when it reacts with baking soda. It can also add a slightly tangy flavour, but you can’t taste the acidity in a chocolate cake like this one. It mainly influences texture and rise.
TLDR: Looking for a light and delicate crumb in your cakes? Try buttermilk.
You don’t need any special ingredients to make this Chocolate Buttermilk Cake itself – except for buttermilk. For best results, I recommend using full fat store-bought buttermilk but I have included a DIY substitute below.
Here are all the ingredients you will need to make Chocolate Buttermilk Cake from scratch.
- Plain flour: Or all purpose flour.
- Cocoa power: You can use either natural cocoa powder or Dutch-processed cocoa powder in this recipe. I’ve used natural 100% cocoa in these photos, but Dutch cocoa will give you a slightly darker coloured crumb. Make sure your cocoa is unsweetened.
- Brown sugar
- Caster sugar: Or granulated sugar.
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
- Unsalted butter
- Vanilla extract
- Buttermilk: I recommend using storebought full-fat buttermilk for best results. If you cannot buy buttermilk, you can make a substitute by adding 2 teaspoons white vinegar to 1/2 cup full fat or whole milk.
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Chocolate Buttermilk Cake
A gorgeous one layer chocolate buttermilk cake with real chocolate frosting.
Chocolate buttermilk cake
- 210 grams (1 and 1/2 cups) plain flour or all purpose flour
- 40 grams (1/2 cup) cocoa powder, sifted
- 90 grams (1/2 cup) brown sugar
- 150 grams (3/4 cup) caster sugar or granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 170 grams (3/4 cup or 1 and 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 120 ml (1/2 cup) full fat buttermilk
- 120 ml (1/2 cup) hot water
- 115 grams (1/2 cup or 1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 375 grams (3 cups) icing sugar or powdered sugar, sifted
- 100 grams (2/3 cup) dark chocolate (50-70% cocoa)
- 1–2 tablespoons full fat or whole milk
- 50 grams (1/3 cup) chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 180 C (350 F) standard / 160 C (320 F) fan-forced. Grease and line an 8-inch round cake pan with baking or parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, add flour, cocoa powder, sugars, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Boil the kettle and pour out 1/2 cup of hot water and set aside.
- In a separate bowl, add butter, eggs, vanilla and buttermilk and stir briefly. Add butter mixture to dry ingredients and stir to combine. Add hot water and stir until chocolate cake batter is smooth. It will be a thin batter – that’s ok.
- Place in the oven for 45-50 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Leave on a wire rack to cool completely.
- To make the frosting, place butter in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until pale and creamy. Meanwhile melt the chocolate in a microwave, stirring in between 20 second bursts, until just melted and set aside.
- Add half the sugar and one tablespoon of milk and beat until combined. Add the remaining sugar and beat until smooth.
- Add melted chocolate, ensuring the chocolate is still smooth and melted but is not warm. Beat until the chocolate is completely mixed through. If frosting is too thick, add an extra tablespoon of milk. Generously frost the top and sides of the cake using a spatula. Sprinkle over chocolate chips.
Buttermilk: Make your own buttermilk by adding 1 teaspoon white vinegar to 1/2 cup milk.
Chocolate frosting: If your frosting is too thick, add an extra tablespoon or two of milk and beat until smooth.
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