Buttermilk Chocolate Cake – Happy Mother’s Day!

Oh look, I baked my own cake for Mother’s Day! My daughter’s not 6 yet, so she can’t be trusted around chocolate. And I really, really fancied decadent chocolate cake, topped with even more decadent chocolate buttercream. I bastardised goddess Ina Garten’s Beatty’s Chocolate Cake featured in Barefoot Contessa, tweaking quantities of ingredients, most notably on coffee, to make it more child-friendly. Mimi may not have had a hand in making the cake, but big did she sample it. Amply.


Here’s how you can make it. A stand mixer comes handy, especially for the frosting, but you can achieve same results with a bowl and hand held mixer too. More importantly, the cake recipe is a versatile, simple affair, which you can customise to your heart’s desire re frosting and decorations. I’d love to tell you how long it would last for, but it never made it past two days in our house.

225g all purpose flour
400g granulated sugar
95g good quality cocoa
1 teaspoon fine salt
2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
245ml buttermilk
100g vegetable oil
3 medium eggs
100ml freshly brewed coffee

180g dark chocolate, melted and cooled
225g unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 large egg yolk, or 2 medium ones
200g icing sugar

Pre-heat the oven at 180C. Butter 2 cake pans – mine were 8-inch by 2-inch – then line with parchment paper, then butter again and flour.
In a bowl, mix flour, sugar, cocoa, salt, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder.
Separately, beat the eggs, the mix with buttermilk and oil.
Combine wet ingredients with dry ones.
Add the coffee and mix gently until incorporated.
Divide between pans and bake in pre-heated oven for 35 to 40 minutes.
Leave to cool for 30 minutes in pans, then remove and allow to cool completely on racks.

For the frosting, beat the butter until fluffy.
Add egg yolk and incorporate well.
Add icing sugar gradually, allowing it to mix completely with the butter before adding more. Scrape sides of bowl with a spatula a couple of times during this process.
Add the melted chocolate and beat together until smooth.
If you’re after a looser consistency, you can add a couple of tablespoons of double cream to the frosting.

Assemble cake layers, spreading the frosting on top of each one. Enjoy without guilt, life’s too short for it.




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