Layered Buttermilk Chocolate Cake

I had buttermilk, I was craving chocolate, and I wanted cake.  Donna Hay to the rescue.  I was taking a moment of solitude, reading my donna hay magazine, the 50th issue.  Low and behold, pages and pages of chocolate desserts!  What I love about her recipes, aside from the mouth watering photography, is the fact that most of the recipes have few ingredients.  And most of the ingredients line my pantry shelves.  This cake is mixed in a bowl, no mixer, no gadgets.  My favorite kind of recipe!

I sent this cake with the kids, to our neighbors, who was hosting movie night under the stars (movie projected onto the garage door; kids wrapped in blankets, sitting on beach chairs).  These nights, at Jeni’s, are some of my favorite summer nights!



chocolate buttermilk layer cake


1 cup water
125g unsalted butter, chopped
35g cocoa, sifted
300g all purpose flour, sifted
1 tsp. baking soda
440g caster sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla

100g unsalted butter, room temp
500g cream cheese, room temp
320g confectioner’s sugar, sifted
50g cocoa, sifted


• preheat oven to 325*.  grease two 8″ round cake pans ( I didn’t have round, I did this in square pans), line with parchment and grease the parchment lightly.
• place water, butter, and cocoa in a saucepan over medium heat and stir until the butter has melted.
• sift the flour, baking soda, and sugar in a bowl.  add the cocoa mixture to the dry ingredients.
• add the eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla and whisk.
• divide mixture between the 2 cake pans.
• bake for 40-45 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer.  allow to cool in the pans.  turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
• while the cake is in the oven, place the butter and cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until pale and creamy.
• add the confectioner’s sugar and cocoa and beat for another 6-8 minutes until really creamy.
• to assemble, slice each cake in half, horizontally.  frost between the layers and on the top.

The Urban Baker /

Showing 4 comments
  • Anonymous

    OMG susan! you are amazing. this looks so good. i think i gain 5 lbs every time i read a recipe that you post. then i head to the gym and put it out of my mind until i need that perfect recipe and the inspiration to try something new. thanks for baking.xoxojocelyn

  • ajcabuang04

    This looks beyond good!! This is such a show stopper. Plus you can’t go wrong with chocolate!! :)Would you mind checking out my blog? 😀

  • Jess--Sugar High

    This cake looks amazing!

  • Anonymous

    I can vouch for this cake, it was not only delicious, but beautiful to look at! It was fun to have a square cake with 4 layers! It was easy to cut into squares and serve the kids as they watched the movie.Thanks again Susan!-Jeni

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