Easy buttermilk chocolate cake recipe

1 Feb

Buttermilk chocolate cake with buttercream

Buttermilk is an easy way to almost guarantee a soft, delicate-crumbed cake. And don’t think you need to rush out to buy another product that you won’t use all of as making your own buttermilk couldn’t be easier.

Adding one tablespoon of white vinegar – the really cheap stuff – to a cup of milk mimics buttermilk. Such a simple alchemy produces an ingredient so important that it would be sacrilege to replace it with non-buttermilk.

This simple buttermilk chocolate cake can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion and your level of enthusiasm. I topped mine with an easy buttercream icing / frosting then made chocolate curls by simply grating a block of chocolate with a vegetable peeler over the top.

I could also imagine this cake dressed with ganache, freshly whipped cream, or a simple dust of icing sugar.

simple Buttermilk chocolate cake with buttercream



1 1/3 cups plain flour

1/3 cup cocoa powder

3/4 cup caster sugar

1 cup buttermilk – make by adding 1 tablespoon of white vinegar to a cup of milk and allowing to sit for 15 minutes

2 eggs

125g butter, melted, cooled


buttercream icing / frosting:

125 grams butter, diced, at room temperature

1 cup sifted icing sugar

a few tablespoons milk

The Hungry Mum - Buttermilk chocolate cake with buttercream


Preheat oven to 180C and grease and line a 20cm round tin with non-stick paper.

In a bowl whisk together the eggs, buttermilk and cooled butter, set aside.

In bowl of electric mixer on low speed beat together the flour, cocoa and caster sugar until just combined, then tip in the wet ingredients.

Increase speed to medium and beat for four minutes, until glossy and well combined.

Scrape into tin and bake for 45 minutes.

When cold top with buttercream:

buttercream icing / frosting:

Beat butter in bowl of electric mixer on high for three minutes or until pale.

Turn beater off then sift over the icing sugar. Put beaters on low and beat to combine, then add enough milk to make a spreadable consistency. Use a palette knife to evenly spread over the top of the cake then use a vegetable peeler to make chocolate curls.

The Hungry Mum. Buttermilk chocolate cake with buttercream




22 Responses to “Easy buttermilk chocolate cake recipe”

  1. runnermum February 1, 2016 at 10:17 am #

    Cakes with buttermilk are fantastic. Nice and easy recipe as well

    • The Hungry Mum February 1, 2016 at 10:51 am #

      Cheers. You can’t beat buttermilk in a cake 🙂

  2. Hungry Nonna. February 1, 2016 at 10:54 am #

    I would like a slice of this cake right now.

    • The Hungry Mum February 1, 2016 at 10:57 am #

      I’ll have to make you another one – The Hungry Dad is taking this to work tomorrow 🙂

  3. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella February 1, 2016 at 9:29 pm #

    We rarely have buttermilk in the fridge but always have vinegar or lemon juice. Such an easy way to create a nice cake texture! 😀

    • The Hungry Mum February 11, 2016 at 4:55 am #

      Yes! The day I run out of vinegar is the day I panic.

  4. Sadie's Nest February 1, 2016 at 11:36 pm #

    Beautiful! Cake and coffee, it doesn’t get much better!

  5. deliciouslynell February 2, 2016 at 12:02 am #

    Sounds delish!

  6. jessguarnieri February 2, 2016 at 1:10 am #

    This looks amazing! thanks for sharing 🙂

  7. hotlyspiced February 2, 2016 at 2:09 am #

    I always forget that it’s that easy to make buttermilk and yes, it really does make a lot of difference to a cake xx

  8. ChgoJohn February 2, 2016 at 4:03 am #

    This is one great looking cake and I bet it tastes every bit as good. I’d no idea that buttercream was this simple to make. Well, I’m no master baker either. At least I knew buttercream was a frosting. 🙂
    Back in my cheesemaking days, I needed buttermilk but only a teaspoon at a time to “infect” the dairy with its culture. I found out that buttermilk could be frozen. Gone were the days of tossing quarts of buttermilk.

    • The Hungry Mum February 7, 2016 at 7:35 am #

      Buttermilk can be frozen?! I had no idea. Yep, buttercream is super dooper easy and as far as I am concerned is the only way to dress a cake – with the exception of the even easier chocolate ganache of which I am so fond 😉

  9. Lisa @ cheergerm February 2, 2016 at 10:49 am #

    I am trying to avoid cakes…damn you! Love, love buttermilk in cakes. The photo with the cup in the background is tops Mrs H.

    • The Hungry Mum February 3, 2016 at 5:19 am #

      Why would anyone want to avoid cakes?! What has cake ever done to you?! Thanks, I am trying to work on my photography skills 🙂

  10. A Cookbook Collection February 2, 2016 at 11:43 am #

    I’m with you, you can’t beat buttermilk in cakes! That buttercream looks delicious too.

  11. Allthatcooking February 3, 2016 at 1:14 pm #

    Hi !
    Well I have to admit that this cake made me hungry !

  12. MyKabulKitchen February 3, 2016 at 10:57 pm #

    Love buttermilk in chocolate cake, or really any cake gives such rich flavor 🙂


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