Potluck Buttermilk Chocolate Cake

Serving 12 people

40 min


  • baking soda 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • buttermilk 1/2 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • cocoa 4 1/2 ounces buttermilk
  • cocoa powder 7 1/2 tablespoons cocoa
  • eggs 1/3 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder (Scharffen Berger works well)
  • flour 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • powdered sugar 2 cups flour, sift after measuring (250 grams)
  • salt 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • sugar 1/2 teaspoon salt (omit if using salted butter)
  • unsalted butter 1 teaspoon salt
  • vanilla 2 cups sugar (390 grams)
  • water 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 sticks (230 grams) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup water
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How to make it

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 inch baking pan. If using a disposable pan, you can skip this step.In a saucepan, melt the butter.
  2. Add the cocoa powder and stir until smooth, then stir in the water.
  3. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Mix together flour, sugar, salt and baking soda. Sift if necessary.In a mixing bowl or in a 2 cup glass measure, whisk together eggs, buttermilk and vanilla.
  5. Add cocoa mixture and buttermilk mixture to dry ingredients and stir until everything is well mixed, then beat 30 strokes with a big spoon or a heavy duty scraper.
  6. Pour into the pan and bake for about 30 minutes or until cake springs back when touched.
  7. Let the cake cool while you make the icing.To make the icing, melt butter in a saucepan set over low heat.
  8. Add the cocoa and whisk until smooth, then add the buttermilk and vanilla and whisk until smooth.
  9. Put the confectioners' sugar and salt (if using) in a food processor.With motor running, pour cocoa mixture through feed tube and process only until smooth.
  10. Pour this mixture over the cooled cake.
  11. Let cool down slightly, then put the whole cake in the refrigerator to help set the icing.Once the cake is chilled and set, you can take it out and store it covered at room temperature.