Old fashioned chocolate buttermilk cake

Show someone you care with this classic chocolate cake. Simple, with no gimmicks or difficult frosting, this cake is just plain, old fashioned good.

The Runaway Spoon
Sometimes you simply need chocolate. This simple chocolate cake is sure to hit the spot.

I’ll admit, with all the travel to share Pimento Cheese The Cookbook I did in the fall, I got a little behind on recipe planning. So I’ve had a bit of a scramble to get myself organized, get things tested and photographed and out on the blog.

The starting point for this is written on piece of lined notebook paper, in a much younger version of my handwriting. I must of copied it out of a cookbook or from somebody, maybe when I was a teenager. I know it was a staple of my repertoire for a while, but I was surprised that it came to mind again. I mean, that’s going back a ways! I’ve updated the recipe a bit, streamlining it and making the frosting a touch easier to work with, but this is just plain, old fashioned good.

I made this again for friends and one immediately asked for the recipe, because it was just like something here grandmother used to make, so I knew I’d hit on the right chocolate cake recipe. Because showing someone you care isn’t just about fancy frippery and gimmicks, it’s about good old fashioned love and kindness, and this cake just shouts that out.

Old fashioned chocolate buttermilk cake
Serves 12

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
1 cup water
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

For the frosting

1/4 cup (half a stick) of butter
4 tablespoons buttermilk
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2-1/4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

For the cake

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x13 inch glass baking dish.

2. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together in the bowl of a stand mixer. Place the butter, water, and cocoa powder in a pan and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. With the mixer running, pour the hot chocolate mixture into the dry ingredients and beat until smooth. Add the buttermilk, then the eggs and vanilla and beat until smooth.

3. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

For the frosting

1. As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, bring the butter, cocoa, and buttermilk to a boil in a pan (you can use the same one used earlier). Remove the pan from the heat and beat in the powdered sugar until smooth.

2. Pour the warm frosting over the still warm cake, tilting the pan to cover the cake evenly, and leave to cool.

Related post on The Runaway Spoon: Buttermilk Pie

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