Buttermilk Chocolate Cake

Buttermilk Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Ganache and Sprinkles
Buttermilk Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Ganache and Sprinkles

My Buttermilk Chocolate Cake can be topped with either Chocolate Ganache or Espresso Frosting. Whichever your choose, this rich, moist, and chocolaty cake is guaranteed to be a frequent resident on your dessert plate!

What makes a buttermilk chocolate cake different from a “regular” chocolate cake? Buttermilk in baked goods is nothing short of a miracle worker.  The acidity of buttermilk works with the leavening agents (baking powder, baking soda) to give your cakes, scones, and biscuits even more lift, the tanginess is perfect against all the sweetness, and it really does make your baked goods more tender by kind of snipping up the gluten strands that can make things more dense.   A light, fluffy, chocolately, delicious cake.  That’s what buttermilk does.  Yes, please 😋!

Buttermilk Chocolate Cake

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    Dry Ingredients

    • 1 cup (130g) all-purpose flour
    • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
    • 1/2 cup (48g) unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 3/4 tsp baking powder
    • 1/4 tsp baking soda
    • 1/2 tsp fine grain kosher salt

    Wet Ingredients

    • 1 large egg
    • 1/2 cup (120g) buttermilk
    • 1/4 cup (60g) neutral vegetable oil
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1/2 cup hot coffee with 1 tsp instant coffee or espresso mixed in

    Chocolate Ganache

    • 8 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
    • 8 oz heavy cream

    Oh, and also optional, but really required for maximum happiness

    • SPRINKLES!!!

    Optional Espresso Frosting

    • 8 tbs (113g) unsalted butter, room temperature
    • 1/2 cup (48g) unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 1 pinch fine grain sea or kosher salt
    • 2 cups (250g) powdered sugar
    • 4 tbsp very hot espresso


    Let's Make Cake!

    • Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray sides and bottom of an 8x8-inch baking pan with with nonstick spray.
    • Mix flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Add in egg, milk, oil, and vanilla and mix until incorporated. When mixed in, stir for about a minute or until smooth. It's going to look quite thick, almost brownie batter thick.
    • Add in coffee. and stir gently until completely incorporated. The batter will be very thin, but trust in the cake. It's going to be fluffy and delightful!
    • Pour batter into prepared pan. (Ignore the foil collar I McGyvered for my pan. I thought it would do something, but I don't think so. Long, boring story. Carry on.) Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean-ish. If there are a few stray crumbs on the stick that's fine. There will be carry over cooking as it cools. Wet stick - no bueno. Cook 5 more minutes or until you get a good stick. Allow to fully cool on a rack until time to frost. About 30 minutes to an hour. Time enough to make and cool some ganache.

    Chocolate Ganache

    • For ganache, heat up cream to almost boiling. Bubbles should be simmering around the edge of the pan. You can also heat the cream in the microwave for 45 seconds to a minute. You're still looking for bubbles, but keep your face pressed to that tiny window. Cream can boil over quickly! Pour over chopped chocolate in a bowl and allow to sit for 1-2 minutes. Using a whisk, slowly stir in one direction until smooth. Allow to cool for about 30 min to an hour. It should be thickened but still pourable.
    • Pour over the center of your cooled cake and use an offset spatula to cover cake edge to edge. Allow to set for at least 30 minutes.
    • Toss on some sprinkles if the mood strikes. I'm always in the mood for sprinkles! Cut into as many pieces as you feel is appropriate for you. Nine pieces if you're feeling sharey, four pieces if not. Or if it's been a rough week, just stick a fork in there and get busy . No judgement. Just cake.

    Optional Espresso Frosting

    • Add room temperature butter, cocoa powder, salt, and powdered sugar to bowl of your stand mixer (or medium bowl, if using a hand mixer.) Beat together, starting on low, until combined. Drizzle the hot espresso over the mixture and beat on high until light and fluffy. If too thin, add more powdered sugar, ¼ cup at a time, until desired consistency is reached. If too thick, add a teaspoon more espresso at a time, until the frosting is right where you want it. Spread over top of cake with a spoon or offset spatula.
      Buttermilk Chocolate Cake With Espresso Buttercream and Chocolate Sprinkles

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