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Buttermilk Chocolate Cake

Every baker needs a homemade buttermilk chocolate cake in their recipe file, but many of them are too dry or too bitter. Give this version a try and you’ll be so glad you did. Truly moist, just a hint of coffee for a richer flavor and the perfect chocolate frosting.

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When my dad turned 5, my grandmother asked him what kind of cake he wanted and he said “Chockie inside, chockie out.” Even a 5 year old knows what’s good, and this buttermilk cake is good, I can promise you that.

I know it because I took a bite. Just one though. Then I put it in the freezer. In our family, we have a potluck every Sunday–so I saved it for the 20+ family members who I knew would eat it up in just a few days.  I mean–my hips don’t need it!

This cake is so good! The cake itself isn’t overly sweet and it’s got a little bit of coffee in it but you won’t notice it. It just makes the chocolate taste more chocolate-y. The trick to keeping this cake ultra moist is not over baking it.  Keep a close eye on it and use a toothpick to check the center. As soon as it’s clean, take it out. If it’s not clean, check it every 2 to 3 minutes until it is.

I also made my own icing because the original that came with the recipe I found on Pinterest was terrible. It was all thin and runny and super bitter. This one’s great. And you need to make the icing too so you get the full chocolate explosion this cake offers.

I know you can handle it.


This cake kept really well in the freezer for several days. Cover and store yours on the counter for up to three days–if it lasts that long!



Buttermilk Chocolate Cake

Buttermilk chocolate cake is a real showstopper made richer with a touch of coffee you'll never taste, but it adds a little something special. 
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 12 people
Author Rachel Ballard


  • 9 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 stick unsalted butter (1/2 cup butter)
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup coffee brewed

For the frosting

  • 12 ounces semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter (3/4 cup)
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar


Make the cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9 inch round cake pans.
  • Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda and baking powder in a bowl. Set aside. 
  • In another large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time to the sugar and butter until completely mixed.
  • In a bowl mix the coffee and the milk together then set aside.
  • With your mixer on low, add half the flour to the butter mixture. Pour in the coffee/milk and mix for a minute or so. Then add the last of the flour mixture and beat until thoroughly mixed--about 2 minutes or so.
    Pour into your prepared pans and bake on the center rack 20-25 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. 

Make the frosting:

  • In a bowl over a pan of simmering water (make sure the water doesn't touch the bowl) melt the chocolate. Add the water and butter and stir until smooth. Remove from the heat. 
    Add the chocolate mixture to the bowl of your stand mixer or large bowl. Then whip or use a hand mixer to beat in the powdered sugar just until blended and no lumps remain. Allow to cool and it's ready for your cake.


Calories: 130kcal
Tried this recipe?Tag us on Instagram @feastandfarm and hashtag it #feastandfarm
Course Dessert
Cuisine American


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  1. Hi Rachel, My first time making a comment. I bake often it is a passion and therapy. The icing called for 1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar however mine was very runny i ended up adding 4 cups of powdered sugar to achieve the right consistency.

    1. Hey Debra, constructive thoughts are always welcome. Thanks for not yelling. LOL. I have actually had this frosting act a few different ways. I’ve found that if my chocolate is too warm, it just dissolves my powdered sugar. I’ve had 1 1/2 cups work more than once and I’ve had it not work before too. Finicky I say! And if I find that it’s too thin, sometimes (sometimes) letting it have some time to set in the fridge has helped. It is a delicious frosting but it does have it’s quirks for sure. I probably need to update this post with some of what we’ve learned! Thanks for letting me know. –Rachel

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About the Author

Rachel Ballard, RN, BSN brings more than 20 years of professional nursing expertise to Feast and Farm. With a love for nutrient dense foods that support wellness, she works to distill complex health information and current trends into recipes that fuel the best version of yourself. Read more about Rachel here.