chocolate buttermilk layer cake

  • 1½ cups (375ml) water
  • 190g unsalted butter, chopped 
  • ½ cup (50g) cocoa, sifted 
  • 3 cups (450g) plain (all-purpose) flour, sifted 
  • 1½ teaspoons bicarbonate of (baking) soda, sifted 
  • 3 cups (660g) caster (superfine) sugar 
  • 3 eggs 
  • ¾ cup (180ml) buttermilk 
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract 

chocolate cream cheese frosting 

  • 100g unsalted butter, softened 
  • 500g cream cheese, chopped 
  • 2 cups (320g) icing (confectioner’s) sugar mixture, sifted 
  • ½ cup (50g) cocoa, sifted
  1. Preheat oven to 160ºC (325ºF). Place the water, butter and cocoa in a medium saucepan over medium heat and stir until the butter is melted. Place the flour, bicarbonate of soda and sugar in a bowl, add the cocoa mixture and whisk to combine. Add the eggs, buttermilk and vanilla and whisk to combine. Divide the mixture between 2 x 20cm-round lightly greased cake tins lined with non-stick baking paper. Bake for 65–70 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Allow to cool in the tins for 10 minutes before turning out onto wire racks to cool completely. 
  2. To make the frosting, place the butter and cream cheese in an electric mixer and beat for 6–8 minutes or until pale and creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the icing sugar and cocoa and beat for a further 6–8 minutes or until pale and fluffy. 
  3. Trim the tops from the cakes and slice in half horizontally. Place one cake layer on a plate and spread with ¼ of the frosting. Repeat with remaining layers and frosting. Serves 6–8
Reader ratings (0)
Mel Catania

This cake is so easy to make and tastes rich & moist without being too sweet. It also keeps for several days so is good to make in advance!

donna hay team

Hi Linda, you can use mascarpone cream instead of the cream cheese icing if you prefer. Enjoy!

Linda Barisic

Can I use your mascarpone cream recipe instead of the cream cheese icing?

donna hay team

Hi Elaine, Yes this cake is great to make in advance and bake and freeze if you wish. Wrap it in baking paper and then plastic wrap before freezing. To thaw the cake, make sure you do so in the fridge. However, it is best to make the frosting and ice the cake the day you wish to serve. The DH team

Elaine Dodd

Please could you let me know how far ahead of serving can this cake be made?

Amelia Diprose

This is a winner - easy and delicious ... always an eye catching cake for when having guests.

donna hay team

Hi Stacey, yes you can freeze this cake, but we haven’t tested this so we can’t guarantee it will turn out the same. The DH Team.

Stacey Childs

Does this cake freeze well?
If I made (or defrosted) this cake & iced it the day before party, does it need to be stored in fridge?
Thank you smile

Rajiv Kumar

It’s toooo Awesome!!! thanks for sharing this wonderful article…

Nicole-Brook Huebner

I’ve been making this recipe for years & it’s my absolute favourite go to chocolate cake recipe. It’s always moist, rich & delicious without being dry or too sweet. The icing is fantastic!! I use this recipe for cupcakes too smile

Shona Cameron

The cake was a bit bland and too heavy but the icing was amazing!





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