Chocolate Buttermilk Layer Cake with Bittersweet Chocolate Ganache

There are only a few cakes that hold my heart.  This is one of them.  It’s a chocolate lovers dream.  To me, frosting can often be overpowering with the amount of sugar that it contains.  While ganache would never, ever be considered “low sugar”, its 3/4 cup is a far cry from the cups and cups that go into a normal frosting.   And, cakes that include buttermilk always seen to turn out more moist than those that don’t.

Let’s make some cake.

Chocolate Buttermilk Layer Cake (adapted slightly from

Printable Recipe


Non-stick cooking spray
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup plus 3 Tablespoons good quality unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup boiling water
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
3/4 cups (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare two 8-inch cake pans by spraying with non-stick cooking spray.  Line bottom of pans with parchment paper (for easy-peasy removal every time) and spray parchment paper.  Dust the pans with flour and tap out your excess.

2.  Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.

3.  Sift cocoa powder in a small bowl.  Pour boiling water over the cocoa and whisk until smooth.

4. In your mixer, beat together sugar and eggs for 2 minutes or until light and fluffy.

5.  Add butter the egg mixture and beat until just blended.

6.  Beat in the cocoa mixture.  Add buttermilk and vanilla and beat to blend.

7.  Add the flour mixture and beat on low until just blended.  Do not overmix.

8.  Transfer batter to prepared pans.  Tamp down the batter to remove air bubbles and smooth the tops.

9.  Bake the cake until a tester inserted comes out clean.  Begin checking at 25 minutes.  May take up to 30.

10.  Cool cakes completely in pans.  Cover and let stand at room temperature until ready to add ganache.

Bittersweet Chocolate Ganache


5 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup sugar


1. Chop the chocolate and put in a medium bowl along with the butter and vanilla.

2.  Bring the cream and sugar to boil in a medium saucepan, stirring to dissolve the sugar.

3.  Pour the hot mixture over the chocolate.  Let it stand for 1 minute.  Whisk until melted and smooth.

4.  Chill ganache until thickened and spreadable, about one hour.

When your cakes are cool and the ganache is thick enough to spread, put a few pieces of parchment paper on your cake plate.  Invert your first later and leave the parchment sticking out about an inch around the cake.  This will catch all the mess from icing the cake.  Spread the ganache from the center of the cake to the outside, working in a circle.  Repeat with the top later, then finish by coating the sides.

Pull out the pieces of parchment to leave behind a clean edge.

Refrigerate the cake for an hour before adding any additional decoration.

A great variation on this cake is to make a “giant” version.  To do this, pour all the batter into a 12-inch cake pan (with 2 inch sides) and bake for 38 minutes.


One thought on “Chocolate Buttermilk Layer Cake with Bittersweet Chocolate Ganache

  1. Pingback: Chocolate bundt Easter eggs « livindolcevita

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