Buttermilk Chocolate Cake

When I was a kid and we had a cake it came from a box. For the longest time I thought that was how you made cakes. One day I heard someone say something about making a cake from “scratch”. As a 10 year old, you can imagine what visions that conjured up. I can’t even imagine what I was thinking, but I can guarantee that it wasn’t simply combining a few basic ingredients, pouring them into a pan and baking.

The proliferation of “ready made” everything has gone from being a mystery to being a pet peeve. The cake mix and all of the variations (biscuits, cornbread, cupcakes, etc.) are the epitome of the food industry taking advantage of people’s insecurities or perceived importance in the world. Amazing how they cover all bases. Between the person that thinks he or she could never put together something as complicated as a cake and the person who is so busy that they couldn’t possibly take all the time needed to assemble and properly prepare a baked good, the food companies have covered a wide spectrum.

I often rant about processed food and just about any food product sold in the aisles of the supermarkets but the cake mix is really the most egregious of the insults. Below is a delicious cake curated by my lovely and talented wife, Jennifer.


  • 2 Cups Flour
  • 2 Cups + 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 2 Sticks + 5 Tablespoons Butter
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/2 Cup Buttermilk
  • 1/4 Cup Unsweetened Cocoa
  • 1/3 Cup Evaporated Milk
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 1 Cup Chocolate Chips
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 2 Teaspoons + 1 Teaspoon Vanilla


  • Rectangular Cake Pan
  • Mixing Bowl
  • Saucepan
  • Hand or Stand Mixer (optional)
  • Rubber Spatula
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350.
  2. Butter and flour a standard size cake pan.
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine 2 cups of sugar, flour, baking soda, and salt.
  4. In a saucepan, heat water, 2 sticks of butter and the cocoa. Remove from heat just prior to boiling.
  5. Pour hot mixture over dry ingredients and mix. 
  6. Add 2 lightly beaten eggs, buttermilk, 2 teaspoons of vanilla and blend well. You can use a mixer or do this by hand. It’s really easy either way.
  7. Pour into cake pan and bake for about 30 minutes. The cake will look soft in the middle even when it is done so check with a toothpick to make sure it is no longer wet.
  8. For the frosting, In a saucepan heat the evaporated milk, 5 tablespoons butter and 1/2 cup sugar just until combined.
  9. Remove from heat and immediately stir in the chocolate chips and stir until they are melted.
  10. Once the chocolate is melted, stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla.
  11. Pour frosting over the still warm cake. Smooth out with spatula. 
See what I mean, piece of cake!

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