Buttermilk Cocoa Cake Recipe
Buttermilk Cocoa Cake Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Buttermilk Cocoa Cake Recipe

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4.5 7 18
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Moist and tender with a delightful frosting, this cake is one I've made time and again after finding the recipe in an old community cookbook. It's perfect for a family dinner, picnic or potluck.
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. Bake: 30 min. + cooling
MAKES:12-15 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. Bake: 30 min. + cooling
MAKES: 12-15 servings


  • 1/4 cup baking cocoa
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup butter, cubed
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup baking cocoa
  • 1/2 cup butter, cubed
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 3-3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans, optional

Nutritional Facts

1 piece: 504 calories, 23g fat (9g saturated fat), 62mg cholesterol, 234mg sodium, 72g carbohydrate (55g sugars, 1g fiber), 4g protein


  1. In a large saucepan, combine the cocoa and water until smooth; add butter. Bring just to a boil. Remove from the heat.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar and baking soda; add cocoa mixture. Combine eggs, oil and buttermilk; add to cocoa mixture and beat until smooth.
  3. Pour into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
  4. In a large saucepan, bring the cocoa, butter and buttermilk to a boil. Remove from the heat. Whisk in confectioners' sugar and vanilla until smooth. Spread over the warm cake. Sprinkle with pecans if desired. Cool on a wire rack. Yield: 12-15 servings.
Originally published as Buttermilk Cocoa Cake in Taste of Home June/July 2005, p33

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Reviewed Jul. 11, 2015

"I've made this several times and it is really good. Very moist."

Reviewed Apr. 20, 2015

"I must have done something wrong with this one. The frosting was extremely sweet and very runny. I don't feel the chocolate cake has any real flavor either. It is moist and great texture, but lacking any real flavor. Won't be making this one again."

Reviewed Nov. 20, 2011

"To reduce calaries and sugar in this recipe, I cut the sugar in half, added the nuts to the batter, used light butter, and sprinkled confectionary sugar over the top in place of the frosting. I served it to company, and they loved it. I'm sure the original is as good as everyone says it is, but I needed to make it a little lighter."

Reviewed Nov. 7, 2011

"I wasn't expecting this cake to be so good. It's quite moist and so very "chocolatey"."

Reviewed Oct. 7, 2011

"It was so moist!! I made this for a family dinner and had ZERO leftovers! Amazing taste and so easy to make! This will be a chocolate cake staple!!"

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