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Chocolate Buttermilk Squares

Every time I take a pan of these to a picnic, it comes back clean! At home, they disappear as fast as I can stir them. —Clarice Baker, Stromsburg, Nebraska
  • Total Time
    Prep: 20 min. Bake: 20 min.
  • Makes
    15 servings


  • 1 cup butter, cubed
  • 1/4 cup baking cocoa
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 to 4 drops red food coloring, optional
  • 1/2 cup butter, cubed
  • 1/4 cup baking cocoa
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 3-3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Dash salt
  • 3/4 cup chopped almonds, optional


  • In a large saucepan, bring butter, cocoa and water just to a boil. Cool.
  • Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Add cocoa mixture and buttermilk; mix well. Beat in the eggs, vanilla and, if desired, food coloring. Pour into a greased and floured 15x10x1-in. baking pan.
  • Bake at 350° for 20 minutes. For frosting, melt butter with cocoa and buttermilk. Stir in the confectioners' sugar, vanilla and salt. Spread over warm cake. Garnish with nuts if desired.

Test Kitchen Tips
  • A warped 15x10x1 can produce uneven cakes. Make sure your pan's on the straight and narrow!
  • For different flavor thrills, try substituting almond, rum or mint extract for the vanillas. (Mint packs a punch—reduce it from 1 tsp. to 1/4 tsp.)
  • Brickle bits or other crushed candy bars are also delicious sprinkled over these gooey bars. Yum!
  • Nutrition Facts
    1 piece: 466 calories, 19g fat (12g saturated fat), 78mg cholesterol, 380mg sodium, 72g carbohydrate (55g sugars, 1g fiber), 4g protein.


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    Average Rating:
    • Dee
      Aug 9, 2017

      Butter Pecan Fud ge

    • delowenstein
      Feb 20, 2017

      I tried this recipe and it's par excellence! Only changes: Omitted salt in the icing and did not use the almonds on top of the icing. My baking time, however was 20 to 30 minutes! I tried the squares at 20 minutes. But squares tested done at 10 minutes more. Squares were REALLY moist!

    • lateshift32
      Aug 1, 2013

      I'd like to find one like it but not as sweet. It's overpowering! However, it's super easy and great for learning to cook.

    • FruitGal
      Mar 16, 2013

      I reviewed before...Here's how to make this recipe perfect: Use heaping tablespoons of cocoa where called for. And for the frosting, use 6T buttermilk and only 3-1/2 cups powdered sugar. Then it will pour on nicely instead of having to be spread an maybe not looking as nice. You know, I also reduced the butter in the cake by 1/3 once and it seemed just fine.

    • quiltersally
      Mar 15, 2013

      No comment left

    • 2124arizona
      Oct 27, 2011

      These are incredibly moist. The combination of chocolate and buttermilk is just right. I fixed these for a potluck at church and came home with an empty serving platter!

    • FruitGal
      Sep 18, 2011

      Turned out great - made for a birthday and all was gobbled up. I would try 1 more T of buttermilk in frosting as I had to sort of spread it/pat it around.

    • hoosierappleblossom1
      Jul 20, 2010

      This is always a winner! I have taken this to work and the pan was empty in no time!

    • cherytrue
      Jul 20, 2010

      We call this Texas Sheet cake at my house. While the cake is baking you can make the frosting and put it on warm

    • penoll
      Jul 20, 2010

      These are the most wonderful squares! Have made these for years! They will never fail you!