chocolate buttermilk cake with chocolate cream cheese icing

Charlotte Ree's Chocolate Buttermilk Cake is all over the internet. I made my own version of her cake, took the cake into work and everyone agreed the chocolate icing was the bomb.

I'm not a huge fan of the texture of a melt and mix cake so for my brother's birthday, I remade the cake using my favourite chocolate cake recipe which I sandwiched and topped with the chocolate cream cheese icing. It was so good I decided to share the recipe with you.

Here’s the recipe for you which makes a 17cm layer cake. If you'd like to make a 23 cm layer cake, double all the ingredients. The bake time will stay the same. For all my recipes I use a 250ml cup and a 20 ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60g eggs. My oven is a conventional gas oven so if your oven is fan forced you may need to reduce the oven temperature by 20ºC.

Chocolate Buttermilk Cake with Chocolate Cream Cheese Icing (Icing from the Charlotte Ree recipe)

Chocolate Buttermilk Cake
1 cup plain flour
½ tsp bicarbonate soda
¼ tsp baking powder
½ cup strong hot coffee
40g cocoa, sifted
125g room temperature unsalted butter, chopped
¾ cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 egg
⅓ cup buttermilk

Chocolate Cream Cheese Icing
65g unsalted butter, at room temperature
160g cream cheese, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
65g icing sugar, sifted
35g Dutch-process cocoa powder, sifted 


Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease and line the base and sides of a 17cm spring-form pan with baking paper. Sift the flour with the baking powder and bicarbonate of soda. Mix the coffee and cocoa together in a small bowl to make a paste, then set aside to cool. 

Cream the butter and sugar together with the vanilla until pale and fluffy. Add the egg then mix the flour into the mixture alternating with the chocolate mixture and the buttermilk. You should be left with a creamy smooth chocolatey batter. 

Pour the batter into the prepared tin, smooth the top then place the tin onto the middle shelf of the preheated oven. Bake at 190° C for 1-1¼ hours or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out dry. 

Leave the cake to cool completely before turning out onto a wire rack. When cool slice horizontally into 2 even layers leaving the best layer for the top layer. While the cake is cooling, make the icing.


Place the butter, cream cheese and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat until pale and creamy. Scrape down the side of the bowl, add the icing sugar and cocoa, and mix until just combined. You can also do this in a food processor. Whiz the dry ingredients together to remove any lumps before adding the softened butter cream, cheese and vanilla. Blend until the icing is streak free.

To assemble, place one cake half onto a serving plate. Spread half the icing over the cake, then top with the second cake layer. Spread the remaining icing over the top of the cake. Refrigerate until serving time.

Unfortunately my brother couldn't make it to his birthday dinner because of social distancing but there will always be a next time.

See you all again next week with some more baking from my kitchen now that I've managed to buy some flour. Honestly.

Bye for now,


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