Chocolate buttermilk layer cake adapted from Donna Hay. - Narcissism is Necessary

Chocolate buttermilk layer cake adapted from Donna Hay.

I found this recipe in a Donna Hay magazine. It’s their 50th issue birthday edition and the buttermilk chocolate layer cake is the cover cake. The last time I baked a cake was in 2005. That cake was not a looker but I was extremely proud of it, hahahahahaha.

# – The 50th issue birthday. The cake is just so gorgeous, isn’t it??? I just couldn’t stop thinking about it after seeing the picture.

Alright, here’s something I’ve been pondering over. Does “50th issue birthday” mean the 50th issue or anniversary of the 50th issue which could be years ago? I’m not a follower of Donna Hay magazines so if anyone could clarify this would be much appreciated. I scored this particular issue from a knocked down bin…

Anyway, I love this cake, even when I didn’t stick 100% to the recipe. I replaced the original cream cheese chocolate frosting with a regular chocolate frosting but it was still amazingly delicious. I bet the cake would be even more fantastic with the original frosting but if you don’t have cream cheese in your pantry, don’t fret!

Here are the ingredients that you need…

For the cake

  • 250ml of water
  • 125gm of butter, chopped
  • 35g of unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
  • 300gm of flour, sifted
  • 1 teaspooon of baking soda, sifted
  • 350gm of caster sugar (as opposed to the recipe that called for 440gm because I used regular frosting instead of the more savoury cream cheese one)
  • 2 eggs
  • 125ml of buttermilk (if you don’t have it, just add 1/2 tablespoon of vinegar/lime/lemon juice to 125ml of milk and let stand for 10 minutes)

For the frosting

  • 550ml of icing sugar (roughly 2 cooking cups and a bit more)
  • 6 tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 6 tablespoon of butter
  • 5 tablespoon of evaporated milk (I used whipping cream…which is way more naughty :P)

# – First, boil 250ml of water in a pot and sift 35gm of cocoa powder over it.

# – Then add the 125gm of chopped butter. Stir until butter is melted and set aside.

# – Prepare 300gm of flour, 1 teaspoon of baking soda & 350gm of caster sugar in a mixing bowl

# – Now pour the cocoa mixture into the flour mixture and whisk till combined.

# – Add the 2 eggs.

# – Then pour in 125ml of buttermilk. If you don’t have buttermilk, refer to recipe above on how to cheat ;)

# – Whisk everything till combined.

# – Lightly grease two 10″ x 10″ cake tins & lay them with parchment papers. But due to lack of resources and my innate rebellious streak on top of my despise for washing cake tins, I used aluminum foil and grease it with butter. Trust me, it works like a charm :D

# – Now divide the mixture into two & pour half into each cake tin. Then stick into preheated oven at 160 degrees celcius for 40-45 minutes.

# – Let the cakes cool down completely, which takes a minimum of 1/2 hour to be absolutely safe. You do not want the frosting to melt upon contact with the cakes, ya.

# – While the cakes are cooling down, lets begin to make the frosting. Sieve 550ml of icing sugar and 6 tablespoon of cocoa powder into a bowl and set aside.

# – Lay out 6 tablespoons of butter in a mixing bowl, the cocoa & icing sugar mixture you prepared earlier, 5 tablespoon of evaporated milk and a hand mixer.

# – With the hand mixer, cream butter until smooth, then gradually beat in sugar mixture alternately with evaporated milk. Beat until light and fluffy. If necessary, adjust consistency with more milk or sugar till you get frosting!

# – Set the frosting aside and now, cut each cake into half. And lightly score the top of the cakes without cutting all the way.

# – Lay one piece with the scored surface down and slather the frosting all over the top. Be generous with the frosting, you will thank me!

# – Lay another piece on top of the frosted cake. Again, with the scored surface down and frost that baby. Don’t worry if your cake broke or cracked.

# – Repeat steps till you run out of cakes and you get this…

# – Now, frost the entire thing!!

# – Eventually, you will end up with this….

# – Oh, baby!

# – Oh, BABY!!!!

# – GIVE IT TO ME!!!!

For a cake that only had cocoa powder in it, it was surprisingly chocolaty! Not to mention, moist, rich and absolutely delicious. If I hadn’t told my BF, he would have thought I had used expensive dark chocolate bars to make the cake. But nope, just reasonably priced Van Houten’s cocoa powder that you can get at almost any grocery shop ;)

And oh, it is also very nice chilled. My BF, being a sucker for warm dessert also heated it up in the oven, till the frosting melted into some sort of rich chocolate sauce and ate it with a dollop of vanilla ice cream. Fantastic!

Please, make it happen! Yes, you, you and you!

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20 Responses to Chocolate buttermilk layer cake adapted from Donna Hay.

  1. ShaolinTiger March 22, 2011 at 5:43 pm #

    OMG so sad seeing this post…that there is no more lovely, rich moist chocolate cake in the fridge.


  2. TheJessicat March 22, 2011 at 5:56 pm #

    ooh looks nom hun! :) Which reminds me, i last baked a cake in 2006 and somehow attempted to try baking again – Oreo Cheesecake! Luckily, it turned out to be a treasure!! :) Here’s to yummeh cakes! Will certainly give this one a go

  3. KY March 22, 2011 at 8:45 pm #

    this looks freaking awesome!!!!

  4. cazzycazz March 22, 2011 at 11:10 pm #

    Been enjoying reading your cooking posts, really, though i remained silent :D
    GOsh this cake is so beautiful and i am sure my BF gonna love it too!!! Thanks for sharing Kim!

    • Kimberlycun March 23, 2011 at 2:56 pm #

      thanks for reading cazzy! your encouragement keeps me cooking!

  5. Tien March 23, 2011 at 5:55 am #


  6. Vincent March 23, 2011 at 9:26 am #

    Seeing the magazine is old, I think 50th issue magazine is the 50th magazine that they issue. Meaning 50th month they issue (4 years and 2months)


  7. Leogal March 23, 2011 at 11:16 am #

    It’s so sinful!!tempting for it now

  8. Amy March 23, 2011 at 9:46 pm #

    Hi, just have to say that I love ur cooking posts. Awesome. I’m still waiting till I get a proper oven to start the layered potatoes recipe. :)

    • Kimberlycun March 25, 2011 at 5:34 pm #

      thanks! your encouragement keeps me cooking and sharing!

  9. grace April 14, 2011 at 11:23 pm #

    now everyday will read your post because uni have nth gud to eat. at least i can salivate seeing some nice home cooked food haha.

    will try sum recipes of yours if i don’t burnt down my kitchen when im home haha.

    • Kimberlycun April 15, 2011 at 3:18 pm #

      haha you won’t burn down kitchen one lah adoi! i am the clumsiest person i know…just prepare all the ingredients beforehand and think of the bowls or utensils you may need, lay them all out before you start cooking! good luck :D

  10. Jen April 26, 2011 at 4:23 pm #

    That looks absolutely divine… going to give it a try (and a taste) tonight!

  11. Nikki August 3, 2011 at 6:30 pm #

    Vincent is correct, as I have that magazine too! Donna Hay magazines have not been around for that long, and this is the 50th magazine produced (they come out every two months) and to celebrate she gave us the recipe to the devine Chocolate Buttermilk Layer cake (amongst other really devine chocolate recipes). I’ve made it a couple times – so so good!!


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