Monday, May 26, 2008

Cocoa Buttermilk Cake

I've have little desire to get out this Memorial Day weekend. Los Angeles has had unseasonal weather, with overcast skies and rain, and it has really put a damper on my weekend plans. I guess I'm one of those people that get affected by weather --- I really need sunshine to maintain a happy disposition!

Baking is alway a theraputic mood lifter for me, so I decided to baking something.

Browsing my cookbooks, I stumbled upon this recipe for Cocoa-Buttermilk Birthday Cake, from Baking My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan.

I was pleased to read the ingredient list and find everything on hand in my pantry.

There are a bazillion varieties of chocolate cake recipes out there, and of course every recipe claims to be the best. My criteria for an excellent cake include an intensely deep chocolate flavor, a dialed-down sweetness, and a tender crumb.

After trying numerous recipes (and paying the price with countless extra hours at the gym), I've identified my two reliable and delicious go-to recipes: Double Chocolate Layer Cake (from Engine Co 28) and Chocolate Stout Cake. Both recipes can be found on

The verdict for this receipe? Although I liked the addition of malted milk powder to the frosting, I wasn't wow'ed by the cake flavor (the intensity of chocolate wasn't there) .

Sorry Dorie, but I 'm going to stick with my reliable favorites.


Mary Jo said...

the cake looks really yummy! I agree with you regarding the weather, I've been baking too. Your blog looks fantastic!

Hanna said...

I just tried Dorie's cake a few days ago, and was made sad by its lack of chocolate ooomph. It was a test run for my birthday cake this year, and that's one of the few times I eat cake at all. I need it to be dark, on the edge of bitter, and satisfying enough that I only want a thin slice.
I know that's a lot for a simple cake to do, but I'm going to try one of your other go-to cakes and hope one will suit.

Hannah said...

I tried the double choc cake, minus the frosting, and was shocked at how light and delicate the crumb was, though the color was dark and texture was moist. That cake is amazing! I didn't use a mixer and it was still fluffy. I made a half batch as 12 cupcakes and a shallow glass 8x8 inch pan.
Thanks so much for the link!
I suppose I'll have to make the frosting someday, since mine was too chewy to pair well with the cake.
Thanks again!

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