Chocolate Buttermilk Cake (Ingrid's Chocolate Cake) With Chocolate Frosting

Foodista Cookbook Entry

Category: Desserts & Sweets | Blog URL:

This recipe was entered in The Foodista Best of Food Blogs Cookbook contest, a compilation of the world’s best food blogs which was published in Fall 2010.


1 cup milk, warmed
185 grams butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar (I use only 1 cup of sugar or ¾ cup of agave syrup)
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda (I don’t like the taste it gives the cake so I use 1tsp of <
200 grams double cream
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup chocolate, melted
1 teaspoon orange essence


Add the vinegar to the milk and set aside. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and continue to beat until well combined.
Stir the buttermilk and add it to the butter/sugar/egg mixture. Mix gently as vigorous beating will have the buttermilk flying all over.
Sieve the dry ingredients together. Add them to the wet mixture and mix with a metal spoon until it forms a smooth batter.
Pour into a greased 8” round baking tin and bake at 185˚C for about 35-minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool before turning out and icing.
Gently whisk the double cream and sugar together until in increases a bit in volume.
Add the melted chocolate and orange essence and continue beating until smooth and glossy and almost holding stiff peaks.
Chill in the refrigerator for about 15-20 minutes until it firms up a little and is spreadable without being runny.
Then split the cake in half and fill the centre with half the mixture. Use the rest to frost the rest of the cake. Chill until ready to serve.
NOTE: I usually use whipping cream but my supermarket was out of it. When doing so, beat the cream until it doubles and forms soft peaks. Add the chocolate and beat until the mixture is stiff with firm peaks. Then ice the cake.




Before I started cooking main meals, my forays into the kitchen were solely to bake. It started when I was in school and my mother used the mid-week break (Thursday) and Sunday to keep me busy. So it usually meant a cake for tea, doughnuts, bread pudding or a recipe I found in one of my mother’s dog-eared files filled with recipes torn out from magazines and newspapers.

One recipe that has travelled with me – and made it into several friends’ recipe repertories – is this chocolate cake, which was given to me by our neighbour Ingrid in Mumbai. It’s easy to put together and makes a moist, fine crumb cake that’s enriched by buttermilk. In our home it is simply referred to as ‘Ingrid’s chocolate cake’. My mother still has the yellowed piece of paper Ingrid wrote the recipe on, which now carries thumbprints of cocoa stains.

When I grew up and started baking on my own I became the unofficial birthday cake maker for many of my friends and family. However, that didn’t mean the cakes were always delicious. In fact, when I first tried Ingrid’s recipe for a friend’s birthday potluck I confidently added one cup of vinegar, instead of one cap (I misread Ingrid’s handwriting and ignored my mother who insisted the quantity couldn’t be that much) resulting in a beautiful cake that had an intensely sour tang.

I can still remember a college classmate cutting herself a handsome wedge, savouring the initial flavours of the chocolate frosting and then her mouth curling into a pucker as she forced herself to swallow the piece. It’s funny now, but was immensely embarrassing when I discovered my mistake. Obviously, I never made that error again.

Several years later I made this cake, sans any frosting, for a new friend who was visiting me at home for the first time. The gentleman in question didn’t believe that I could actually bake so I decided to prove that I could. During the four hours of chatting, my visitor had scarfed down seven slices and even asked to take a few home to enjoy the next day.

Eight years on, that gentleman, Sean, is now my husband. He’s eaten and sampled more than one of my culinary disasters and is always honest when it comes to my cooking. This remains one of his favourites cakes and although I don’t make it as often now, we replace the sugar with agave nectar to make it a bit more tumour friendly.

I recently made it for a colleague’s 30th birthday at work and iced it with a ganache-like frosting made from milk chocolate and cream. By no means am I a cake decoration or icing expert but it turned out well in my opinion. At least it got a thumbs up from the birthday boy!


8.0 servings


Saturday, January 30, 2010 - 1:05am

Related Cooking Videos