Decadent Chocolate Buttermilk Cake Recipe (with caramel sauce!)
When you’re in the mood for something decadent, it’s hard to go past the classic pairing of chocolate and caramel.
Our chocolate buttermilk cake is moist and tender; cooked in a traditional fluted pan it is also a feast for the eyes…especially as you drizzle the delectable caramel sauce over the cake.
Everything's better with tea and cake
This cake is the perfect indulgence to serve your guests at the end of an evening but is also simple enough to make to treat your family mid-week.
Chocolate buttermilk cake with caramel sauce
Preparation time : 20 minutes
Cooking time : 1 hour
175g / 1½ sticks butter, softened
1 1/3 cups superfine sugar
2 ½ cups self-rising flour, sifted
2/3 cup cocoa, sifted
1 1/3 cups buttermilk
½ cup brown sugar
125g / 1¼ sticks butter, chopped
½ cup heavy cream
- Preheat oven to 175C / 350f. Generously grease a decorative pan (for this recipe we have used the Ciroa Scallop Pan). Set aside.
- Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on low speed for 2-3 minutes then increase speed and beat for 3-4 minutes until pale and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well between additions.
- Transfer mixture to a large bowl. Use a large metal spoon or spatula to fold through combined flour and cocoa with buttermilk, alternating until just combined.
- Spoon mixture into a greased cake pan. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until cooked through when tested with a skewer. Remove from pan and drizzle with caramel sauce just before serving.
- To make the caramel sauce, place the brown sugar and butter into a small saucepan over low heat. Stir until dissolved. Bring to the boil and add the cream. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring regularly for 6-8 minutes or until thickened.
- Once you have poured the cake batter into the pan, tap on your bench top a couple of times to remove any air bubbles and ensure the mixture has reached into all the crevices – especially when the pan has an intricate design.
- Before putting the pan in the oven, use a spatula and ‘sweep’ the mixture all the way around, from the centre ring to the edges (so it is slightly higher around the outer edge), this will prevent it from doming too much in the middle and help it to rise evenly.
- Once the cake is cooked, before inverting onto a wire rack, slice along the base with a large serrated knife to ensure the base is flat when turned out.
- If you have any issues with the cake sticking to the pan, you can lightly coat the inside of the pan with oil (using a pastry brush) then dust the pan lightly with sugar (you can tip the sugar inside the pan then gently shake the pan around to distribute the sugar evenly). This will help prevent the cake from sticking to the pan and will also give the cake a slightly sweeter flavor.
- Cakes cooked in this style of pan are best baked in the centre of your oven, so make sure your oven racks are placed appropriately before preheating your oven.
This cake is a real showstopper, particularly if you pour the sauce over the cake in front of your guests. However, if you’d like to take it up a notch, you could add a sprinkle of chocolate flakes, nuts, berries or edible flowers after the sauce has been poured.
If you’d rather skip the sauce, a simple yet pretty option is to lightly dust the cake with powdered sugar.
You can do this by sifting the sugar directly over the cake, either with a sifter or a wire mesh strainer. Make sure the cake is fully cooled before dusting the cake so the sugar doesn’t melt.
After dusting the cake, you could decorate with chocolate shavings, or just leave as-is.
For a lighter take on this traditional cake, see our recipe for Earl Grey and Lemon Thyme Butter cake.