First attempt at blogging! (Dark Cocoa Buttermilk Cake with Cocoa Mascarpone Frosting)

31 Jan
So, as this is my first attempt at blogging, and seeing how I only have a sad little point-and-shoot camera and literally no photography skills (which from reading other bogs I’ve discovered will be another new hobby I’ll soon pick up), I hope you’ll be kind.

During the second week of January I was selected for jury duty and so missed work for 4-days. Then I came back to work and immediately took a scheduled day off. And did I mention I only work there part time?? So I was feeling super guilty about the fact that I basically hadn’t been at work for over a week and decided to bribe my co-workers (and bosses, of course) into liking me again with a cake!

I found a good looking recipe on Pinterest (love!) that I wanted to try: Dark Cocoa Buttermilk Cake with Cocoa Mascarpone Frosting a la Better Homes and Gardens.

So, first you’re suppose to let the butter and eggs stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Why, I don’t know, but I did it. Then the recipe tells you “meanwhile, lightly grease bottoms of three 8 x 1 x 1/2-inch round cake pans” AND “Line bottoms of pans with waxed paper.”

Who takes 30 minutes to grease cake pans?? Do you ever do that step first? I swear it’s always the last thing on my mind. Mostly I just want to know how soon I get to eat the chocolate. Basically, I did the first step last and also didn’t use any wax paper since I mostly make round cakes in my cheesecake pans. No matter how well I grease my other cake pans the cake never comes out clean.

Next, I was suppose to stir together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and powder, salt, and set aside.
Weeeeeell, being my “confident” self I didn’t exactly read the directions all the way through and also threw the sugar in there. I looked at the bowl once I realized my mistake and after contemplating if I was going to be able to scoop it out figured, “Eh.”


Next beat the butter. Check. Then, combine the granulated and brown sugar. Oops. Then I use suppose to gradually add the sugar to the butter. In mine, just the brown sugar got added to the butter — turned out this was fine. Next I added the eggs and vanilla.

After stopping to pre-heat the oven, I back-and-forth added the flour mixture and the buttermilk to the mixture in the mixing bowl. At first the mixture was SUPER dense but it thinned out considerably.


Finally the good part! I poured the batter into my two cake pans and baked them for 30 minutes.


The recipe said to cool the cake throughly before frosting so I took the opportunity to go to my local tap room — Berryessa Brewing Co. in Winters, CA. After a lingering beer with my cousins, I brought my self and my now full growler home to frost the waiting cake.

Berryessa Growler

Cocoa Mascarpone Frosting! (Oh yes, it’s good!)

The frosting was super easy and delicious. Just beat everything but the sugar together, then gradually add the powdered sugar and beat it until smooth. The recipe said to add additional milk to make the frosting spreadable and I added just a touch.

Finally, frost like a beast!

Beast Cake

Overall I think the cake turned out GREAT and the afternoon beer break was perfect. I drank a pint of the Berryessa Roadhouse Amber (and brought more home) which was just hoppy enough for me with lots of delicious, carmel sweetness. Happy drinkin’ and bakin’!

Days Adventure

Dark Cocoa Buttermilk Cake with Cocoa Mascarpone Frosting

The original recipe is from Better Homes and Gardens and can be found here.

Everything you’ll need:

For the Cake

  • 3/4 cup butter (another 1/2 cup is used in the frosting)
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 1/3 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (another 1/3 cup is used in the frosting)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cup buttermilk

For the frosting

  • 4 ounces mascarpone cheese (or cream cheese) – basically 1/2 an 8 ounce container
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened (another 3/4 cup is used in the cake)
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (another 3/4 cup is used in the cake)
  • 2 Tablespoons milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 4 – 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar – basically a 16 ounce box


For the cake

  1. Allow the butter (3/4 cup) and eggs (3) to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  2. In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour (2 1/3 cups), cocoa powder (3/4 cup), baking soda (1 teaspoon), baking powder (3/4 teaspoon), and salt (1/2 teaspoon). Set aside.
  3. In another bowl combine the granulated sugar (1 cup) and the brown sugar (1 cup).
  4. Beat the butter (3/4 cup) with an electric mixer on medium – high speed for 30 seconds. Then, add the sugar mixture about 1/4 cup at a time to the butter, beating well until combined. After scraping the bowl, beat for 2 more minutes.
  5. Add the eggs (3) one at a time, beating between additions. Add the vanilla (2 teaspoons).
  6. Add the flour mixture and the buttermilk (1 1/2 cups) alternately to the beaten mixture, beating on low until just combined after each addition. Beat on medium – high for 20 more seconds.
  7. Spread the batter evenly into greased pans. Bake at 350 degrees until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. (For round pans back about 30-35 minutes and for a 13 x 9 pan bake about 45-50 minutes.)
  8. Cool the cakes throughly before frosting.

For the frosting (Make 3 cups; 1/2 recipe for sheet cake)

  1. In a large mixing bowl beat the mascarpone cheese (4 ounces), butter (1/2 cup), cocoa powder (1/3 cup), milk (2 Tablespoons), and vanilla (2 teaspoons) with an electric mixer on medium – high speed until creamy.
  2. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating until smooth.
  3. Add milk, 1 teaspoons at a time, to reach a spreadable consistency, if needed.



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