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Have Your Cake & Eat It Too

Chocolate Cake from Scratch...No Regrets !

Cake. You either love or you don’t. I could eat it all day, every day if given the choice. So, when afforded a few extra hours in the day it seemed criminal to reach for the boxed mix. And, if we are being honest, the box is standard for every birthday celebration at my house; I figure it is one step up from ordering.

Cake from scratch is actually a simple baking feat, save for its many ingredients that you have to have on hand to be successful, primarily cocoa powder and buttermilk. One take away from quarantine is dry buttermilk being a new kitchen staple. 

I requested this recipe from a friend, whose chocolate cake I swooned over. Turns out she actually got it from Hershey’s. Go figure! But it is a solid cake so there is no judgement that it didn’t get passed down through the generations. What really did shock me was how much sugar is in a chocolate cake despite not being overly sweet. If I didn’t have kids I would have enjoyed this frosting-free with some powdered sugar for decoration. The texture is light and the flavor has some delicious depth. I have made some adjustments from the original to ensure I can make this cake with what's in my pantry.

If you have kids, layer on the chocolate frosting and go for it…you only live once! If not, this cake could be enjoyed unfrosted with some powdered sugar on top or with raspberry or marmalade in between the layers.

Chocolate Cake



  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups cake flour, sifted
  • 3/4 cup Ghirardelli unsweetened cocoa powder (it has a wonderful depth)
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk; I like to use Saco dry buttermilk and blend according to directions
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 1 cup boiling water


  • 1/2 softened salted butter
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup whole milk



  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9” round baking pans.
  2. Blend dry ingredients in large bowl: sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. Slowly add eggs, milk, and oil beating on medium speed mixer for 2 minutes- no longer!
  4. Stir in boiling water (batter will be very thin). Pour batter into prepared pan.
  5. Bake 30 to 35 minutes.


  1. Combine butter and cocoa powder.
  2. Beat in powdered sugar.
  3. Add milk, beating until combined

 A slice of chocolate cake on Caskata Arbor Dessert Plate

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