chocolate buttermilk cake with french buttercream frosting

Chocolate yogurt cake

With unsuccessful yogurt in the refrigerator, it was a great time to try a chocolate buttermilk cake since the runny yogurt makes an acceptable substitute for buttermilk. I had trouble deciding between World’s Best Chocolate Cake Recipe from (how can you go wrong with a website URL like that?!) and Triple Chocolate Layer Cake from Sally’s Baking Addiction.

After a long internal debate, and a bit of an external debate with a husband who could not quite grasp my dilemma, I settled on Triple Chocolate Layer Cake. But just for the cake part. For the frosting, I went with a French buttercream from Alice Medrich.


Triple Chocolate Layer Cake from Sally’s Baking Addiction and New Classic Buttercream from Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies by Alice Medrich

Process notes

Cake formula (cut in half):

  • 110 gm freshly-milled hard white wheat flour
  • 175 gm granulated white sugar
  • 33 gm unsweetened cocoa powder (Hershey’s)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/2 c runny homemade yogurt
  • 1/4 c canola oil
  • 1 large egg, room temp.
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 c hot water

preparing the cake:

  • mixed with whisk attachment in stand mixer
  • baked 31 minutes

Buttercream (cut online version of recipe in half):

  • used 1 whole egg, room temp.
  • added 1/2 tsp vanilla at end of mixing


I think I underbaked the cake because after I let it cool in the pan for about 15 minutes and turned it out onto a rack, a good chunk of the bottom stuck to the pan. Luckily it was sticky enough that I just patted it back in place.

chocolate yogurt cake in pan

The cake fell a little bit, but it’s relatively flat on top

chocolate yogurt cake stuck to pan


a chunk of the chocolate yogurt cake stuck to the pan

cooling chocolate yogurt cake

The cake is on the thin side

Talk about moist! The texture was not exactly fluffy, but it wasn’t the dense chocolate fudge of a previous dark chocolate cake. It also fell some when I checked on it at 24 minutes. It’s quite possible it would have lost some height anyway at some point, but jostling the rack out definitely had an impact. I’m just glad it’s not greasy and crumbly.

I love the dark chocolate flavor of this cake, and I could see it working well as a sheet cake.

This buttercream recipe is awesome, but because it has such a small amount of liquid ingredients, my stand mixer didn’t want to fluff it up at all. So my buttercream came out very thick and dense. But tasted incredible.

Licking the beaters is one of my favorite stages of baking, and on a whim I mixed in a bit of the unsweetened cocoa powder to the buttercream bits left in the mixing bowl. The original recipe called for a melted chocolate addition for chocolate buttercream, but I think just mixing in some cocoa powder would be fantastic.

After making this, I picked up an old electric hand mixer, so hopefully whipping together a small amount of liquid will work better. Excited to try it out! I also found out that my oven can be calibrated with a few simple steps, so I pumped it up by 10° because I’ve had so many baking experiences that take longer than recipe instructions indicate.

Next time:

  • increase flour by 10-20 gm
  • watch out for underbaking
  • use new handheld mixer
  • add cocoa powder to make chocolate buttercream
  • put a parchment round in the bottom of the pan