I made this for my fiance’s birthday cake. He couldn’t figure out what kind of cake he wanted, so I decided to make both! The recipe is from Martha Stewart. I never thought I’d use one of her recipes. I feel so dirty! I know it doesn’t look pretty, and I’m terrible when it comes to frosting things (especially such an odd shape for a cake), but I assure you it tastes amazing.
The recipe uses a 9-by-5 inch loaf pan… I really didn’t like the way it looked when it turned out. Kind of awkward looking for a cake. I’ll probably use a round cake pan next time. It turned out really moist, and absolutely delicious!
For the frosting I used some ready made cream cheese frosting we had in the back that needed to be used up. Definitely going to just make my own next time, because it was way too sweet for my tastes.
One note: make sure your eggs, butter, and buttermilk are all ROOM TEMPERATURE. It usually takes about 20 to 30 minutes if your ingredients were in the fridge. This ensures that butter and sugar will cream properly and hold more air, that butter will blend well into batter, that egg whites will be easier to beat, and that dry ingredients will combine easier.
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 3/4 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup buttermilk, room temperature
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon Dutch-process cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons boiling water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9-by-5 inch loaf pan with cooking spray or butter; set aside.
Whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, using a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes). Add eggs, one at a time, beating until combined after each egg, and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Mix in vanilla. Add flour mixture in 2 batches, alternating with the buttermilk and beginning and ending with the flour. Set aside 1/3 of the batter.
In a bowl, combine cocoa and 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of boiling water. Mix well using a rubber spatula until smooth. Add cocoa mixture to the reserved cake batter, stirring until combined.
Spoon batters into prepared pan in 2 layers, alternating spoonfuls of vanilla and chocolate to simulate a checkerboard. To create marbling, run a butter knife or wooden skewer through the batters in a swirling motion.
Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until cake tester comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes. Transfer pan to a rack to cool 10 minutes. Turn out cake from pan and cool completely on rack. When cool add frosting, if desired.
Cake will keep about 3 days in an airtight container at room temperature.