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Chocolate Buttermilk Cake

Moist, rich—and healthy!

From: Prevention

My recipe for Chocolate Buttermilk Cake has been in our family for more than 80 years. My husband and son call it their "breakfast, lunch, and dinner" cake because they just can't get enough. Could you lighten it up but still keep it moist and rich tasting?

Canola oil and applesauce, rather than a stick of butter, are smart swaps that still keep cake moist. And opting for the deep flavor of antioxidant-rich cocoa powder and a butter-blend spread allows you to cut back on the chocolate and sugary frosting without sacrificing taste. When you crunch the numbers, our solution has 39% fewer calories, 33% more fiber, 50% less sat fat, and 62% less sugar.

So here's to having your cake and seconds, too!


Chocolate Buttermilk Cake

Work time: 25 minutes

Total time: 1 hour + cooling time

Servings: 12



3 oz unsweetened chocolate
1 c water
3/4 c granulated sugar
1/3 c canola oil
1/3 c unsweetened applesauce
1 lg egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 c 1% buttermilk
1 tsp baking soda
1 c all-purpose flour
1/2 c unsweetened cocoa
1/4 c whole wheat flour
Pinch of salt


1 tsp instant coffee or espresso powder
1 Tbsp hot water
1 stick (4 oz) 50-50 butter-blend spread (we used Smart Balance)
1 1/2 c confectioners' sugar
2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. HEAT oven to 350°F. Lightly oil an 8" x 8" baking pan or dish.

2. PREPARE cake: Melt chocolate into water in medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Cool to lukewarm. Add granulated sugar, oil, applesauce, egg, and vanilla extract and beat with whisk until smooth. Measure buttermilk into a cup and stir in baking soda. Set aside.

3. WHISK together all-purpose flour, cocoa, whole wheat flour, and salt in large bowl until thoroughly blended. Add chocolate mixture and buttermilk. Whisk again.

4. POUR batter into prepared pan and bake 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool to room temperature.

5. MAKE frosting: Dissolve coffee powder in hot water in medium bowl. Add spread, confectioners' sugar, cocoa, and vanilla extract and beat with electric mixer, scraping sides of bowl with spatula, until thoroughly blended. Spread on cooled cake.


354 cal, 4 g pro, 43 g carb, 3 g fiber, 20.5 g fat, 7 g sat fat, 18 mg chol, 235 mg sodium

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Cake Magazine: Chocolate Buttermilk Cake
Chocolate Buttermilk Cake
Moist, rich—and healthy!
Cake Magazine
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