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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Recipe: Lightened Up Chocolate Buttermilk Cake

Healthy Buttermilk Chocolate Cake Recipe - Gluten Free, Low Fat, Low Sugar, Healthier, Lightened Up, Skinny Recipe

One Sunday afternoon after church, I decided to bake something with the last of the buttermilk I had open in the fridge (from baking these Healthy Buttermilk Scones!). I couldn’t make up my mind on what to make, so I asked Jesse “What kind of cake do you feel like?”.

“Hmmmmm…..” the answer I pretty much always get. You see, I’ve found that boys aren’t that great with decisions - and Jesse is terrible when it comes to making decisions about food. But the first answer didn’t last long, “chocolate cake sounds good?” followed.

Chocolate cake…. Buttermilk….. way to throw me for a six, Jesse! I can’t remember ever baking a chocolate cake with buttermilk, however, I took it on as a challenge. I tweaked one of my old favourite recipes and hoped for the best.

Lightened Up Buttermilk Chocolate Cake - Gluten Free, Low Fat, Low Sugar, Healthier, Healthy, Skinny Recipe

You see, laying around the SIL house we have hundreds of notebooks. Usually they’re school exercise books (because they cost 30 cents and I don’t feel bad about using up so many :P)  and they’re filled with what we call my “recipe scribbles” – then there’s ideas books for new recipes I want to develop. (Here's a sneak peek at one of my recipe ideas books)

But it doesn’t end there. My iPhone has over 650 of those recipe scribbles written up that I’ve already tried and tested and now need to photograph and blog.
Needless to say, if a publisher ever comes knocking on our door with a book deal, we’re ready to go…. Or I’ll just be blogging ‘til I’m 110 ;)

But back to the Chocolate Buttermilk Cake.... I whipped up the batter, poured it into a loaf pan and waited patiently paced the oven, watching…. waiting…. hoping for the best. It smelt incredible – that was a good sign.

I took it out of the oven, sat at my computer to do something and kept watching that loaf pan like a hawk (yes, my computer is on the other side of the kitchen bench). A watched cake takes a helluva long time to cool but eventually it did and I carefully sliced into it.

Hellllllllllo heaven, come to mama.

It was soft, moist, with a little bit of a crunchy crust, fudgy, chocolatey, yum yum yum. Jesse and Dad agreed five starswere the first English words Jesse said in-between mmmm’s. 

Five stars basically means get it on the blog ASAP. The recipe app I use on my phone has an in-built rating system and we generally decide what goes on the blog by this rating system. Nothing gets on unless it’s at least 4 ½ stars so sometimes recipes need tweaking or changing and extra testing before they get to be here!

So let's get onto the recipe! >>
Low Fat Buttermilk Chocolate Cake Recipe - Gluten free, healthy, low sugar, lightened up

Lightened Up Chocolate Buttermilk Cake makes ~10 slices 
gluten free, low fat, lower sugar

3 tbsp (45g) butter, softened slightly
1/4 cup (50g) unrefined cane sugar (or use 1/3C if you like things sweeter)

1/2 cup buttermilk**
1 large egg 
2 tsp vanilla extract 
2/3 cup plus 2 tbsp (100g) gluten free plain flour
1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp (~35g) unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder 
Pinch of salt 
1/2 cup boiling water or hot coffee*

  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F
  2. Grease and/or line a medium loaf tin or medium cake tin.
  3. In a mixer, beat your butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  4. Add in your vanilla, egg and buttermilk and mix.
  5. Next, add in your flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.
  6. Pour in your hot water and beat until fluffy. 
  7. Pour into your cake tin and bake for 30-45 minutes or until cooked through and a skewer inserted removes clean. 
  8. Devour! 
This cake freezes really well or keeps in the fridge for a few days. If freezing, slice and that wrap the individual slices with cling wrap before placing in a freezer bag and storing in the freezer. Then you can have a slice of cake whenever you'd like to!
*In our second test batch we used 1/2 cup of strong brewed coffee which gave this loaf a delicious mocha flavour!
**I highly suggest using real buttermilk not milk with vinegar/lemon juice as this gives you the best flavour and texture. 

But tell me, what's the best thing to come out of your kitchen lately?
And how do you know when a recipe is a real success?


  1. You do such a great job with your recipes! Victoria :)

  2. Kristy @ Southern In-LawFebruary 13, 2014 at 1:25 PM

    Thank you, lovely! You're too sweet! xx

  3. This cake looks so rich and delicious!

  4. Kristy @ Southern In-LawFebruary 14, 2014 at 9:06 AM

    Thank you, Abbie! It's delicious!

  5. When you say "gluten free plain flour" do you mean a mixed flour lacking gum or just one plain flour? Or something else entirely? I'm making this for my fella's birthday and I just don't want to screw it up.

  6. Hi Rue,
    You'll want to use a gluten free flour mix which contains a mix of different flours (and sometimes gums or starches, depending on which brand you choose). We always use Orgran flour blends as we find they yield the best results

  7. Just a humble suggestion, you should include nutritional Information on your recipes :)

  8. Hey Christy, thanks for the suggestion! We do include nutritional information on some of our recipes, however, we've found it can be a bit of an issue for some readers as the nutritional information really is dependent on the individual ingredients you choose. If you use an app like My Fitness Pal you'll find it's really easy to input the recipe and work out the nutritional information that way! :)

  9. Hello! I'm hoping to make your recipe later for my mom whk is diabetic and was wondering if you could specify.. by "medium cake tin" do you mean like a 9 inch round or a 9x13 or what would you suggest? Recipe looks great btw! :)

  10. Hi Amanda, an 8" or 9" round cake tin would be perfect if you don't have a loaf tin.

  11. Replies
    1. You could certainly test it out! I've never used spelt flour as it's not gluten free so I'm not sure how well it would work/whether it's a 1:1 swap but you can totally experiment with it! :)

  12. Could I double the recipe as I want to make a birthday cake😊

  13. Doesn't hot water "cook" the batter too soon? Should you use room temp?

    1. Hi there, it sounds odd but no, it doesn't! What the boiling water does is make a softer, fluffier cake but also enhances the chocolate flavour. If you use room temp water you'll get completely different results.


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