Recipe

Chocolate buttermilk ombre cake

This chocolate cake from The Australian Women's Weekly's 'Cake and Co.' cookbook is wonderfully moist, with a sweet but not too rich chocolate flavour. Decorated with our three chocolate-flavoured buttercreams and a generous dusting of cocoa powder, this stunning dessert makes an incredible centrepiece for any event.

  • 20 mins preparation
  • 50 mins cooking
  • 30 mins marinating
  • Serves 12
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Ingredients

Chocolate buttermilk ombre cake
  • 1 cup (100g) dutch-processed cocoa
  • 1 cup (250ml) hot water
  • 2 cup (300g) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 3/4 cup (110g) self-raising flour
  • 3 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • 2 1/2 cup (550g) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup (375ml) buttermilk
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup (180ml) vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoon dutch-processed cocoa, extra
White chocolate buttercream
  • 400 gram unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 1/2 cup (400g) icing (confectioners’) sugar
  • 500 gram white chocolate melts, melted, cooled
Dark chocolate buttercream
  • 80 gram unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup (80g) icing (confectioners’) sugar
  • 100 gram dark (semi-sweet) chocolate, melted, cooled
Milk chocolate buttercream
  • 80 gram unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup (80g) icing (confectioners’) sugar
  • 100 gram milk chocolate, melted, cooled

Method

Chocolate buttermilk ombre cake
  • 1
    Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F. Grease two deep 20cm (8-inch) round cake pans; line bases and sides with baking paper.
  • 2
    Sift cocoa into a medium bowl; stir in the hot water until smooth. Cool. Sift flours, soda and sugar into a large bowl of an electric mixer. Add buttermilk, eggs, oil and cocoa mixture. Beat on low speed until just combined. Divide mixture between pans.
  • 3
    Bake cakes for 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave cakes in pans for 5 minutes before turning, top-side up, onto wire racks to cool.
  • 4
    Meanwhile, make white chocolate buttercream; beat butter and sifted icing sugar in a small bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in chocolate. Make dark chocolate buttercream; beat butter and sifted icing sugar in a small bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in chocolate. Make milk chocolate buttercream; beat butter and sifted icing sugar in a small bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in chocolate. Keep buttercreams in a cool place until ready to use.
  • 5
    Trim tops of cakes to level. Split cakes in half. Place one cake layer on a cake stand or plate. Reserve half the white chocolate buttercream for top and side of the cake (in step 6). Spread cake layer with a third of the remaining white chocolate buttercream; top with another cake layer. Repeat layering with remaining thirds of white buttercream and cakes, finishing with a cake layer. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • 6
    Spread dark chocolate buttercream around lower third of the cake. Spread milk chocolate buttercream around middle third of the cake. Spread half the reserved white chocolate buttercream around top third of the cake; spread remaining reserved white chocolate buttercream on top of the cake. Use a large palette knife to smooth side and blend colours slightly. Dust cake with extra cocoa powder.

Notes

Do ahead: store cake in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Cake layers are suitable to freeze. If you like, you could opt to make it with only two buttercreams – simply quadruple the quantity of either the milk or dark chocolate buttercream to spread over the surface of the cake.

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