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Cocoa Buttermilk Cake with Scrolled Tuiles

Let a graduate know he or she is congratulated and adored: Our standout chocolate sheet cake has intense flavor and a rich, dense frosting made from melted bittersweet chocolate and cream cheese. Atop the cake is a pile of small "diplomas," airy tuile cookies that are curled around the handle of a wooden spoon and tied with strips of sour candy.

  • Servings: 15
Cocoa Buttermilk Cake with Scrolled Tuiles

Source: Martha Stewart Living, January 2006


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pans
  • 1 1/4 cups unsweetened Dutchprocess cocoa powder, plus more for pans
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 3/4 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups low-fat buttermilk
  • Chocolate Frosting
  • Scrolled Tuiles


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 8-by- 12-inch cake pans, and line with parchment paper. Butter parchment, and lightly dust with cocoa powder; set aside. Sift cocoa powder, flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl; set aside.

  2. Put butter and sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Mix in eggs, 1 at a time, and vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add cocoa mixture in 2 batches, alternating with the buttermilk.

  3. Divide batter evenly between pans. Bake until a cake tester inserted into centers comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack 15 minutes. Invert cakes onto rack; remove parchment, and reinvert. Let cool completely.

  4. Trim cakes level. Place 1 cake on a platter. Spread with 1 cup frosting. Top with remaining cake. Spread 4 1/2 cups frosting on top and sides. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a petal tip (such as Ateco #126) with remaining frosting. Pipe a ruffled border along edges. Cake can be refrigerated up to 1 day. Serve with scrolled tuiles.

Reviews (3)

  • Polskagirl 16 Jun, 2010

    I made this for a friend's graduation. While I think both the cake and the frosting recipes are good, if I ever make this cake again, I wouldn't put the two together because it was just too rich. I thought it was just me, but I have had two people tell me that it was a little on the rich side even with small servings. I would probably use the chocolate frosting with a vanilla cake. Just one opinion...

  • happsmjc 6 May, 2010

    My cousin made this for me when I graduated college in 2006. I LOVED it, it was so perfect, tasted great, and she said not too hard to make. Wonderful recipe and definitely a stand out graduation cake.

  • terrie-bear 26 Jun, 2008

    I sent this recipe to my friend who, should I say is cooking challenged. She at first laughed and said there was no way that she could do this for her daughter who was graduating, but I told her that it was fairly easy and to go for it. She managed to pull it off by doing 2 box sheet cakes and layering them. She used Betty Crocker frosting, 5 cans worth. And then made the tuiles, which she admitted were pretty easy. It looked beautiful. If she can do this, then anyone can.

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