3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for dusting
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Chocolate chips, to decorate finished cake
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 10-by-5 1/2-inch loaf pan. Dust with cocoa powder; tap out excess. Sift cocoa powder, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
Add eggs, 3/4 cup warm water, the buttermilk, oil, and vanilla. Mix on low speed until smooth, about 3 minutes. Raise speed to medium; mix 30 seconds.
Transfer batter to prepared pan. Bake until a cake tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Let cool in pan on a wire rack 15 minutes. Run a knife around edges to loosen; invert, and unmold. Let cool completely, right side up. Wrap in plastic. Refrigerate until cold, about 2 hours (or up to 2 days).
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