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.


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pans

  • 1 ¼ cups unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder, plus more for pans

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 tablespoon baking powder

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • 2 ¾ cups sugar

  • 3 large eggs

  • 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract

  • 1 ½ cups low-fat buttermilk

  • Chocolate Frosting for Cocoa Buttermilk Cake

  • 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.

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