My Favorite 1-Pan Buttermilk Chocolate Cake

The simple go-to cocoa powder recipe that always turns out scrumptious!

A A McRae
4 min readJun 10


Photo by Anastasia Eremina on Unsplash

I was inspired to write down the recipe below after reading my friend Michelle Jimerson Morris’s delectable family recipe for apple cake.

Can you say apple with raisins? YUMMMMM!

Unlike Michelle’s, my cake isn’t an old family recipe but is instead adapted from a Better Homes & Gardens cookbook my mother gave me when I moved out of the house as an adult. She hadn’t taught me to cook but wanted to give me a handbook of sorts when I ventured out on my own. She was sure I’d figure it out.

Well, I still really can’t cook for beans but I LOVE to bake! And I’m a sucker for anything chocolate.

My family of origin is not. Given the choice all three of them, my mom, my dad, and my sister will choose vanilla.

Vanilla?! Whhhhhhy?!

I mean, who prefers a snickerdoodle to a chocolate chip cookie or a brownie?

The dear sweet family I was born into, that’s who.

Needless to say, growing up we rarely had chocolate.

So when I moved out of the house, I went wild experimenting with chocolate desserts.

As an inexperienced baker, many of my concoctions didn’t turn out too well. Because I was a college student on a budget, I didn’t have the funds to continuously buy ingredients, especially bars of chocolate.

What I needed was a scrummy recipe that was cheap and easy to replicate. After many failed attempts, I finally found my chocolate unicorn, which I adapted from my mom’s gift all those years ago. My partner calls it a church potluck kind of cake, which it probably is, but nobody complains when I make it. And, even if I have to make sour milk to substitute for buttermilk, it always turns out delectable!



A A McRae

I am a teacher, parent, cookie-baking experimenter, library enthusiast, and all-around bookworm. Twitter and Instagram: @aamcraewrites