(and preferably, baked goods)

This is an adaptation of a favorite from a bakery that was in biking distance of my house in Los Angeles, the Buttercake Bakery. The recipe I started with, printed in the LA Times, was a bit too sweet for me, so I made a few adjustments. Today, since we are doing our best to limit visits to the grocery store, I had to make do with some ingredients (see photo below of dairy product lineup) . It still came out yummy!

Goes well with ice cream


  • 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda**
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk*
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (optional)
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened (good quality) cocoa powder
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons boiling water
  • powdered sugar, for dusting (optional)

*if you don’t have buttermilk, you can substitute (or use a combo, as I did today) of sour cream and/or plain yogurt

all good dairy options for this cake

**if you don’t have any of the above dairy options, you can use regular milk but if that’s the case, eliminate the baking soda

Helpful hint for all bundt cakes: use your fingers to get lots of butter into all the crevices and then flour liberally to avoid sticking


  • Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter well and lightly flour a 12-cup bundt pan.
  • Whisk together the first four ingredients in a medium bowl.  In a stand mixer, cream sugar and butter. Beat in eggs one at a time, then vanilla. Mix in flour and buttermilk alternately in a couple batches. Stir in chocolate chips if using.
  • In a medium glass or metal bowl, stir together the cocoa powder and hot water until smooth. Then mix in about 1/3 of the flour mixture.
  • Pour half of what’s left of the plain batter into the bundt pan. Pour chocolate mixture on top, and then the rest of the plain batter on top of that. Gently swirl with a wooden skewer or sharp knife to marble (don’t over do this).
  • Bake for about an hour, until the cake springs back lightly and tester comes out clean.  Don’t overbake.  Cool completely in pan on a wire rack and then invert onto serving plate.  Dust lightly with powdered sugar and serve.
After the swirl, before baking
love this Omega shaped swirl

You can print the recipe here:

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