Buttermilk chocolate cake with pretzel frosting

When I stress bake I like to go big or go home. I really wanted pretzel butter to be a thing. I tried to make it by blending blending blending with milk and a little coconut oil and really all I ended up doing was recreating pretzel dough again. It’s a work in progress.

Instead I made the next best thing: pretzel frosting. It’s easy as. Just grind the pretzels right down and mix in your frosting.

So when I eventually manage to get my 100kg deadlift *high five emoji* I will come home, eat pretzel frosting, look at my sleeping baby and think ‘maybe I’m not doing such a bad job after all’.


You can also use sour cream instead of buttermilk

I finely ground half of my pretzels and bashed the other half lightly for a crunchier texture

This should fill two 23cm/9 inch cake tins of you don’t have the smaller ones. I haven’t tested it though.

(I know it looks like a lot of sugar but trust me, it works!)

Chocolate Buttermilk Cake with Pretzel Butter Frosting

cake recipe adapted from the Back in the Day Bakery book

For the cake:

  • 330g plain flour (or 3 cups of cake flour and no cornflour)
  • 50g cornflour
  • 700g (4 cups) caster sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 150g (9oz) dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • 480ml (2 cups) hot coffee
  • 4 large eggs
  • 250g unsalted butter, melted
  • 250ml buttermilk

For the frosting:

  • 300g (1 1/3 cups) unsalted butter, softened
  • 500g (4 cups) icing sugar, sifted
  • 100g salted pretzels
  1. Grease and line three 18cm/7 inch cake tins. Preheat the oven to 180c/350f/gas mark 4.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, bicarbonate of soda and salt.
  3. Put the chocolate in a bowl and pour the hot coffee on top. Leave for two minutes and then mix until smooth.
  4. In another bowl, whisk the eggs then add the melted butter and whisk until it thickens slightly.
  5. Stir in the buttermilk but leave some streaks of white. Then add the chocolate mix and stir until combined.
  6. Add to the dry ingredients and stir until all the flour has disappeared. The mixture will bubble slightly when the bicarb meets the acidic buttermilk but that’s normal.
  7. Divide between the three cake tins and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Leave to cool.
  8. For the frosting, beat the butter for a few minutes then sift in the icing sugar and mix slowly at first while it comes together then turn it up high and beat for 5 minutes. It should turn pale and fluffy.
  9. Grind your pretzels in a food processor. I did half finely ground and half bashed with a rolling pin to add extra crunch but you can do it how you prefer. Add to the frosting and mix in.
  10. To assemble, put the cakes in the fridge for 20 minutes to firm up as they are very moist cakes. Then layer the cake up alternating between cake and frosting and then spread the frosting around the sides using a palette knife.
  11. Decorate with some extra pretzels on top.

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