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Ingredients

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter 9 mini loaf pans. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.

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  • Beat butter and 1 cup sugar with a mixer on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Beat in flour mixture in two additions, alternating with the buttermilk. Reserve one-quarter of the batter.

  • Whisk together cocoa and remaining 1 tablespoon sugar. Add the boiling water, and stir until smooth. Add to reserved cake batter, and stir until combined.

  • Spoon batters into pans in two layers, alternating spoonfuls of vanilla and chocolate to simulate a checkerboard. Run a skewer through batter in a swirling motion to create a marbled effect.

  • Bake cakes, rotating pans from front to back after 15 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into centers comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cakes cool in pans on wire racks for 15 minutes. Run a knife around edges of pans to loosen, and turn out cakes onto racks to cool completely. (Cakes can be wrapped in plastic and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days.) Just before serving, cut cakes into 1/2-inch slices.

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