I am in love with the Magnolia’s Bakery recipe for Chocolate Buttermilk Cake and their Vanilla Buttercream in The Complete Magnolia Bakery Cookbook (Love to bake? Buy this book!). The results were amazing and most importantly delicious!
Instead of using two 9 inch round baking pans to make a layer cake (you may choose to do it this way as well), I made the cake in one 9 x 13 pan and it came out perfect! I then topped the cake with a full recipe of their vanilla buttercream, tinting it different colours with gel food colouring and using my imagination to make a kid-pleasing cake for my daughter Emily’s 4th birthday. She wanted an Ariel cake, with blue icing like the ocean. So I gathered her set of Little Mermaid figurines, and got creative. I am not nearly as talented as others in cake decorating who make cakes that blow your mind, but I wanted to make a homemade cake that my daughter and her pre-school friends would love and the results were fabulous. I am glad I made a memory for my daughter and myself as we had a really fun time coming up with the cake together and making it come to life!
The Chocolate Buttermilk Cake recipe is posted here. It is the same recipe as for 24 cupcakes, just bake in a 9 x 13 pan at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes (use a toothpick to test).
Vanilla Buttercream recipe here (makes more than enough to cover the entire 9 x13 cake plus decorate). Note that I divide the plain icing into bowls and coloured as desired (blue, green, pink, and purple).