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  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees . In large saucepan, melt 11/2 sticks butter, chocolate, granulated sugar, 1/3 cup cocoa and 1 cup water over medium, whisking until smooth and warm. Let cool, 10 minutes. Grease bottom and sides of 9-by-13-inch metal baking pan. Whisk buttermilk, eggs, 1 tsp. vanilla and 1/2 tsp. salt into chocolate mixture. Add flour, baking powder and baking soda; whisk just until blended. Transfer batter to prepared pan; bake until springy in center, about 45 minutes. Make frosting: In medium saucepan, melt remaining 4 tbsp. butter over medium heat. Whisk in 6 tbsp. milk and remaining 1/4 cup cocoa, 1 tsp. vanilla and 1/4 tsp. salt; remove from heat. Whisk in confectioners sugar until smooth (mix in 1 to 2 tbsp. more milk if too thick). Let cake cool in pan on rack for 15 minutes, then frost warm cake. Sprinkle with pecans. Let cake cool completely before cutting and serving.