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Adjust Servings:
For the Cake
Wheat Flour – 2 cups
Cocoa Powder – 3 tbsp
Kosher Salt – 1 ¼ tsp
Baking Soda – 1 tsp
Butter – 6 oz (170 g)
Sugar – 1 ½ cup Granulated
Vanilla Extract – 1 tsp
Eggs – 3
Buttermilk – 1 cup
Apple Cider Vinegar – 1 tsp
For the Frosting
Sugar – 1 ½ cup Granulated
Wheat Flour – 6 tbsp
Kosher Salt – ½ tsp
Milk – 1 ½ cup
Butter – 12 oz (340 g)
Vanilla Extract – 1 ½ tsp
Almond Extract – ½ tsp

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Mahogany Cake

Mahogany Cake

  • 60 min
  • Serves 8
  • Medium


  • For the Cake

  • For the Frosting



When it comes to gorgeous pastries, it is safe to say that we have seen everything. Hyper-realistic cakes that look like everyday objects and delectable desserts that surely belong on the red carpet grace our ever-growing Pinterest boards, waiting to inspire us in the future. Therefore, sometimes, we opt for surprising our readers with something old-fashioned and underrated instead. Enter Mahogany cake.

Mahogany cake dates back to the late 1800s in America, making it the first chocolate cake on record. In many ways, it was the ancestor of Red Velvet. Mahogany cake has a magnificently soft crumb due to the unique combo of vinegar or buttermilk and baking soda, a late Victorian-era technique for creating cakes with velvety interiors. Plus, it flaunts a white ermine frosting — a light, whipped buttercream. Without further ado, let’s make America’s first chocolate cake.



Prepare the Cake

Preheat the oven to 350 °F.


Spray two 8-inch round cake pans with cooking spray and line each with parchment. Set aside.


Combine flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda in a bowl and whisk. Set aside.


Beat butter at room temperature in the electric mixer bowl using the paddle attachment on medium-high speed until creamy (up to a minute). Add sugar and vanilla and beat until fluffy (approximately 5 minutes).


With the mixer on low speed, add eggs one at a time.


Whisk together buttermilk and vinegar in a separate bowl.


Add a third of the flour mixture to the electric mixer bowl and combine on low speed. Next, add half of the buttermilk mixture and mix on low speed. Add another third of the flour mixture; combine. Add the remaining buttermilk mixture and combine. Finally, add the remaining flour mixture and combine.


Divide the batter evenly among the two cake pans.


Bake for 30 minutes and then let cool.


Prepare the Frosting

In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, flour, and salt, add milk, and place it over medium heat. Occasionally whisk until the mixture comes to a boil. After that, cook for one minute, continuously whisking.


Remove the pan from the heat. Let cool.


Using the whisk attachment, whip butter with vanilla and almond extracts on high speed for 2 minutes in the bowl of the electric mixer. Add the cooled flour mixture. Beat on medium-high speed until fluffy (approximately 5 minutes). Use immediately.


Assemble the Cake

Remove the cakes from the pans. If necessary, use a serrated knife to cut off the mounted top, so you end up with flat, even cake layers.


Place the first layer on a platter and evenly spread it with approximately one cup of the frosting. Top it with the second layer. Use the remaining frosting to coat the top of the cake and its sides until the whole cake is completely frosted.

We'll go ahead and say it: the Mahogany cake is even better than the beloved Red Velvet. It is moderately sweet with a subtle cocoa flavor and a crumb so soft no wonder its successor bears the name velvet.


I am an English major with a love of languages and fiction, and with an incurable travel bug. In my free time, I read fantasy, drink copious amounts of coffee, and like to go see movies. Culinary art means everything to me. My main hypostasis is the taster, though. The music school has taught me to appreciate the symphony of airy meringues, to create harmonious overtures of light snacks, hard rock of meat, fish, and vegetables on the grill. Choir classes have accustomed me to hear and feel the people nearby and create perfect harmonies of sounds.

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