Side note: I hardly ever buy buttermilk. I usually make my own by adding a splash of vinegar to milk. (Thank you growing up on a farm and running out of ingredients for that little bit of creativity!) That was the plan for tonight. But, I couldn't find any regular vinegar in our apartment. Both of us swore we had some but had no idea where it went. We both looked in the cupboards and pantry multiple times... no regular vinegar. I did have apple cider vinegar. I figured it's close and it's cake; it'll work. I've also subbed vodka for vinegar to make buttermilk for Texas Sheet Cake in the past. That same time, I also swapped the vanilla for cinnamon (again, ran out of ingredients). It ended up tasting like an Oreo and my then boss (who likes to drink) almost fell off her chair when I told her. (The cake was for work.) OK, back to my current cake! (Sorry for the detour!) The Dr. Pepper, vegetable oil, butter and cocoa powder are melted on the stove. Mix together the flour, sugar and baking soda in a separate bowl. The recipe says to whisk the eggs and buttermilk together. I like to use the Pyrex 2-cup measuring cup for things like that. The 1/2 half apple cider buttermilk and 2 eggs fit perfectly in it. I've decided to start mixing more by hand. It gives me a real feeling of accomplishment rather than watching the mixer work. And I'm hoping to build some arm muscles. (I'm a bit of wimp... not cool for a farm girl.) It was really satisfying watching the bits of flour melt away when I added the chocolate mixture to it. I almost forgot to add the apple cider buttermilk and eggs which would have been a disaster. I enjoyed watching the dark brown chocolate color change to a lighter but still rich brown when I added the egg mixture. (Former art major here... I enjoy colors!) The recipe says to bake for 23-28 minutes... mine was still jiggly in the center after 25 minutes. I checked it after another 3 minutes... still jiggly. Steve checked it after another 2 minutes... still a little jiggly. I checked it after another 2 minutes... finally done! So about 32 minutes and the cake will be done. Recipes irritate me when the baking time is that far off. I haven't made the frosting yet. Last time I made this cake was for Steve and Nathan's birthday. The frosting seemed a little runny so tonight I'll focus on the thickness of it. I can't take a cake to work if the frosting is runny and thin.
The unfrosted cake
I've also realized that this cake doesn't have brown sugar in it. I'm thinking this has something to do with the flavor of the Dr. Pepper. I thought about how the pop probably caramelizes on the stove as it mixes with the cocoa, butter and oil. Interesting.