There is nothing quite so comforting and rustic as this old fashioned Buttermilk Cake recipe. This is not your typical vanilla cake recipe. It is sure to be one of the most delicious cake recipes you have ever made.
The buttermilk in the vanilla cake batter gives this cake an amazing flavor with a super moist texture.
Who says you have to bring a traditional sheet cake or chocolate cake to a party? Be unique and serve this vanilla buttermilk cake at your next get together instead, as it is sure to be a hit!
What does Buttermilk do to Cake?
Buttermilk adds a nice tang to baked goods. It also helps break down gluten, making the your cake tender. No worries if you can't find any, I have an easy hack below to make it in just a few minutes.
Can You Use Normal Milk Instead of Buttermilk?
If you do not have buttermilk on hand, you can substitute it for any kind of regular milk with white vinegar or lemon juice added. Whole milk or 2% milk would work the best for this. This will not only mimic the texture of real buttermilk, but add the baking benefits as well.
How to Make Buttermilk from Regular Milk
To make the amount you will need for the buttermilk cake pour 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or lemon into a glass measuring cup, then top off with milk to the one cup line and stir. Let it rest for about 10 minutes before using.
Does Buttermilk Cake Need to Be Refrigerated?
After your cake has completely cooled, you can go ahead and wrap the cake tightly with plastic wrap and place it on the kitchen counter. Your cake can be stored at room temperature for up to five days. If you need to keep your cake longer, you can freeze it. If you want to store your frosted cake, you will want to place it in an air tight container and keep it in the fridge.
Buttermilk Layer Cake
If you want to make this buttermilk vanilla cake as a layer cake split the batter between two 6 inch or 8 inch cake pans and reduce baking time by about 10-12 minutes. Start keeping an eye on the baking cake layers after about 20-25 minutes. When a pick inserted in center comes out clean the cake is fully baked.
Let the cake layers cool completely before applying a frosting.
How to Make a Buttermilk Cake
Now let's make this cool old fashioned brown sugar and buttermilk vanilla cake.
Prep: 15 mins | Cook: 40 mins | Total Time 55 mins
The cake makes 12 servings.
Kitchen Supplies Needed
9 inch round cake pan (w/2-inch tall sides)
Parchment paper (cut to fit the bottom of the cake pan)
Electric mixer and mixing bowl
Ingredients for the Cake
- Unsalted butter (softened at room temperature)
- Light brown sugar
- Large egg
- Vanilla extract
- Baking soda (do not use baking powder)
- All purpose flour or cake flour
- Unsalted butter (melted)
- Light brown sugar
- Half and half
- Chopped pecans
- Sea salt (garnish is optional)
Buttermilk Cake Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In the meantime while the oven is preheating, you will want to prep the baking pan with baking spray and line with parchment paper.
Combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir to blend. Set aside.
In the mixing bowl combine the butter and brown sugar stirring until smooth.
Continue beating while adding the egg. Beat until smooth.
Then you will want to add the buttermilk and vanilla to the batter. Stir until well combined.
Add the flour mixture evenly on top of the wet batter stirring until combined.
Now you can pour the cake batter into the prepared baking pan (or pans).
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes (or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean).
At the 20 minute mark for baking the cake begin to make the topping.
Add the butter and sugar together, stirring until blended. Slowly add the milk, pecan, and teaspoon of salt.
Stir to blend all ingredients together. (The glaze will be thick but will pour.)
Now you will want to remove the cake from the oven and pour the topping over the cake. Return the cake to the oven for an additional two minutes. (Total baking time is 40 minutes)
Next, transfer the warm cake from the oven to the countertop to allow the cake to cool for 20 minutes. (The cake remains in the pan)
Lastly, sprinkle the sea salt lightly on the top of the cake.
Optional: Serve the cake warm or allow the cake to cool. (If the cake cools the topping will firm up.)
You may serve the cake directly from the cake pan or from a cake platter. If you decide to serve from the cake platter, simply invert the cake onto a dinner plate then invert onto the cake platter.
If you would rather have a cream cheese frosting, you can whip together your softened butter with powdered sugar and softened cream cheese.
- 9 inch round cake pan (w/ 2 inch tall sides)
- Baking spray
- Parchment paper (cut to fit the bottom of the cake pan)
- Electric mixer and mixing bowl
- Medium bowl
- ¼ cup unsalted sweet cream butter soft ½ stick
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
- 3 tablespoon unsalted sweet cream butter melted
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoon heavy cream
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup chopped pecans
- Sea salt garnish is optional
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Prep baking pan with baking spray. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper.
- Combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir to blend.
- Set aside
- In the mixing bowl combine the butter and brown sugar stirring until smooth.
- Continue beating while adding the eggs. Beat until smooth.
- Add the buttermilk and vanilla. Stir until combined.
- Add the flour mixture slowly to the wet batter stirring until well combined.
- Pour the cake batter into the baking pan.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes (or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean).
- At the 20 minute mark for baking the cake begin to make the topping. Add the butter and sugar together, stirring until blended. Slowly add the milk, pecan and teaspoon of salt.
- Stir to blend all ingredients together. (The glaze will be thick but will pour.)
- Remove the cake from the oven and pour the topping over the cake. Return the cake to the oven for an additional to minutes. (Total baking time is 40 minutes)
- Transfer warm cake from the oven to the counter top to allow the cake to cool for 20 minutes. (The cake remains in the pan)
- Sprinkle the sea salt lightly on the top of the cake.
- Serve the cake warm or allow the cake to cool. (If the cake cools the topping will firm up.)
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