Buttermilk Cake Recipe | The Recipe Critic


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Comforting and delicious with an extra moist crumb, this Buttermilk Cake is the perfect dessert for any occasion! To make it really decadent, finish it off with an absolutely irresistible brown sugar vanilla glaze. Serve this at your next family gathering or potluck and watch the rave reviews come pouring in!

I just love classic desserts that never go out of style! Some of my favorite cake recipes that have been passed down from generation-to-generation are this hummingbird cake, a traditional carrot cake and a family favorite oatmeal cake!

A slice of buttermilk cake being served with a metal spatula.

Buttermilk Cake Recipe

If you haven’t tried baking with buttermilk, now is the time to start! Buttermilk is an incredible ingredient to use in baked goods because it’s acidic, and actually tenderizes the cake. It also acts with the baking soda to help the texture of the cake become lighter and fluffier. In addition, it adds flavor, richness and moisture. Whether you’re baking cake, bread, or pancakes, using buttermilk will take your recipes to a whole new level of delicious. You can see for yourself with these buttermilk pancakes, buttermilk waffles, or this blueberry buttermilk breakfast cake!

This old-fashioned buttermilk cake is perfectly rich, tender and sweet! It’s also really versatile. Enjoy a slice as a snack, for breakfast, or dessert! Great for any occasion, add this to your Easter, Mother’s Day and holiday menus! It’s definitely a crowd pleaser at any cookout, BBQ or party!

Ingredients in Buttermilk Cake

The simple ingredients in this easy buttermilk cake recipe are mostly all basic baking staples and ones you probably have on hand. If you don’t have buttermilk, I’ve provided the link to a recipe for homemade buttermilk. Note: exact measurements are in the recipe card below.

  • Butter: Don’t forget to leave out your unsalted butter, so that it can soften to room temperature.
  • Sugar: Use a combination of light brown sugar and granulated sugar to add the perfect amount of sweetness and caramelized flavor.
  • Egg: One egg provides structure and extra richness.
  • Vanilla Extract: For sweet, warm flavor. I recommend using pure vanilla extract or making your own blend.
  • Buttermilk: The star ingredient! Buttermilk adds a delicious tanginess to the cake and makes it super moist and tender.
  • Flour: No need to use cake flour, all-purpose flour works great for this cake recipe.
  • Baking Soda & Salt: Helps the cake rise and get nice and fluffy while baking.

Glaze

  • Butter: For buttery richness.
  • Dark Brown Sugar: For a complex toffee, caramel flavor. 
  • Vanilla Extract: Adds subtle sweetness and warmth.
  • Buttermilk: Creates the perfect consistency for a thin icing that will spread over the cake and drizzle down the sides.
  • Powdered Sugar: A must in any icing or glaze recipe.
  • Salt: Balances out the sweetness.

How to Make Buttermilk Cake

This cake is so easy to whip up, you’ll want to make it again and again! I know you’ll love it as much as my family does!

  1. Prep: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Then spray a 9-inch cake pan (with 2-inch high sides) with pan spray and line with a round of parchment paper for easy removal.
  2. Combine Wet Ingredients: In a large bowl, combine the butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, egg, and vanilla until combined. Then mix in the buttermilk.
  3. Stir Dry Ingredients: In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined.
  4. Bake: Add the cake batter to the prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean from the center of the cake.
  5. Cool and Add Icing: Let the cake cool for 15 minutes before poking all over with a skewer and pouring the glaze evenly over the top. You can place a pan or parchment paper under the cooling rack to catch the excess glaze as it spills over the sides of the cake.

Glaze

  1. Melt Butter: Once the cake has been removed from the oven and is cooling, begin making the glaze. Add the butter to a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until fully melted.
  2. Finish the Glaze: Reduce the heat to low and add the brown sugar, vanilla, and buttermilk. Stir until the sugar is completely melted. Remove from the heat and stir in the powdered sugar and salt.
4-photo collage of the cake batter and glaze being prepared.

Quick Tips

Getting ready to whip up this wonderful buttermilk cake recipe? Before you start, here are some tips to ensure it turns out perfectly.

  • Make Your Own Buttermilk: Having buttermilk for this cake is essential, but if you don’t have it on hand you can make some! Use this recipe to mix up some buttermilk so you don’t have to head to the store to enjoy this delicious cake.
  • To Poke the Cake: You can use a wooden skewer or a kabob skewer to poke the cake! If you only have toothpicks, that will work as well. Be sure to make plenty of holes so the glaze can seep down into the cake.
  • Making the Glaze: The glaze comes together quickly and sets up pretty quickly as well. Wait until the cake has come out of the oven to start making it, otherwise, your glaze may cool and set up before you even get a chance to pour it on the cake.
  • Room Temperature: It’s best to use room temperature dairy products and eggs when baking for the best light, airy, fluffy texture. The ingredients will also mix together more easily.

Top-down view of buttermilk cake, cut into slices.

Storing Leftovers

Store leftover cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

This cake can be frozen, but the icing will likely end up sticky after thawing. Store it in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to 3 months. Let it sit at room temperature for a few hours to thaw.

A slice of cake with a bite taken out of it.

More Delicious Cake Recipes

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  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Spray a 9-inch cake pan (with 2-inch high sides) with pan spray and line with a round of parchment paper for easy removal.

  • In a large bowl, combine the butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, egg, and vanilla until combined. Mix in the buttermilk.

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined.

  • Add the cake batter to the prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean from the center of the cake.

  • Let the cake cool for 15 minutes before poking all over with a skewer and pouring the glaze evenly over the top. You can place a pan or parchment paper under the cooling rack to catch the excess glaze as it spills over the sides of the cake.

Glaze

  • Once the cake has been removed from the oven and is cooling, begin making the glaze. Add the butter to a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until fully melted.

  • Reduce the heat to low and add the brown sugar, vanilla, and buttermilk. Stir until the sugar is completely melted. Remove from the heat and stir in the powdered sugar and salt.

Calories: 342kcalCarbohydrates: 55gProtein: 3gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.4gCholesterol: 48mgSodium: 330mgPotassium: 93mgFiber: 1gSugar: 40gVitamin A: 399IUCalcium: 56mgIron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.





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