Buttermilk Cake

Baking By ModernLovers Updated 7 Sep 2015 , 7:50pm by Nerms

ModernLovers Posted 6 Aug 2015 , 6:14pm
post #1 of 32
I'm looking for a good recipe for a vanilla buttermilk cake. The recipe I usually use is fine but it is quite moody. The result is usually good. But sometimes it gets really bad. I need a new recipe that is reliable.

Buttermilk is pretty hard to come by in Sweden but I usually replace the buttermilk to Filmjölk (sour milk). 

So if any kind soul wants to share a proven recipe I would be very grateful.


31 replies
Jeff_Arnett Posted 6 Aug 2015 , 7:27pm
post #2 of 32

Here's mine.  I bake with a brand of flour here in the US that is called "White Lily"....it's an all purpose flour but made from soft winter wheat rather than hard winter wheat like most all purpose flours here in the US are.  It's very similar to cake flour.  Regular all purpose flour should be fine though.


Vanilla Cake

4 cups all purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt 

3 cups granulated sugar

1/2 cup vegetable shortening*  (if shortening is hard to get, use 1 cup butter instead)

1/2 cup butter, room temperature

2 cups buttermilk, room temperature

4 large eggs, room temperature

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon almond extract (if desired)


Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit (170 Celsius, gas mark 3)

Grease the bottoms of three 8 inch round cake pans with solid shortening, line with a circle of parchment paper, then grease pans and dust with flour, shaking out excess;  set aside.

(If you have a mixer with a balloon (whip) attachment, use it.  A traditional two-beater stand mixer works fine too!)

Place flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in mixer bowl. 

Add shortening and butter to flour mixture and use a pastry blender (or just a fork), to blend the shortening or butter in a somewhat....you can skip this step and just do this with the mixer's whip attachment, but if you don't mix the shortening and butter in a bit, it tends to clump up in the whisk attachment).

Turn on the mixer on low and mix the dry ingredients with the shortening and butter until the mixture looks like grains of sand...no large pieces of shortening or butter left.

Add the buttermilk and extracts, beat on low to combine, then increase mixer speed to medium speed  and beat for for two minutes, scraping the bowl often.

With the mixer still running, add the eggs and beat on medium speed, scraping bowl often, for two more minutes.

Divide batter between pans and bake until cakes test done with a cake tester or toothpick (cakes should spring back when lightly touched in the center).

 Remove from oven and cool in pans for 5 to 10 minutes, remove, then wrap completely in plastic wrap until ready to use. 

hellomisstilly Posted 6 Aug 2015 , 7:27pm
post #3 of 32

Hi there,

This one is tried and tested and most of all delicious:

It makes enough for 3 layered cake or about 30 cup cakes

350g of plain flour

300g sugar

1 tsp bicard soda

1 tsp cocoa powder

1 tsp salt

250ml buttermilk

2 eggs

375ml vegetable oil

1 tsp white vinegar

1 tsp vanilla essence

Oven 180 degrees celcius

Sift flour, sugar bicarb, cocoa powder & salt together - mix in all other ingredients & bake for 40 minutes in 3 x 18cm cake tins or 18 minutes for cupcakes.

Never met a soul who didn't like this one :) Ive got more recipes here if you like http://www.hellomisstilly.com/

imagenthatnj Posted 6 Aug 2015 , 9:07pm
post #4 of 32

I make this one, from Sky High: Irresistible Triple Layer Cakes. When the book came out, it was made by a lot of great baker bloggers and so I tried it on cake and cupcakes. It is fluffy delicious. My sister has a cake business in South America, and she makes it. I send her Saco powdered buttermilk in cans from the States and she substitutes some cornstarch in her regular flour (they don't have cake flour there) and everyone loves her cake.



ModernLovers Posted 8 Aug 2015 , 3:31pm
post #5 of 32
Thank you all for the nice recipes. I'll test bake them all and see which one I like best.

Jeff_Arnett: I have never heard of the flour you use. Wondering if there is a Swedish counterpart? In Sweden we have not even cake flour. But I usually do my own with cornstarch. I do not know if it will be exactly the same as what you Americans use?

Yes, in Sweden it is possible to get shortening. But I'm the type of girl who loves the flavor of butter in cakes. What is the advantage of using shortening instead of butter do you think?

imagenthatnj: Powdered buttermilk, I have never heard of either? Do you know if there are any internet shop selling it and sending worldwide?

Jeff_Arnett Posted 8 Aug 2015 , 3:38pm
post #6 of 32

I doubt you would have access to White Lily flour...it's pretty much only found in the southern parts of the US.  All purpose flour will work fine....if you see the cakes are a bit heavier/drier than you think they should be, decrease the amount of flour about 1/3 to 1/2 cup.

Shortening cakes tend to rise a bit higher and have a somewhat stronger structure.  All butter is fine in this recipe.

 Powdered buttermilk is another convenience item here in the US.  You just mix it with water.  I'd say it's not readily available in Sweden!  You can just use sour milk (1 cup whole milk plus one tablespoon white vinegar or lemon juice mixed and allow it to sit for a while...stir it often) in place of the buttermilk with no problem...I've done that many times!


DixieDooly Posted 8 Aug 2015 , 4:07pm
post #7 of 32

ModernLovers, buttermilk powder is sold on several websites that ship internationally including Amazon and Spices, etc.  However, the shipping costs may not make it worth the trouble.  As Jeff_Arnett suggested the sour milk works just fine, I have used that many times myself.

Thanks everyone for posting the recipes, I will try some myself!

DixieDooly Posted 8 Aug 2015 , 4:14pm
post #8 of 32

ModernLovers, buttermilk powder is available from several websites that ship internationally including Amazon and Spices, etc.  However the shipping costs may not make it worth the trouble.  As Jeff_Arnett suggests, the sour milk works just fine, I have used it many times myself.

Thanks for all the recipes everyone, I will definitely try some of these myself.

Oh, and by the way ModernLovers, I looked at some of your cake photos and you do awesome work!!! :)

*Last edited by DixieDooly on 8 Aug 2015 , 4:15pm
ModernLovers Posted 8 Aug 2015 , 4:39pm
post #9 of 32

DixieDooly Thanks for the compliment!:) I order a lot of cake supplies from both the US and England, because Sweden is a developing country when it comes to such things. Sometimes the shipping costs is OK when it comes to things that are not bulky. But when I was going to order cardboard cake cards, it would cost $ 150 to ship and it was just too much.

Jeff_Arnett I really have to try baking with shortening instead of butter. I know exactly how I want my crumbs and I have come very close with my old buttermilk cake recipe. Maybe shortening is the secret?

I have read somewhere that buttermilk can be replaced with curdled milk and usally I use it instead of buttermilk. 

-K8memphis Posted 8 Aug 2015 , 4:53pm
post #10 of 32

it's true that subbing curdled or vinegar milk for buttermilk works fine but if you can get real buttermilk it has an emulsifier in it that makes magic -- just a thought

ModernLovers Posted 8 Aug 2015 , 5:10pm
post #11 of 32

-K8memphis Oh, I've read about the buttermilk emulsifying effect and that is why I have been completely obsessed with getting hold of buttermilk recently. There is one place in Sweden selling buttermilk to companies. But my company is very small and I must order at least 350 dollars to get it delivered.

-K8memphis Posted 8 Aug 2015 , 5:23pm
post #12 of 32

can you go pick up a smaller order?

ModernLovers Posted 8 Aug 2015 , 5:52pm
post #13 of 32
Well, I can do that but I have no car and no driver's license. I purchase most of my ingredients on the bike and the shop where they sell buttermilk are located a few miles from here. I bake my cakes in a part of a restaurant. Buttermilk ice cream is included in their current menu. Maybe I can ask them to order some extra packages that I can buy from them.

-K8memphis Posted 8 Aug 2015 , 6:03pm
post #14 of 32

great idea -- the molecules of that emulsifier are called phospholipids -- my one  25 cent word

AAtKT Posted 8 Aug 2015 , 6:58pm
post #15 of 32

The phospholipids work because they are polar and one side (the head) likes water and the other side (the tails) dislike water and prefer fat...  They are what make up the bulk of our double layered cell membranes in our body...

-K8memphis Posted 8 Aug 2015 , 7:09pm
post #16 of 32

see what i mean -- hey maybe it's a thirty five cent-er ;)

-K8memphis Posted 8 Aug 2015 , 7:19pm
post #17 of 32

to paraphrase aatkt i'd say it helps keep your butt attached to your head -- something like that?

AAtKT Posted 8 Aug 2015 , 7:28pm
post #18 of 32

It sure does...

It is also the reason why we do need to have some fat in our diet... we can't make new cells or absorb certain vitamins without it...

ModernLovers Posted 8 Aug 2015 , 7:44pm
post #19 of 32

I have had very severe vitamin D deficiency and because vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin, I used to keep my d-drops in a little butter and then eat it. Yet it took two years to get up to normal levels.

-K8memphis Posted 8 Aug 2015 , 9:39pm
post #20 of 32

i'm enjoying sitting in the morning sun for about 10-15 mins -- constant sun screen is not a good thing -- you get a bunch of vit d  that way --

glad you're back to good level there, ml

and yes before i scare someone i am real careful about skin cancer i've had tons of moles removed -- one  was removed in real surgery not just doctor's office--  it was the size of a silver dollar -- huge

DixieDooly Posted 9 Aug 2015 , 12:09am
post #21 of 32

You are not scaring anyone here, I believe you should get a few minutes of unprotected sun myself. And we lost one of our best friends to melanoma last year which is a truly evil disease.  I wish everyone here the best of health!!!  

-K8memphis Posted 9 Aug 2015 , 12:27am
post #22 of 32

so sorry about your dear friend, dixiedooly

DixieDooly Posted 9 Aug 2015 , 12:41am
post #23 of 32

Thank you K8memphis.  He was a great friend and a great guy all around and he would have done anything for us.  We got close to him during the time he worked for us which was like 16 years or so.  Our daughter was also very close to him since he watched her grow up and she just called him Uncle Scott.  I believe I was still in the hospital after having her when he actually came to work for us.  And we miss him every day; he was a member of our family.  

remnant3333 Posted 9 Aug 2015 , 2:51am
post #24 of 32

Hello Jeff,

Thanks for the tip about the White Lily Flour. I did not realize that it was more like cake flour. I will start buying that brand from now on.

ModernLovers Posted 9 Aug 2015 , 9:13am
post #25 of 32

Back to the topic again: What about the recipes tips I received? Can I double them many times without affecting the quality of the cake? My chocolate cake recipe is very insensitive and I can double the recipe number of times without affecting the quality. But I feel that the light cakes  are much more sensitive in every way.

ModernLovers Posted 6 Sep 2015 , 12:56pm
post #26 of 32

I'm so happy. They have started selling buttermilk in a regular grocery store near me. Now I finally get to bake cakes with real buttermilk. heart_eyes.png

Jedi Knight Posted 6 Sep 2015 , 6:24pm
post #27 of 32

I recognize that photo.......

Have you tried it yet?

I picked up a liter on my way home and will try tomorrow. I'm going to bake a recipe of my vanilla bean cake with buttermilk and one with fil.

I'm interested in the final results. Fil has a fat content of 3%, and Wapnös buttermilk has a fat content of 1/2%.

-K8memphis Posted 6 Sep 2015 , 6:59pm
post #28 of 32

that is amazing that the buttermilk appeared like that -- so cool -- can't wait to hear both your hopefully/surely great results, jedik and modernl 

fist bump

Nerms Posted 6 Sep 2015 , 9:45pm
post #29 of 32

Hi! I have a recipe using polenta or maizemea mixed with the cake flour. Will share it. I also have a Chocolate Chilli cake recipe, can share if anyone's interested. 

I also make my own buttermilk : 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice added to 1 cup milk and left aside for 10 minutes. Once curdled its ready for use.

Polenta and Cashew Nut Cake

250g cashew nuts

240g cake flour

250g butter at room temperature

300g icing sugar, sifted

2 large eggs beaten

10mls baking powder

Pinch of baking soda

Pinch of salt

200ml buttermilk

90g honey

180g polenta or corn meal

White Chocolate Ganache

500g white chocolate, broken into pieces

500ml cream

30ml butter (2 tablespoons)


●Preheat the oven to 190°c 4 or Gas 4 or 375°F

●Lightly grease 2 x 20cm springform cake tins with butter and dust with flour

●Place the cashew nuts on a tray and roast in the oven for 5 minutes, remove, cool then roughly chop the nuts or crush them into size that you like. Mix with 15 ml (1 tablespoon) of the cake flour in a bowl and leave aside.

●In a separate bowl, cream the butter and icing sugar together with an electric beater until light and fluffy, slowly add the eggs, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating continuously. 

●Sift the remaining cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together into a bowl. 

●Fold in the buttermilk slowly, little by little. 

●Add the butter mixture to the flour mixture, fold in the nuts, honey and polenta or maize meal, which ever you using, mix until blended but do not over beat.

●Pour into the cake tins and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Test with a skewer to see if its done. Remove from the oven and cool for 15 minutes in the tin, then remove from the tins and cool on wire rack until cold and ready to ice.

White Chocolate Ganache

●Melt the chocolate and cream together over a very low heat until melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter. Place in the fridge until cold, remove and then beat the icing until it is light and fluffy.

●Slice each cake horizontally until you have 4 rounds altogether, place one layer on a cake plate, spread a quarter of the icing over and top with the second layer of cake. Repeat the layering. Spread the remaining icing over the top and sides of the cake.

Jedi Knight Posted 7 Sep 2015 , 6:11am
post #30 of 32

Nerms - that's not buttermilk, it's soured milk (not sour milk - soured milk - there is a difference)

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