Thursday, June 29, 2017

Buttermilk Layer Cake: Vanilla Or Chocolate Frosting

Photo: The New York Times
Buttermilk layer cakes are what generations of Southern women made for Sunday dinner. They are cakes suitable for birthdays and summer cookouts. After looking at recipes from the New York Times and the Joy of Cooking, which were identical, I came up with a recipe too. Think fluffy, vanilla cake that can be left simple; or easily enhanced with favorite ingredients like nuts, coconut or chocolate.  

I like to add a half cup of finely ground nuts to my batter:

Butter Milk Layer Cake (with nuts)


1 1/2 cups butter (= 1 1/2 sticks)
1 1/3 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk

Debbie's version: 1/2 cup of finely ground walnuts or pecans


1) Using a mixer, cream together the butter and sugar.

2) Add the eggs and vanilla.

3) Add the dry ingredients followed by the buttermilk.

4) Toss in the ground nuts for oomph.

5) Pour into 2 greased 9 inch baking pans and bake in a preheated 350 degree F oven for 25 - 30 minutes, or until the center produces a crumb.

6) Remove from the oven. Let sit for 10 minutes, then scrape and remove from the pans to cool completely.

Decide on a frosting: Vanilla; Chocolate; Coffee; or something else. (Sometimes a plain, white, vanilla cake hits the spot!)

Butter Cream Frosting (Vanilla flavor):
Photo: Wacky Wonderful


1 cup condensed milk
2 cups powder sugar, plus more. (Add from the box until you get a thick, but spreadable frosting constituency.)
1/2 stick of butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For Chocolate Frosting: Melt 6 ounces of unsweetened chocolate. I often melt a large dark chocolate bar (or 6 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate chips) that I have in my cupboard. (Cocoa powder works also.)  

For a mocha flavor, add a teaspoon of instant coffee.


1) In a mixing bowl, add the ingredients and with an electric mixer and beat until creamy.

2) Frost the middle, sides and top. You can put the cake in the refrigerator, then frost it a 2nd time just like professional bakers, if you like.

Top the frosting with additional chocolate shavings, coconut flakes or ground nuts if you wish. Bon app├ętite!

You may also enjoy:
Eat A Peach Cake
Czechoslovakian Cookies
Let's Eat Hummingbird Cake
Coffee Walnut Cake: High Tea My Way


  1. Dearest Debra,
    No doubt this will be a favorite dessert for many!
    Wishing you and yours a Happy 4th of July.

    1. Mariette, I like to bake cakes from stratch that are as easy as using a box of cake mix! You know what's in it, perhaps using better ingredients, but don't have to knock yourself out.