Buttermilk Cake

The most perfect birthday cake! If you are over chocolate, not in the mood for sponge, not overly keen on decorating, then this is the cake for you!

250g SR flour

½ tsp baking powder

125g unsalted butter, softened, chopped

80ml extra virgin olive oil

275g caster sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 lemons, zested

2 eggs

3 egg yolks

125ml buttermilk



100g butter, softened

1 ½ tbs verjuice

1 ½ tbs lemon juice

2 lemons, zested

430g icing sugar, sifted

Preheat the oven to 170’C. Grease and line a 20cm round cake tin. Sift together flour and baking powder. In a separate bowl cream butter and sugar together then add oil, vanilla and lemon zest and beat until all incorporated and light and fluffy, you may need to scrape the sides down. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Then add egg yolks one at a time, beating for 30 seconds after each addition. Add half the flour mixture and half the buttermilk, beat for 30 seconds. Add remainder of the flour and the buttermilk and mix until just combined. Pour batter into the cake tin, tapping the tin to remove air bubbles. Bake on the bottom shelf for 30 minutes. Cover the cake with a piece of baking paper and bake for another 20 minutes. The cake is cooked when it begins to pull away from the sides of the tin and a skewer inserted comes out clean. Cool in tin for 20 minutes. Invert onto cake rack and leave until cooled completely.

For the icing combine the butter, verjuice, lemon juice and lemon zest and beat until well combined. Slowly add icing sugar beating until light and fluffy, spread over the cooled cake, piling the icing high because as Maggie Beer says in the recipe, it is everyone’s favourite bit!

I first made this cake for Daniel’s youngest brothers 18th birthday as he said he didn’t want any more chocolate cake. This cake is the perfect alternative. A light lemony flavoured cake with a dense crumb and golden crust. I made this cake again for a recent trip to Sydney to see Daniel’s family and they loved the cake just as much this time. I finally took the plunge in buying some verjuice, seeing as the recipe only needs1 ½ tbs I was hesitant to buy it the first time, but this time it was on sale, so I took a chance and it is really lovely, makes the icing just that little bit more delicious, if that is even possible.

The only hard things about this cake is getting it cooked through without too much browning on the top and sides, the baking paper does help with this but only to a degree, you can see in my pictures that the crust is very golden. The other hard part as usual is waiting for the cake to cool before icing it. Because the cake is so dense it takes ages for it to cool completely, I didn’t let mine cool completely but almost, but after 2 hours of waiting it was time to ice it and jump in the car for the trip to Sydney.

This cake should last for about 4 or 5 days, if you can stop yourself from eating it. There is something about the thick lemony icing, with the densely crumbed cake that just draws you back again and again, maybe it’s the lack of chocolate or overly sweetness that accompanies most of my baking exploits, or maybe it is the simplicity of the flavours that just somehow tastes like a home you never knew you were missing.

Please please please make this cake the first chance you get in the future and if possible invite me over because I would love some more! One of the downsides of blogging, no double ups unless it is a request from someone for them to eat! Hint hint: someone please request this cake for a party I am going to!

Love Sonia


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