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Basic Buttermilk Cake


  • ¾ c butter, softened
  • 1 ¼ c granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 c bleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 c buttermilk*, at room temperature
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla
  • * buttermilk substitute, add 2 tsp lemon juice or vinegar to 1 Cup milk


  1. Arrange the rack at the middle of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Grease cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper or wax paper; grease the paper. (If you're making cupcakes, fill cups with paper liners or grease them.)

  2. Beat the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer for 5 minutes at medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in egg, a little at a time. Scrape the bowl and beaters and beat well to incorporate.

  3. Sift the flour with the baking powder and baking soda. Add a quarter of the flour mixture to the butter-egg replacer mixture, then add vanilla and a third of the buttermilk. Repeat, beginning and ending with the flour mixture and scraping well after each addition.

  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and spread to edges with a spatula. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in pans on a rack for 5 minutes. Turn pans onto the rack; remove parchment or wax paper and cool completely before frosting.

  5. Makes two 8" round layers, two dozen cupcakes, one 9x13x2" cake, two 8" square layers, and 10 large muffin-size cakes.

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