I honestly love baking, but sometimes, I wish I could just bake whatever I wanted! Which would mostly be chocolatey, buttery, cheesy, milky, creamy, chocolatey and… well, probably chocolatey again. But of course, my family would never approve of that, and I must say, neither would my thighs – so I have to make concessions for times like this when I bake something that doesn’t involve chocolate. That also means I can pretend I ate something healthier, which in reality, contains the same amount of butter anyway (and quite possibly less antioxidants!).
Then again, I had this odd craving for something vanilla and I needed to make something for afternoon tea as we had visitors coming over – so I thought this buttermilk cake fit the bill quite nicely, since it wouldn’t be overly rich and it’d go well with a nice cuppa tea. For the cake, I didn’t make any icing to go with it because I was about to go for a French dinner afterwards; and let me tell you, in hindsight, it was a good decision because 500 grams of Camembert cheese, potatoes, white wine and sour cream were involved.
I didn’t really put up a good fight. Actually, I lied; I didn’t put up any at all.
Anyway, back to the cake! Some might say that this is a bit plain; but there are days when ‘plain’ is all one really wants, without frosting and a whole list of complications to bother with, and this is the answer. There’s such a homey feel to this cake which I can’t seem to explain. It really reminds me of simple butter cakes that some people can make with their eyes closed many years on as their go-to recipe. It really is pretty easy to make, especially for those who have a food processor. Of course, you can also make your own buttermilk, which I’ve explained how to here. This recipe produces a moist and slightly buttery cake, with a nice crumb to it. When I removed this from the oven, there was a crack at the top, and that didn’t affect the taste. But hey, whether or not there is a crack, don’t forget the magical topping.
Icing sugar! Like making snow fall from the sky, yay!
Simple Vanilla Buttermilk Cake
Adapted from Green Been Food who referenced the Vogue Entertaining cookbook
2 cups of self-raising flour
125 g of unsalted butter, softened
1 cup of brown sugar
1 cup of buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla essence
to serve: 3 tsp icing sugar
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Line, grease and flour a 23cm springform cake tin.
Beat the butter, brown sugar and vanilla essence together until creamy.
Beat in the eggs, alternating with about 2 tbsp of flour. Add the buttermilk and beat until smooth.
Gently fold in the remaining flour gradually.
Pour batter into the prepared tin and bake for about 35 minutes.
Remove from oven and let stand for about 10 minutes on a rack.
Release from cake tin, and cool on a rack.
Sieve icing sugar over the top and it’s all pretty and ready to serve!