Moist Vanilla Buttermilk Cake

This delicious vanilla buttermilk cake is a crowd pleaser. It’s simple to make and bakes in a 139-inch pan, then it’s covered with a delicious glaze that soaks in and makes the cake incredibly moist and delectable. This cake is one of the greatest I’ve ever tasted, and it’s certain to become a family favorite.

Hello there! Before you browse, there’s a lot of vital information in this article!includes the FAQ section, which may help you with any queries you have regarding this recipe. Enjoy!

ConfessionThis dessert was devoured by me. I mean, I gave some away as well, but I ate much too much. This is also not an exaggeration. I adore this cake, and it is one of my all-time faves.

Let’s Talk About Some of the Ingredients in this Cake:

You won’t need to go out and buy cake flour since you’ll be using standard all-purpose flour.

Buttermilk: Of course, a buttermilk cake will include buttermilk. First and foremost, don’t be concerned if you dislike buttermilk. I don’t like buttermilk and would never drink it, but if it’s an ingredient in a cake, it won’t taste like buttermilk.

What buttermilk does in a cake is provide moisture and a very fantastic flavor, but nothing like drinking it straight from the glass. So, if you’re scared to use it in a cake, don’t be. It’s very excellent.

The glaze also contains buttermilk, so don’t be put off by that. I swear it doesn’t taste like buttermilk. Also, check the Tips and FAQ part of this page for answers to queries regarding replacing it if necessary.

Vanilla Extract: Ideally, I’d prefer to use vanilla bean paste (which you may still do if you want), but vanilla has recently become prohibitively costly, so vanilla extract would suffice and still taste fantastic.

Unsalted butter: This will be used in the cake as well as the glaze. To get answers to questions regarding replacing it, see the Tips and FAQ section of this page.

Sugar: For the cake, plain granulated sugar is used, and brown sugar is used for the icing (since brown sugar makes everything better, right?).

Mixing Method for this Cake:

The reverse creaming process will be used for this cake. Don’t worry, it’s simple, and I go through all of the processes in the recipe card below.

The reverse creaming technique simply entails combining all of the dry ingredients in one dish, the liquid in another, and then incorporating the room temperature butter into the dry mixture and mixing until crumbly.

The liquid will then be added in two parts and mixed. I really find the reverse creaming technique to be simpler to use than the standard creaming method, which requires you to alternate putting in the components, which may be tedious at times.

Just keep in mind that the mixing process is also shown in the video on the recipe card below.

The simple thing about this cake is that it is cooked in a 139-inch glass pan, so there is no need to bother about removing the cakes from layer pans or anything like that. You don’t even have to go creative with the frosting.

The glaze is made on the stove (it’s extremely simple), then poured over the heated cake (with holes) and allowed to soak in. Don’t neglect this step since it’s what truly makes this cake distinct.

Tips and FAQs for the Vanilla Buttermilk Cake:

What type of butter should I use?

This recipe asks for unsalted butter, which is my preferred baking butter. You don’t want to replace margarine since it isn’t the same as butter and may have an undesired effect. If you only have salted butter, use that instead of the salt called for in the recipe.

Do I have to have the butter at room temperature? What about the eggs?

Yes, the butter for the cake batter should be about room temperature. Don’t microwave it since it will overheat and heat unevenly. Simply slice the butter and set it out on a dish to warm up for a few minutes (in a 73-degree room, that’s generally around an hour or so). As for the eggs, you may lay them out as you begin mixing, and they should be alright even if they are little chilly.

You’ll need both baking powder and baking soda for this recipe.

Because they are distinct, do not swap them. (For further information, see Baking Soda vs. Baking Powder.)

Should I use dark brown sugar or light brown sugar?

Either is acceptable since they are frequently interchangeable. I did, however, use light brown sugar.

The mixing steps matter, so just make sure to follow the instructions.

Mixing this way, will give you a tender cake.

Does buttermilk make the cake more moist? Why use it?

It’s complicated, but if the cake batter is somewhat acidic, it will assist to make the cake more moist and delicate by breaking down the longer strands of gluten that might be difficult.

I don’t like buttermilk though…

You’re in luck since buttermilk doesn’t truly taste like buttermilk in cakes. I don’t enjoy the flavor or texture of buttermilk, but it’s fantastic for making cakes. It moistens them and brings out all of the other tastes.

Can I substitute the buttermilk for something else?

If you have access to buttermilk, use it since it tastes finest in this recipe. If you can’t find buttermilk, replace one tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar in a measuring cup, then pour in ordinary milk until it measures one cup. Allow it to settle for 5 minutes before adding it to the batter. You’ll need one and a half cups for this recipe, so make the modification above once and then halve that amount.Just keep in mind that you won’t get the same exact cake if you use this substitution, so if you’re looking for an excellent vanilla cake that doesn’t need buttermilk, you can find my recipe for that here: Vanilla Bean Cake is my favorite.

Can I use reduced fat buttermilk?

Yes, provided you can locate full fat buttermilk, which has recently been difficult to come by. I used low fat buttermilk, and it came out fantastic.

Can I make this cake into a layer cake?

Both yes and no. The cake mixture bakes the same whether it’s made in a 139-inch pan or two 8-inch circular cake pans. However, if constructing a layer cake, you may not want to use the glaze since it will make the cake layers extremely soft and may not pull out of the cake pans correctly.If you want to make this as a layer cake without the frosting, you can use my vanilla buttercream recipe here: Buttercream with Vanilla Beans

Make sure you pour the warm glaze (not super hot glaze) over the warm cake.

You should also poke holes in the warm cake with a stick to allow the glaze to sink into the cake.

There are affiliate links in this post. I earn money as an Amazon Associate by making qualifying purchases.

Supplies Used for this Cake:

  • KitchenAid Artisan mixer or handheld mixer
  • Flat Beater Attachment if using a stand mixer
  • Stainless steel measuring set
  • Glass batter bowl
  • Whisk set
  • Glass 139 inch pan
  • Rubber spatulas here or here
  • Cooling racks
  • Liquid measuring cups
  • Skewers made of wood (You may occasionally purchase them in lesser amounts at your local dollar shop, Walmart, or grocery store.)


Ok, lets get to the recipe!

***I write recipes in volume (cup) measures since that is what people in the United States are accustomed to seeing and using. Click the metric button beneath the ingredients in the recipe card to get weight in metric measures. The weights are converted by a software, not by me, and the results are an educated approximation. Please keep in mind that while I prepare recipes in cups, I cannot guarantee that weighing the components will provide the same results.

Moist Vanilla Buttermilk Cake

This moist vanilla buttermilk cake is a favorite. It’s easy and bakes in a 13×9 inch pan, topped with a yummy glaze that soaks in making the cake super moist and tasty.



Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: buttermilk cake, vanilla buttermilk cake, vanilla cake
Prep Time: 45minutes
Cook Time: 45minutes
Servings: 15servings
Calories: 466kcal


For the cake:

  • 2 cupsall-purpose flour
  • 2cupssugar
  • 1teaspoonsalt
  • 2teaspoonsbaking powder
  • teaspoonbaking soda
  • 1 cup buttermilk (full fat is preferred, although reduced fat would suffice)
  • 3large whole eggs
  • 1egg yolk
  • 2teaspoonsvanilla extract
  • 2tablespoonsvegetable oil
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter (room temperature; do not microwave)

For the glaze:

  • cupunsalted butter(1 stick)
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar (I used light brown sugar)
  • 1teaspoonvanilla
  • cupbuttermilk
  • 2cupsconfectioners sugar


For the cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 325° Fahrenheit. Spray or oil a 139-inch glass baking dish.
  • Combine the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a large mixing basin. Set away after thoroughly whisking. In a separate dish, whisk together the buttermilk, whole eggs, egg yolk, vanilla essence, and vegetable oil. Set away after thoroughly whisking.
  • If not previously done, cut the room temperature butter into pieces. Turn on the mixer and gently add the butter chunks while mixing on medium speed. (A hand mixer may also be used.) When all of the butter has been added, stir until the flour mixture is crumbly and resembles sand.
  • Mix in half of the liquid mixture on medium speed until barely combined. Mix just until the final half of the liquid mixture is incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the basin and stir just until all of the ingredients are fully combined. Mix for no more than 10 seconds. A minute or more of mixing time will result in a thick or difficult cake.
  • Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes at 325 degrees.
  • When the cake is golden brown on top and a toothpick put into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs, it is done. (You do not have to wait until the toothpick comes out clean since that might over-bake your cake. Just make sure the toothpick doesn’t have any raw batter on it, and a few wet crumbs are OK.)
  • When the cake is done, place it on a wire rack to cool for approximately 15 minutes before poking holes in it with a stick and covering it with the warm glaze. Allow the cake to rest for 30 minutes before cutting and serving.

For the glaze:

  • Make the glaze once the cake has been removed from the oven. (Because you want the cake to be warm when you pour the glaze over it, don’t let it cool entirely.)
  • Heat to medium. Turn off the heat when the butter is fully melted and immediately add the brown sugar, vanilla, and buttermilk. Stir the sugar until it is fully dissolved. Stir in the confectioners’ sugar well. If it becomes clumpy, just keep stirring until most of the clumps dissolve. The rest will disintegrate after some time.

    In a saucepan over low heat, melt the butter.

  • Set the glaze aside (but not in the fridge) until the cake has cooled for approximately 15 minutes, then use skewers to poke holes in the still warm cake, then pour the warm glaze over the warm cake and allow it soak in. If the glaze has cooled somewhat, put the flame back on only to reheat it up before pouring it over the cake.
  • The glaze should still be warm but not hot when poured over the heated cake.
  • Allow for 30 minutes before chopping and serving. This will allow the glaze to seep into the cake thoroughly.


Make sure to watch the video for any questions on this cake is mixed.This cake is best served warm.Store any leftovers covered in the fridge for several days. Warm cake slices in the microwave for about 25 seconds.Nutritional values are an estimate.Make sure to check out the TIPS & FAQs for this recipe in the blog post, which may answer questions about substitutions.*This recipe card may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.Can you make this into a layer cake? Well yes and no. The cake batter will bake up the same whether baked in a 13×9 inch pan or two, 8″ round cake pans. However you may not want to use the glaze if you’re making this into a layer cake because it will make the cake layers very very soft and may not lift out of your cake pans properly. You may want to try a buttercream recipe here: Vanilla Buttercream


Calories: 466kcal | Carbohydrates: 65g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 65mg | Sodium: 227mg | Potassium: 125mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 47g | Vitamin A: 631IU | Calcium: 69mg | Iron: 1mg

Other posts you might like:

  • Favorite Vanilla Bean Cake
  • One Bowl Vanilla Cake
  • Spiced Eggnog Cake
  • French Vanilla Cake
  • Moist White Cake


What does buttermilk do for a cake?

Cake Recipes with Buttermilk

Buttermilk works as a tenderizer. It keeps baked products moist from the outset. Buttermilk has a tart flavor. While its flavor is sometimes overlooked, it protects this vanilla buttermilk cake from being overly sweet and adds a rich, buttery flavor.

What helps a cake be moist?

Seven Bakery Secrets for Exceptionally Moist Cakes Each and every time
Instead of milk, use buttermilk.
Pour in the Vegetable Oil.
Use Clearjel or Pudding Mix Instant.
Use the Proper Recipe.
Don’t overcook.
Instead of separate cake pans, bake in sheet pans.
Make use of a simple syrup or glaze.

Can you use buttermilk instead of water in box cake mix?

Replace the water with buttermilk.

Most box mixes call for the addition of eggs, oil, and water. Replace the water with some creamy and delectable buttermilk to make the cake more fascinating. For the smoothest, creamiest results, use the same quantity of water.

Why is my vanilla cake not moist?

A dry cake is frequently the consequence of one of the following problems: using the incorrect ingredients, making mistakes when mixing the batter, or baking the cake at an excessively long or high temperature. Once you learn how to prevent typical cake-baking mistakes, you’ll be able to create a moist cake every time.

Why do you add baking soda to buttermilk?

This is because, even at room temperature, sodium bicarbonate combines with the acid in buttermilk (or fruit juices) to produce carbon dioxide gas. The soda also plays a vital function in buttermilk recipes. It masks the sour flavor of the milk.

Does buttermilk need to be room temp for cake?

Softening butter before baking is essential in most circumstances if you want light, fluffy, and delicate baked items that rise correctly. Milk, cream, or buttermilk: For the same reasons stated above, dairy liquids must be at room temperature in order to be thoroughly incorporated with the other fats in your recipes.

When should you soak a cake?

A cake soak is a syrup or liquid that is put to a cake after baking, generally while it is still warm, and absorbed by the cake, keeping it moist. Consider Tres Leches cake, but with less liquid.

What can I add to my box cake mix to make it moist?

Pour in some milk, coffee, or soda.

Boxed cakes sometimes ask for water, but substituting equal parts milk, coffee, or even soda will result in a moister, more delicate, more delicious cake. You may use whole milk or your preferred nondairy milk in place of the white cake mix.

What is the secret to a good pound cake?

The crucial word here is “gently”; overmixing with a strong hand can cause the batter to deflate, and all your hard work creaming will be undone. As a consequence, the cake will be thick and tough. Grease the inside of your loaf pan with softened butter.

How much buttermilk do you put in a box cake mix?

3 cup oil (or the quantity specified on the package)Homemade Cake Mix: How to Make It Taste Like a Cake.
4 eggs, room temp.
1 cup buttermilk or the quantity of water specified on the package

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