Easy Buttermilk Cake With Pecans

Rate this recipe

After a suggestion from my sister Margaret I checked on a recipe on King Arthur Baking. That was a recipe for Farmhouse Buttermilk Cake. That recipe was for a large cake in a 9 x 13 inch pan. I must say it looked very good indeed. However I didn’t need a large cake. So I used that recipe as my base to make a cake in a 9 inch/23cm round cake tin.


What particularly interested me about the cake was the buttermilk. That tends to make a very moist and soft textured cake. So I wanted to try it as soon as possible. Luckily I had some buttermilk, but it is very easy to make a good substitute instead. The recipe calls for 240ml(1 cup) of buttermilk but the same amount of milk with a tablespoon removed and replaced with lemon a tablespoon of lemon juice, or white vinegar will work fine. Mixing the acid into the milk and leaving it for 10 minutes will produced a very good substitute.

Easy Recipe

This is a very easy recipe. But it does take some time since there are two baking stages, and the cake then needs to cool for a long time to allow the top to set.

That being said the mixing is quick and the amount of effort is actually very small. The you just need a little patience before enjoying the cake. It works well served as a cake, or with some cream or ice-cream as a dessert.

The two stages are to bake the cake and then put the topping on and bake for another 10 minutes.

For the first stage the wet cake ingredients are combined and the flour, baking soda and salt are folded in. Then the cake is ready to bake.

Simply whisk together the ingredients for the topping. I omitted the pecans from the mixture to sprinkle later. But they can be combined into the wet mixture too.

My Bake

My cake baked very well. In the video I said to bake for 25 minutes. But in fact I baked mine for 30 minutes. It is better to bake for slightly too long than to risk it sinking. So in the recipe below I suggest baking between 30 and 35 minutes, just to be safe.

I cooled the cake in the tin. Then I removed it and left it for a couple of hours longer, to ensure it was set on top.

I cut slice an found it to be wonderfully soft. The top was crisp and crunchy, with a lovely caramel and nutty flavour. The cake was beautifully soft and moist, and most enjoyable.

Easy Buttermilk Cake with Pecans – Video

Another easy recipe, which is a quick bread, is my Easy Malt Loaf – Sweet & Sticky.

Easy Buttermilk Cake With Pecans

Recipe by King Arthur Baking(adapted by Geoff)Course: CakesDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time




  • Cake Batter
  • 180g(1 cup +2 tbsp, baked on scooping packed flour into a 250ml cup) plain flour

  • 56g(4 tbsp) unsalted butter, softened

  • 1 medium egg(large in USA)

  • 240ml(1 cup) buttermilk – see note below

  • 200g(1 packed cup) light brown sugar

  • 5ml(1 tsp) vanilla extract

  • 4g(1 tsp) baking soda

  • 3g(1/2 tsp) salt

  • Topping
  • 42g(3 tbps) unsalted butter, melted

  • 100g(1/2 packed cup)light brown sugar

  • 30ml(2 tbsp) milk

  • pinch of salt

  • 56g(about 1/2 cup) pecans chopped into small chunks


  • Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/350F
  • Grease and line a 9inch/23cm round cake pan( I used a springform pan).
  • Cream the butter and sugar together until combined.
  • Add the egg and vanilla extract and whisk to fully combine.
  • Pour the buttermilk into the mixture and whisk to combine.
  • Place the baking soda and salt into the flour and stir to combine.
  • Sift the flour onto the wet mixture and fold in until fully combined.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and shake to level across the base.
  • Bake the cake for 30 to 35 minutes, until it has risen and the top has set quite firmly.
  • As the cake bakes mix the butter, sugar, salt and milk together into a smooth mixture. You can add the pecans too, but I kept mine separate.
  • Remove the cake from the oven and spread the topping mixture on the top.
  • Sprinkle the chopped pecans over the top.
  • Bake for a further 10 minutes.
  • Remove the cake from the oven and leave to cool in the pan(on a wire rack if possible).
  • When the cake is completely cooled remove it from the pan and leave for another couple of hours, until the top is nice and crisp.


  • For a substiture for buttermilk use 240mil of milk and remove 15ml(1 tbsp) then add 15ml(1 tbsp) lemon juice or white vinegar. Stir and leave for 10 minutes before using.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *