This light vanilla buttermilk cake is my new absolute favorite cake.
Even my mom, who can sometimes be a little hard to please when it comes to cakes, gave it a raving review!
I love the idea of having a basic file of favorite go-to recipes that can be mixed and matched in a multitude of ways for all occasions, so that I never again have to scurry around trying to figure out what to make.
(I have the same kind of dream for my closet: a collection of basic pieces that work together perfectly so I never have to struggle with what to wear. Sigh.)
I’m one step closer with my recipe file, thanks to this delicious light vanilla buttermilk cake.
I’ve been looking for a go-to lighter healthy from scratch vanilla cake recipe for quite some time and now I’ve finally got it. It’s the perfect size for us, making a single 8-inch round layer. And it’s super versatile – like the little basic black dress of desserts.
It’s the first recipe I’ve tried from one of my recent cookbook acquisitions: Enlightened Cakes: More Than 100 Decadently Light Layer Cakes, Bundt Cakes, Cupcakes, Cheesecakes, and More, All with Less Fat and Fewer Calories by Camilla Saulsbury.
(I’m a huge Saulsbury fan and am slowly adding all her cookbooks to my collection.)
Think of all the ways you can serve a simple wedge of light, yet moist, and delicious vanilla cake:
- Plain or with a dusting of confectioners sugar
- Iced with a thin layer of your favorite frosting
- Sliced horizontally and filled with a layer of jam and few dollops of whipped cream or topping
- Topped with fresh berries or other seasonal fresh fruit
- Topped with a compote of plumped dried fruit
- With a small scoop of frozen yogurt or ice cream
- Drizzled with your favorite sauce
- In a trifle
- Spread with nutella and sprinkled with chopped hazelnuts
- Topped with sliced strawberries alongside a small scoop of vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt…
With a simple fail-proof cake like this in your repertoire, you never have to worry about what to serve for dessert again!
It’s made with basic ingredients I always have on hand, stirs together in minutes, and uses just 1/2 a stick of butter and 1/3 cup sugar, so it’s relatively low in PointsPlus values (as desserts go).
To make this cake even easier, I changed the way you mix it together, using a technique for one-bowl cakes Camilla uses throughout her cookbook, Piece of Cake!: One-Bowl, No-Fuss, From-Scratch Cakes.
- 1 cup flour (all-purpose or cake)
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- ¼ cup (1/2 stick) butter, at room temperature
- ⅔ cup low-fat buttermilk
- 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 tablespoon confectioners sugar (optional)
- 4 cups sliced strawberries
- 1 tablespoons sugar
- Position your oven rack in the center of your oven and preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Spray an 8-inch round baking pan with nonstick baking spray with flour. (Such as Bakers Joy or Pam with flour)
- In a large bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt until well blended.
- Add the egg, butter, buttermilk and vanilla to the flour mixture. Using an electric mixer on medium-low speed, beat the mixture for 1 minute, until blended. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula and then beat on medium speed for 1 minute more, until everything is incorporated and well blended.
- Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan.
- Bake in a preheated oven for 20-24 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Remove the pan from the oven and set it on a wire cooling rack for 10 minutes, then remove the cake from the pan and place it on the rack (top side up) to cool completely.
- When completely cool, sprinkle with the confectioners sugar if desired and serve with strawberries
- For the strawberries, in a large bowl, toss together the strawberries and 1 tablespoon sugar until well combined. Let stand for at least 15 minutes, until the sugar melts and strawberries begin to release their juices.
*PointsPlus® calculated by Simple Nourished Living; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.
If you like this skinny vanilla buttermilk cake recipe post, check out these links:
- A Cooking Light recipe for glazed lemon buttermilk bundt cake
- A review of Camilla’s Enlightened Cakes cookbook
- My recipe for easy lighter pound cake from scratch