WW Recipe of the Day: Skinny Vanilla Buttermilk Cake
This low calorie 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've been looking for a go-to lighter healthier 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 (affiliate link) by Camilla Saulsbury.
Think of all the ways you can serve a simple wedge of light, yet moist, and delicious skinny vanilla buttermilk 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 (pear apple compote, slow cooker apple compote or dried fruit compote)
- 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!
How Many Calories and WW Points in this Vanilla Buttermilk Cake?
According to my calculations, each slice has just 189 calories and:
7 *SmartPoints (Green plan)
7 *SmartPoints (Blue plan)
7 *SmartPoints (Purple plan)
5 *PointsPlus (Old plan)
To see your WW PersonalPoints for this recipe and track it in the WW app or site, Click here!
It's made with basic ingredients I always have on hand, stirs together in minutes, and uses just ½ a stick of butter and ⅓ cup sugar, so it's relatively low in WW Points 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 (affiliate link)
If you've made this Enlightened Buttermilk Cake, please give the recipe a star rating below and leave a comment letting me know how you liked it. And stay in touch on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for the latest updates.
Skinny Vanilla Buttermilk Cake
- 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 butter, at room temperature (½ of a stick of butter is ¼ cup)
- ⅔ cup low-fat buttermilk
- 1-½ teaspoons vanilla
- 1 tablespoon confectioners sugar (optional)
For the Strawberries
- 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.
*Points® calculated by WW. *PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® calculated by Simple Nourished Living; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc. All recipe ingredients except optional items included in determining nutritional estimates. SmartPoints® values calculated WITHOUT each plan's ZeroPoint Foods (Green plan, Blue plan, Purple plan) using the WW Recipe Builder.
If you like this simple vanilla buttermilk cake recipe, 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
Martha is the founder and main content writer for Simple-Nourished-Living.
A longtime lifetime WW at goal, she is committed to balancing her love of food and desire to stay slim while savoring life and helping others do the same.
She is the author of the Smart Start 28-Day Weight Loss Challenge.
A huge fan of the slow cooker and confessed cookbook addict, when she's not experimenting in the kitchen, you're likely to find Martha on her yoga mat.
This post contains affiliate links to products I like. When you buy something through one of my Amazon links or other (affiliate links), I receive a small commission that helps support this site. Thank you for your purchase!
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This cake looks lovely to me! Just my kind of cakeâ€¦perfect with any fruit topping and of course ice cream!
Thank you for this, it is so delicious!
Love this recipe! Super moist and delicious. Thank you!
How is this cake recipe skinny? White flour and white sugar - two of the bodies biggest enemies. Eat this if you want to store it as body fat. Good healthy fats like coconut oil are not the enemy - sugar is (wheat flour = sugar too).
it’s lower calorie than most cakes.
Yeah, not mention 1/2 C butter. lol
Yumm! Made this for the fourth of July. It's a perfect, sweet little cake. Buttery like a madeleine.
Somebody get Beth some dark chocolate! Sounds like she could use some cheering up 🙂
I made this little cake today, and it's very nice. I made three changes in ingredients. I subbed Demerara sugar for the white sugar. It has a richer, more mellow flavor and gives the cake a nice caramel color. I used sprouted wheat flour rather than AP. I have a friend with some wheat issues, but she seems to tolerate the sprouted wheat flour so now I can share with her. Rather than butter milk I had some whole milk yogurt from a local dairy that was starting to look like maybe it wanted to become something else. Still yummy, but clearly in need of use. I often sub yogurt for buttermilk since I've generally got some on hand.
All in all, this is a sweet little treat. Easy to whip up, quick to bake. Good plain with a cuppa, and great with vanilla ice cream. Thanks so much for the recipe.
Just found this recipe and made it and it's amazing! I doubled it and put it in 2 round cake pans then put a layer of cool whip in between and cool whip on top.... served with strawberries on the side. It's like a taste of spring even though temps here are still in the 30s!! Loved this cake!
Thanks, Faith. I appreciate you taking the time to comment. It's definitely one of my all-time favorite from scratch cakes. Love how you served it with cool whip and strawberries! I must try that very very soon now that strawberries are back in season.
Great recipe! I added blueberries and it turned out delicious! Very easy! My family loved it! Thank you!
Thanks for taking the time to comment Bella! I really appreciate it 🙂
I just discovered this recipe today and plan on making it later on this evening. Your recipe says that it is worth 5 WW Plus Points but when I enter the recipe manually into my WW recipe box, it says that it is 7 points. This is the smart points program. Is there a reason for that? I didn't include the strawberries when entering the recipe.
Hi Desiree, I'm still working to update my recipes from PointsPlus (the previous WW Points Program) to SmartPoints (the newest WW Points Program) which is why the values are different. Most recipes with added sugar have gone up so 7SP makes sense to me. Hope this helps!
Seldom do I bake anymore; but, I liked this recipe, thank you. Could I use 2 egg whites in lieu of one egg so as to reduce cholesterol level and have more of a sponge cake ? Could that work? If so, would eggs be beaten and then folded into batter with care? Too, could 2/3 cup of skim milk solely be used in lieu of buttermilk without vinegar for more of a sponge cake? Let me know your thoughts thank you. I made recipe as is and liked recipe eating it with strawberries..
I did try your recipe as you had indicated and liked.
Hi Arena, I haven't tried it except as written so not really sure how it would work with egg whites and skim milk. If you try it please let us know how it works for you.
Sorry I forgot to mention using 3Tof Grape Seed Oil in lieu of butter having to be on a low saturated food plan.
Butter did not blend well and is lumpy. Not sure if I should bake or keep mixing,
This cake is not only delish but beautiful . Love the blog so refreshing and decent. Prepared definitely with class..that's more than I can say for all the filth out there these days..FAT FREE OR NOT!
This is absolutely a delicious cake. I replaced the sugar with a substitute used low fat on everything that I could and used egg whites! Thank you!
This is a lovely cake. Goes together quickly, has a moist crumb and an unexpected depth of flavor that must have been the buttermilk. Topped with berries makes a perfect desert.
Double the recipe and it fits perfectly in an 8x11 pan. Need to cook for an additional 8-10 minutes.
Maybe lime zest and juice? or would that not play well with the buttermilk?
And it is just heavenly as it is.
Hi Sarah, I think lime zest and a little juice would be nice. ~Martha