Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Buttermilk pound cake - perfect with a cup of coffee (or tea)

Bolo de buttermilk, ou bolo de nada

Because of the recently acquired habit ofcoffee breaks at home, I have been searching for good cake recipes on my books and on the Internet – I no longer remember the last time I had stayed in my couch for hours bookmarking cake recipes: for a good while, my main focus was savory recipes only, with a cookie or a brownie recipe here and there for the people at the office.

I felt like having a slice of plain cake, simple, but with a tender texture. When I saw Sydney’s photos I knew I had to bake that buttermilk cake! It was exactly what I wanted, and the photos were mouthwatering. I immediately marched to the kitchen to remove the butter from the fridge.

Her recipe does not specify the size of the loaf pan, but I knew that mine would not fit a batter made with 3 cups of flour. I downsized the recipe slightly to make a smaller cake and loved the result. My husband told me that the sugary crust was the best part of the cake, while to me it was the very tender middle part.

I used Frangelico to perfume the cake – I love using booze in recipes – but go for vanilla extract if you don’t want to use alcohol (Sydney does not use anything in her cake). I have been thinking of making this cake again, adding orange zest and Cointreau in the batter – yum!

Bolo de buttermilk, ou bolo de nada

Buttermilk pound cake

slightly adapted from this lovely blog


2 cups (280g) all-purpose flour

1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

¼ teaspoon table salt

2/3 cup (150g) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup (200g) granulated sugar

2 large eggs, room temperature

1 ½ tablespoons Frangelico – optional; Amaretto would be delicious as well. If not using liquor, replace with 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

½ cup (120ml) buttermilk*


For sprinkling over the cake:

1 tablespoon granulated or demerara sugar


Preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F. Butter a 6-cup capacity loaf pan, line it with baking paper leaving an overhang on the two larger sides, and then butter the paper as well.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

Beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, at least 4-5 minutes – the more you beat these ingredients together the better the texture of your cake will be.

Beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating each in until adding the next, scraping down the sides of the bowl several times during the making of the entire recipe. Beat in the Frangelico (if using).

In low speed, add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the buttermilk in two additions (start and finish with the dry ingredients). Mix until incorporated, but do not overmix.

Transfer batter to the prepared pan and smooth the top. Sprinkle with the sugar and bake for 50-60 minutes, or until golden and risen and until a toothpick comes out clean.

Cool in the pan over a wire rack for 30 minutes, then carefully lift the cake using the paper and transfer to the rack to cool completely.

Cake can be kept in an airtight container for up to 5 days, but I thought that it started to dry out slightly after day 3 (we ate it anyway). :D 

* buttermilk is not sold in Brazil, so I made a homemade version using whole milk and lime juice


Serves 8-10 slices

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Patricia,

Thank you very much for this wonderful recipe. I think it's the most flavorful pound cake I've ever made.

I used demerara sugar for the topping. I used vanilla extract but no booze. I served it with caramelized nectarines and candied almonds.

I agree with Joao; the crust is the best part. The flavor and crunch of the demerara sugar are irresistible.

You are so generous to share so much deliciousness.



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