Lemon Buttermilk Cake

Lemon Buttermilk Cake

5 from 1 reviews

This is not exactly a whole foods recipe, but it makes great use of lemons, Meyer lemons, if you can get them! Otherwise, a regular lemon will certainly do. And don’t worry if you don’t have cultured buttermilk on hand. You can easily make a workable substitute for it, noted at the bottom.



1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

5 Tbs soft butter

10 Tbs sugar

Grated zest of 1 lemon

1 large egg to butter mixture

1/2 cup buttermilk

Soft Lemon Frosting:

1 cup powdered sugar

1 Tbs soft butter

2 Tbs fresh lemon juice


1. Preheat oven to 350F (175C). Grease an 8x8x2-inch (20x20x5 cm) square pan. Or double the recipe and bake in a 13×9-inch (33×3.5 cm) pan.

2. Sift or whisk flour, salt, baking powder, and soda together and set aside.

3. In a large bowl, beat soft butter, sugar, and lemon zest together until smooth and creamy. Add the egg to the mixture and beat until light and fluffy.

4. Add reserved dry ingredients and buttermilk and mix well. Spoon and scrape the batter into prepared pan. Spread evenly with a spatula moistened with water to prevent sticking.

5. Bake 30-35 minutes, or until the cake springs back when lightly touched in the center. Cool in the pan on an elevated wire rack. Frost the slightly warm cake with Soft Lemon Frosting. (See below.)

6. Make the frosting. In a medium-size bowl, beat powdered sugar, soft butter, and lemon juice together until creamy. Spread over the entire surface of the still-warm (not hot) cake. Mmmm…


If you don’t have buttermilk, simply combine 1/2 cup milk + 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar in a small bowl with a fork and let rest 3 minutes before using.

Enjoy cake slightly warm or cooled. Cake keeps well a day or two, covered, at room temperature.

Keywords: lemon, buttermilk, cake, frosting, pantry

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