My youngest son recently got married. The wedding and the reception were beautiful and the simple wedding cake inspired a recipe of my own: Buttermilk Cake with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting!
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The Wedding and Reception:
The wedding was held in Newport Beach CA and was followed by a dreamy reception under an oak tree canopy in a friend’s backyard. Celebrate Invitations and Florals created the most beautiful floral arch and hung one hundred floating tea lights from a 400 year old oak tree creating a dream like ambiance. The joy, love and beauty were captured by Greg Emmett Baker Photography:
The Buttermilk Cake with Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting
I love the simplicity of this triple layer cake! Because buttermilk cakes have such great body, flavor and texture I have several versions of this cake on my blog and each is just lovely. Even though this cake is made from scratch, it has few ingredients and is very easy to make. The vanilla flavor comes from my favorite vanilla paste from Madagascar.
This is a ‘semi naked cake’ meaning the frosting is light on the sides leaving the cake somewhat exposed. To get this look I frost the first layer lightly, adding a little more frosting around the edges. Then I repeat with the second layer. Last I frost the top somewhat generously and use what is left to lightly frost the sides, scraping off extra frosting.
I am not a big cake decorator, I go for quick and easy. For this cake I literally went into the backyard, clipped a small succulent out of one of my pots and snapped a hydrangea off a neighbors plant (I asked first I swear) and then placed a small circle of parchment on top of the cake and set the foliage on it.
Make This Cake Gluten Free and Just as Good!
If you are fine eating gluten, have at it! But if you are one of my gluten free followers, I have two wonderful suggestions to make this cake gluten free but just as good: King Arthur’s Measure for Measure Gluten Free Flour is fabulous and found in most grocery stores. Jovial Gluten Free Pastry Flour is also wonderful and the grains in this flour are soaked for easy digestion!
The Recipe: Buttermilk Cake with Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting
A beautiful, simple, triple layer cake with cream cheese frosting perfect for the family or any celebration! You will need three non stick 8" cake tins.
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour (see my suggestions for gluten free flours above)
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup butter, (2 sticks) room temp plus 1 tablespoon for preparing pans
- ¼ cup coconut oil, or baking oil of your choice
- 1⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla paste or 1 teaspoon extract
- 6 large eggs, room temp
- 1⅓ cup cultured buttermilk, room temp
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature and soft
- 8 oz cream cheese room temp
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place oven rack in center position
Use a paper towel to wipe the bottom and sides of non stick pans with butter. Lightly coat with flour. Set aside.
Combine flour, baking powder and salt, set aside
Place butter, coconut oil (or other baking oil), sugar and vanilla in mixer and mix until well combined
Add eggs one at a time, mixing well between additions
Alternate adding flour mixture with buttermilk until well combined, mix for one more minute
Pour equal amounts of batter into prepared pans, tap pans firmly on counter to take out any bubbles
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean
Allow cakes to cool, gently remove cakes from pans and then frost
Place butter, cream cheese, vanilla paste or extract into a bowl and mix on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add powdered sugar and mix until well incorporated. Add buttermilk if needed.
To get the "semi naked" look, I frost the first layer lightly, adding a little more frosting around the edges of cake. Then I place the second cake layer and repeat. Last I frost the top layer somewhat generously and use what is left to lightly frost the sides, scraping off extra frosting.
Top with your choice of decoration and serve
MAY I PLEASE ASK A FAVOR?