Are you looking for a moist cake that doesn’t need frosting? You have to try this buttermilk cake recipe that is topped with a delicious brown sugar praline topping for a simple and easy recipe you can make with just a few ingredients.
I came up with this fabulous buttermilk cake recipe when I wanted to use up some buttermilk before it expired. Since we were home bound, I needed to use ingredients I already had in my pantry and fridge. While ordering flour from King Arthur’s Bakery, I saw a cake recipe on their website that looked interesting and decided to play around with it.
What true Southerner doesn’t love pralines. I’ve put them in brownies but never tried topping a cake with them. This topping is better than any frosting you could add and it’s not messy so you can easily eat these with your fingers.
If the topping doesn’t have you baking yet, then the cake itself will. The buttermilk gives you the moistest cake you can imagine and the brown sugar adds a caramel like flavor. Delicious on it’s own but even better with the praline topping.
Why you’ll love it
- This cake has a lot of moisture in it from the buttermilk.
- The brown sugar, pecan topping is easy to put together and takes this dessert up a notch!
- This cake doesn’t have to be refrigerated and can be enjoyed over a cup of coffee or served as a dessert after dinner.
How do you make an easy buttermilk cake
Step 1: Beat the butter and brown sugar and add eggs. Then add the dry ingredients and combine. Place in a 9 x 13 cake pan and bake for 35 minutes. How EASY is that!.
Step 2: Right before the cake is finished, melt butter in the microwave and add brown sugar, milk, pecans and salt and mix.
Step 3: Remove the cake and pour the brown sugar pecan topping over the top and bake an additional 10 minutes.
Pro tip: If you would prefer to serve this as a bundt cake, you can use a bundt cake pan. Bundt cakes need a little longer baking time, about 40-45 minutes.
These last 10 minutes is when the magic happens. The brown sugar and butter caramelize on the top and when the cake cools, it forms a praline like topping. The hardest part about this cake is waiting for it to cool so you can eat it.
This is a great dessert to take to a pot luck since it doesn’t need to be refrigerated. Same goes for summer cook-outs or pool parties.
How to serve buttermilk cake
It’s perfect all by itself but you could add a little whipped cream on top.
If you’re home and don’t feel like making a grocery store run, I bet you have all the ingredients you need to make this awesome cake.
What is buttermilk
Buttermilk used to be what was left over after churning butter but now it’s a cultured milk, like yogurt where cultures are added to milk giving it a tangy taste and a thicker texture than milk.
What if you don’t have buttermilk
I would never just drink buttermilk but it sure makes great biscuits and is the perfect marinade to give you tender chicken. But if you’re out, then it’s easy to make your own. Just put 1 tablespoon of either lemon juice or white vinegar in a measuring cup and fill it with milk. You can even use low fat milk. Let it sit for 10 minutes until it thickens. I’ll make my own buttermilk when I need to marinate chicken. For baking I try to use the real deal.
FAQs and tips
The beautiful thing about buttermilk is its ability to add a tang to cake without adding a lot of fat. It’s also an acidic ingredient which helps soften or make the gluten in the cake tender so your cake turns out moist.
Praline is a topping that includes nuts covered with sugar, made into a candy like topping. Pralines are made with pecans but you could use walnuts.
As with most cakes, a buttermilk cake freezes well. Just cut it into pieces and place in an air tight container. Once thawed it will still be a moist caramel flavored cake with a praline topping that has seeped down into the cake.
I prefer to bake with salted butter when baking. However, if you use salted butter, you can just omit the pinch of salt and it should be just right.
What can you do with leftover buttermilk
More POTLUCK desserts
- Chocolate cake with cheesecake
- Slab pie with pecans and chocolate
- Cake with strawberries
- Simple brownies
- Brownies topped with cookie dough
Buttermilk Cake Recipe with Praline Topping
- ½ cup butter room temp
- 2 cups brown sugar
- 2 eggs room temp
- 2 cups buttermilk room temp
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups flour
- 6 tablespoons butter melted
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup milk
- pinch salt
- 1 cup pecans chopped
- Preheat oven to 350º. Lightly grease a 9” by 13” metal baking pan.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, beating until smooth.
- Stir in the buttermilk and vanilla so it doesn’t splash out of the mixer. Add the baking soda, salt and flour and bit until combined and there are no lumps.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes. It should be golden brown and a toothpick should come out clean.
- 5 minutes before the cake is done, Combine the melted butter and brown sugar. Add milk, pecans and salt and stir. It should be thick but pourable. If not, place in the microwave for a few seconds.
- When the cake is done, remove and pour the topping over the top, and return to the oven for 10 minutes. The topping will be runny but will thicken as it cools.
- Let the cake cool and the topping harden before serving.
Barbara’s Tips + Notes
- If you don’t have buttermilk, add 1 tablespoon lemon juice or white vinegar to a 1 cup measuring cup and fill with milk. Let sit for 10 minutes until thickened.
- This is also delicious served warm.
- Try serving with a spoonful of whipped cream.
- If you want to freeze, it let it cool completely first.