Lemon Buttermilk Cake

We had a special surprise arrive last Friday ~ our baby decided to arrive a little early!  Naturally, when there is a birthday, there must be a birthday cake.  This Lemon Buttermilk Cake is quick and easy enough for a sleepy mama to whip together in minutes.  It’s not only simple to make, but the lemon cake is perfectly lemon-y, refreshing and delicious.  To dress it up, I added a simple lemon buttermilk glaze to drizzle over the loaf, with some extra to drizzle on the slices.  This cake is so good as-is, but the glaze adds a little something that makes it feel extra special.  Adam could not get enough of the baby’s birthday cake, and I discovered that despite not being a frosting person, he loves glaze.  Who can blame him!

Now to the baby details!  We had a baby girl named Greta Rose.  She is an easy baby so far and super sweet.  Seems fitting I guess, because the same could be said about Lemon Buttermilk Cake! 🙂

Lemon Buttermilk Cake
Yields: 8 to 10 servings
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • ¾ cup buttermilk, well-shaken
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest (finely grated, approx 2 lemons)
  • ¼ cup lemon juice (approx 1½ lemons)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Cooking spray
  • GLAZE:
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 to 2 tablespoon(s) buttermilk, well-shaken
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 8"x4" loaf pan with baking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. In a medium bowl, add the sugar, oil, buttermilk, eggs, zest, juice and vanilla and whisk to combine.
  4. Add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture and whisk to combine. Pour into prepared loaf pan.
  5. Bake for 65 to 75 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 15 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. To prepare glaze, in a small bowl, whisk the powdered sugar, lemon juice and buttermilk until well-blended. Drizzle over cooled cake, as desired.

Sources: Real Simple for the cake, Cooking Light for the glaze


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  1. Congratulations on the birth of Greta Rose! This lemon buttermilk cake is beautiful, but I’m sure it’s nothing compared to your wonderful baby girl.

  2. Congrats on your bundle of joy, I love her name too!!! Oh and the cake is perfect!

  3. This sounds and looks sooo good! I love using buttermilk for…well….whenever i can! Can’t wait to try this recipe, thanks for sharing 🙂

    Happy Valley Chow

  4. Congrats!! How exciting for you guys 🙂

    And I can’t disagree with a love for glaze in spite of a dislike for frosting – i’m the same way! This cake looks lovely, especially with those berries alongside it.

  5. Congrats! And you are putting the rest of us to shame, whipping up ANY cake right after having a baby! Pinning now, looks delicious…

  6. Jennie Phaneuf says:

    Congrats! I love how you think. This cake looks delish!

  7. I printed out the recipe and noticed there wasn’t anywhere that you said to add the sugar, so I added it to the wet ingredients before whisking it all together. Hopefully it comes out OK because this looks SOOOO yummy!

    • Hi Heather – you did that correctly! Thanks for pointing that out…clearly the lack of sleep caught up with me when typing up this recipe. 🙂 I have corrected the directions accordingly. Thanks again!

  8. This cake is delicious and was so easy to make — no fancy cake pans, no separating eggs… Just the right kind of cake recipe for a lazy baker. 🙂 I will definitely be making this again (since I have the remainder of the quart of buttermilk), and will probably experiment with other flavors.

  9. This is an awesome recipe. I added fresh pears and made a line icing – it was amazing!!

    • Alida Fischbach says:

      Hi Aldona, thank you for sharing. Your modifications sounds delicious!