California Central Coast Recipes

Buttermilk Tea Cake

Buttermilk Tea Cake is a classic two-layered tea cake. This is a delicious cake, especially so when served with tea or coffee.

It takes about fifteen minutes to mix up and then another fifteen to twenty minutes to bake. It was known to my family as "Mrs Gates Buttermilk Cake," I never knew just WHO Mrs. Gates was (other than an old friend of my grandmother's!). But Oh! Is it ever so good!

It is frosted with a simple butter cream vanilla icing made with confectioners sugar, butter and cream. This recipe is also one of my favorite birthday cakes and its buttermilk flavor actually intensifies as it ages. So keep that in mind and make it a day ahead if you like.

To celebrate Valentines Day, we sometimes bake it in a heart-shaped form (as pictured here). But for ease in baking and slicing though, I recommend just baking it in eight-inch round cake pans. 2018, Buttermilk Tea Cake
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
re-calculate ingredients for:


2 Eight inch diameter round cake pans , greased and floured with regular flour
1/3 cup Butter , softened to room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 Extra- large eggs , room temperature and lightly beaten
1 cup Buttermilk , room temperature
1/4 teaspoons Salt
2 teaspoons Baking powder
1 teaspoons Baking soda , scant teaspoon
2 cups Cake Flour
1 teaspoons Vanilla Extract , generous amount

For the Frosting
4 ounces Butter , softened to room temperature
1 pound Powdered Sugar (box)
1/4 cup Whipping cream
2 teaspoons Vanilla extract

Preparation Directions.

To Make The Cake

1 Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Make sure the oven rack is mid-high in oven.

2 Prepare the cake pans by coating sides and bottom of pans with crisco. Pour some regular flour into pans, shake pans and coat bottom and sides of pans with flour. Rap pans and discard excess flour. Set pans aside until later.

3 Cream softened butter for cake until creamy. Scrap sides and bottom of bowl with rubber spatula. Add in the sugar and mix well. Cream sugar and butter together.

4 Add in beaten eggs and mix well, scraping side and bottom of bowl occasionally. Add in the Buttermilk. Mix well and scrap sides and bottom. Add in the vanilla and mix some more. Gradually add in the cake flour and mix well. Add in the salt, baking powder and baking soda. Mix well. scrap sides and bottom and mix some more.

5 Pour the cake batter into the two cake pans trying to make both pans even in amount. Place in the oven and bake for fifteen to twenty minutes, checking done-ness after fifteen minutes. The cake is done when tapped lightly on top and it springs back and when a toothpick is inserted near middle of cake and comes out clean.

6 After removing from oven, let cake pans cool on wire racks on the counter.


7 Whip softened butter in a mixing bowl. Add in one-third of the powdered sugar and cream well. Scrap bowl with spatula and bring up sugar and butter that's stuck to bottom of bowl. Blend in vanilla extract and mix some more.

8 Gradually add in 2 tablespoons of whipping cream and remaining powdered sugar into the mixture. Gradually stir in remaining cream into frosting until desired consistency. When desired consistency, frost the two eight inch diameter layers and sides.

(If you want a little more generous frosting amount, increase the frosting ingredients by one-fourth.)

Wine and Food Pairing and Serving Suggestions.

This is such a mellow cake! This is best enjoyed with tea or coffee.

A tip from Sue!

The difference between white, black and red pepper

Do you know the difference between white, black and red pepper?

White pepper gives you an "immediate hot." Black pepper develops more slowly as you chew, while red pepper has a delayed kick or hotness.