Baking/ Cakes/ Recipes/ Seasonal Ingredients/ Seasonal Recipes

Brown Sugar Buttermilk Cake with Whipped Cream Frosting

You guys probably know by now how much I love to bake…and one of my favorite things to bake is a simple vanilla cake! I just love the simplicity of it. It’s literally the little black dress of the cake world, if I may. If you have a great vanilla cake recipe in your back pocket, you’re pretty much set for a variety of life situations.

But, the unfortunate thing is that there are so many sub-par vanilla cake recipes out there. Take it from me. I have tried them. It’s so awful when the perfect looking vanilla cake you find on Pinterest and make for your kiddos birthday party lets you down, am I right? Sometimes the texture can be just off — almost gummy, in my opinion.

Well, I really don’t want that to happen to you again. I have tasted enough cake to know a good one and this, my friends, is a GREAT basic vanilla cake. It is incredibly light, not overly sweet and very moist.

I feel like I need to emphasis again how light this cake is. It’s really one of the lightest I have tried. I just love it. Chocolate cake should be dense, friends. Vanilla cake should be light. You can turn this into a layer cake, into cupcakes, into sheet cake…the list goes on. I love it baked in a 9 x 13″ pan so I can cut perfect little “snack cake” slices. 

The secret to this cake is the buttermilk! Even Adam, who is much more into chocolate desserts than anything else, absolutely loved this. 

Anyway, I hope you love this cake as much as I do. It only takes about 40 minutes to make, start to finish, and I love topping it with a creamy whipped cream frosting and berries in summer! It actually would make a fantastic strawberry shortcake. I’m mentally noting that for next time. 😉 In the winter, I might opt for a richer chocolate icing.  

Brown Sugar Buttermilk Cake with Whipped Cream Frosting
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
35 mins
Course: Dessert
Servings: 8 servings
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups light brown sugar packed
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk
For frosting -
  • 2 cups heavy cream very cold
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and generously spray a 9 x 13" baking dish with nonstick spray or butter well.

  2. Cream together the softened butter and brown sugar until light and creamy. Add the eggs one by one, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla extract.

  3. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. 

  4. Alternate adding the dry ingredients with the buttermilk to the creamed butter and sugar mixture. Mix batter until only combined then spread it out in your prepared pan.

  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Let cool completely while you prepare the frosting.

  6. To make the frosting, whip the COLD heavy cream with the powdered sugar and vanilla on high until peaks form. Spread on the cold cake (if cake is still warm, frosting will melt and run all over the place). Decorate with fresh berries and eat immediately.

You Might Also Like

  • Abby
    July 3, 2018 at 6:14 pm

    Sometimes the simplest is just THE BEST. And this looks perfect! Do you use the scoop, sweep method for measuring the flour? Or have a gram amount? I know that can totally throw off the lightness of a cake.

    • jenna
      July 3, 2018 at 7:26 pm

      I scoop and sweep!

  • Brown Sugar Buttermilk Cake with Whipped Cream Frosting – Gym Buddies
    July 3, 2018 at 7:56 pm

    […] post Brown Sugar Buttermilk Cake with Whipped Cream Frosting appeared first on Eat, Live, […]

  • M.Y.
    July 4, 2018 at 4:15 am

    Hi, I want to try this but I am not sure which cup size you use. I found sometime recipes from different people have different cup size. (like one person will have a cup size 200cc, another will have a cup size 240cc) and it had me confused so I usually stick to recipes with grams. But I would like to try this recipe.

  • Ali
    July 5, 2018 at 10:52 am

    This looks wonderful! Do you think it would work if I baked it in a loaf pan?

  • Stephanie @ Whole Health Dork
    July 6, 2018 at 10:11 am

    This looks delicious! I tend to be more of a chocolate person like you mention your husband is, but after the crazy hot and humid weather we’ve had here, this dessert seems a bit more seasonal–light and refreshing as you describe (though I just have to wait for it to cool a bit for me to entertain the idea of putting on the oven). My toddler loves to help us cook and bake and I can see her being very much into helping with this one! Thanks for sharing.

  • April Knight
    November 7, 2019 at 8:59 am

    Yammy! I want to try!))
    Try this recipe – Blueberry Mug Cake
    Healthy, Cooking fast and Delicious!)

  • em@emspiredliving
    April 16, 2021 at 11:13 am

    Hi Jenna! These look so good! Could they be made into cupcakes?