Lemon Buttermilk Cake

This is an excellent cake for when you have company over, or, if you have more English sensibilities, with an afternoon tea. It could also be a delicious dessert, perhaps with some vanilla or pistachio ice cream. It went so quickly that I did not even get a picture of it until half was already eaten. I got this recipe from my Momma, so you know it must be good. Below is the original recipe with some of my comments in parentheses.


1/2 cup canola oil, plus a little more for the pan (I used vegetable oil)

2 cups flour, plus a little more for the pan

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups sugar

3/4 cup buttermilk (if you have lots leftover you can make buttermilk pancakes. I could only find reduced fat buttermilk and I found the cake to be delicious)

2 large eggs

2-3 lemons (zest BOTH lemons until you have as close to 1tbsp of zest as possible. I didn’t have quite enough zest but I think the cake came out great. If you happen to have a 3rd lemon you could zest that. 1/4 cup of lemon juice, which is 2 lemons squeezed)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract



Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Brush an 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 inch loaf pan with oil and dust with flour, tapping out the excess flour.  In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside

In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, sugar, buttermilk, eggs, lemon zest and juice, and vanilla.  Add to the dry ingredients and whisk to combine.

before mixing

Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  65 to 75 minutes (I cooked mine closer to 75 minutes).  Cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then remove (helps to run a table knife around the edges first) and transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Try not to eat it all before company comes over 😉

To prep ahead:  Make the cake up to 2 days in advance and store tightly wrapped.  It says store at room temp but I put it in the refrigerator wrapped in plastic, then put foil around that.

oops, half is gone!

3 Comments Add yours

  1. This looks delicious (and dense!) – can’t wait to make it! I’ve been looking for more lemon recipes!

    1. Summer says:

      It’s dense in the sense that it’s very moist and a true cake. The lemon freshness definitely helps prevent a heavy feeling!

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