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Orange Almond Buttermilk Cake

Muffins. We have a cause. We may protest. We are totally starting a petition. 

The petition is for them (whoever ''them" is) to stop ONLY MAKING BUTTERMILK IN ONE QUART quantities. Seriously? Seriously. Who needs an entire quart of buttermilk? 

We will tell you. NO ONE!

We are 104.8% sure there is a buttermilk Mugatu ("Zoolander") trying to trick everyone into wasting their money on extra buttermilk. Like, is it really so hard to sell it like cream? Throw in a few half-pint and pint containers and call it a day?

We realize we are sort of channeling George Banks from "Father of the Bride," but what can we say? We are passionate about buttermilk packaging.

Thus, when we recently found ourselves with a ton of buttermilk leftover we were determined to not let it go to waste (Ham & Cheese Waffles only require 1 cup). We were also determined to not go to the grocery store and make something special just to use the buttermilk. Then the buttermilk monopoly wins!


So, we scrounged in the fridge and found oranges and butter and decided to bake a riff on the Lemon Buttermilk Cake Mummy made so often when we were younger and add some almonds and change the lemons to oranges. 

Take that Buttermilk bureacracy! You can't beat the Blue-Eyed Bakers!

PS- Sign in the comments for our petition against 1-quart buttermilk. 

Orange Almond Buttermilk Cake
Serves 8-10

Print Recipe 

3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 cups granulated sugar
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
5 eggs
Zest of 2 oranges
1 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons orange juice, freshly squeezed
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract 

For the Glaze:
1/2 cup sugar
5 tablespoons orange juice, freshly squeezed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a bowl, sift together the flour and baking soda and set aside. 

Using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine butter and sugar and mix until blended and fluffy – about 2 minutes.  Add the eggs and orange rind and continue to mix until blended.  Turn the mixer down to low speed and add the flour mixture in 3 parts, alternating each addition with the buttermilk.  Stop and scrape down sides of bowl if necessary.  Lastly, mix in the orange juice and extracts.

Pour the batter into a well greased and floured bundt pan.  Bake for 55 minutes, until a tester inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. 

Allow cake to cool in pan for five minutes.  While cake cools, make glaze by combining sugar and orange juice and mixing.  Turn the cake out onto a cooling rack and brush with the orange glaze.  

*Note: Make sure you use all the glaze mixture.  You might need to glaze in a few batches to allow the cake to absorb the liquid, but use it all…it makes such a difference to the flavor of the cake.

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Reader Comments (17)

I totally agree about the buttermilk thing, but in my grocery store they also sell pints, which I sometimes find to be too big anyways :/ you should try dry buttermilk powder! It's awesome :)

Speaking of awesome, this pound cake looks just that : awesome!

August 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBecca- cookie jar treats

You said in your blog that you changed the Lemon Buttermilk Cake to and add some almonds and change the lemons to oranges." However, the only almonds I see are in extract form. Did you add ground almonds / almond meal?

August 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBeth

My grandpap used to drink buttermilk straight from the carton which I cannot fathom. I love it in muffins, cakes, pies. But noway nohow straight from the carton.

August 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAwn

I totally laughed when I read this because I feel the same way. Cooking with buttermilk tends to require finding recipes to re-purpose what you don't use (like all but that one cup). Haha.

But this recipe looks awesome, I will definitely keep it in mind the next time I have buttermilk to use....

August 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRachel

Buttermilk freezes quite nicely. I simply fill up the ice cube trays with my leftover, once frozen I remove and put in ziploc bags and toss in the freezer--also makes it so I don't have to plan ahead when the buttermilk cooking urge hits!

August 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPenny

Our Walmart and several other stores in our area carry buttermilk in little 1/2 pint cartons. And it's cheaper per ounce than the buttermilk in the quart size. So I do feel your pain! But this lemon loaf look like an excellent way to use son up.

August 17, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercindy

Stores in our area stock pints and half pints....just ask for it at your local grocery! I bet they can order it.

August 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKristine

Call me old fashioned (And I'm a product of the mid 80s, so I'm old fashioned, but not old, mind you), but growing up in my house it was perfectly acceptable to drink buttermilk by the glass. It's not for everyone (Like black liquorice or sardines, I suppose) but if you like it, you love it and it's a perfectly delicious treat on a warm summer day. (Just thought someone needed to stick up for the buttermilk.:P)

August 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGeezer

I couldn't agree more on the buttermilk debate... I'm always tossing the unused leftover. I like the comment about freezing it... no waste and always available!

August 19, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterpeggy

I agree - I always waste what's left. Sometimes, I buy for a recipe and then forget to use it, because it gets pushed to the back of the refer. Just can't win with the buttermilk. Thanks and the cake looks delicious.

August 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSusan

I agree. I always end up throwing away whats leftover or scrambling to find recipes to use up my buttermilk. I think the best way is to make our own buttermilk with 1cup milk and 1tbsp lemon juice! Works everytime:D

August 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSimplyBakes

I keep kosher, and using buttermilk when making desserts for a dairy meal is a big no-no (we don't mix milk and meat/poultry products at the same meal, and have a waiting period in between eating the two. It's complicated), so I googled how to make buttermilk, and applied that to soy milk. Works like a charm! I also tried it with regular milk and then store bought buttermilk, tastes the same. So if you only need one cup, pour a tbs of vinegar into a 1 cup measure and then fill the rest with milk (double check the quantity to be sure).

August 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAliza

This looks so tasty! And I love the pieces on that tray. Such a pretty photo.

August 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMegan

I must live in an alternate universe...i buy buttermilk by the gallon! I cant get enough of it! I dont drink it straight up but in pancakes, homemade bread, salad dressing (I have an incredible on with no mayo and smoked paprika in it!!) goes quickly. If not, as the other commenters say, just freeze it. And yes, the lemon juice/vinegar trick will work in a pinch but the honest to goodness real thing? Soooo much better in pancakes! And dressing! And bread!

September 11, 2012 | Unregistered Commenter3petitsprinces


Do you know approximately how many teaspoons or tablespoons you get from two oranges. I keep orange zest in the freezer so I can use that instead of buying two oranges and zesting them.

September 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJackie

I love your posts. They make me laugh but I saw your rally cry for the buttermilk big business. I tend to just skip over all recipes that include it because it can be expensive and I REFUSE to pour money down the drain when it goes bad because I don't know enough recipes that 1. use it 2. I keep the ingredients on hand to use it up without spending more money. Grrr. I am so excited that this recipe will help me out next time I consider making buttermilk chicken... perhaps I should just have a buttermilk day and use it in every recipe.. hmmm you guys are inspiring. Buttermilk Day. Brilliant!

September 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth

Hi Jackie,

Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. We honestly do not know exactly how many tablespoons of orange zest comes from 1 orange. If we were to guess, we would say 2-3 tablespoons depending on if you use an old-school zester or a micro-plane. We don't think you can go wrong though...the more the merrier. The zest is where all the flavor is!


October 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBlue-Eyed Bakers

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