Vanilla-Buttermilk Cake
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  • 1 cup – unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups – granulated sugar
  • 6 – large eggs, separated
  • 3 cups – Swans Down Cake Flour
  • 1 tablespoon – baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon – kosher salt
  • 1 cup – whole buttermilk
  • 4 teaspoons – vanilla extract
  • Vanilla-Buttermilk Frosting (recipe follows)
  • Garnish: fresh raspberries, fresh mint

Vanilla-Buttermilk Frosting-

  • 1¼ cups – unsalted butter, softened
  • 2¼ pounds – confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 2/3 cup – whole buttermilk
  • 1¼ teaspoons  – vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon – kosher salt


Preheat oven to 350°. Spray 2 (9-inch) round deep cake pans with baking spray with flour. Line bottom of pans with parchment paper, and spray pans again.

In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar with a mixer at medium speed until fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. In a medium bowl, whisk together Swans Down® Cake Flour, baking powder, and salt. With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating just until combined after each addition. Beat in vanilla.

In a large bowl, using clean beaters, beat egg whites with a mixer at high speed just until stiff peaks form. Stir one-fourth of egg whites into batter. Gently fold in remaining egg whites. Divide batter between prepared pans.

Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks. Spread Vanilla-Buttermilk Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake. Garnish with raspberries and mint, if desired.

Makes 1 (9-inch) cake

Vanilla-Buttermilk Frosting-

Make sure butter is softened at room temperature. In a large bowl, beat butter with a mixer at medium speed until creamy. Gradually add sifted confectioners’ sugar and enough buttermilk to achieve a spreadable consistency. Beat in vanilla and salt.

Makes about 6 cups

  • Lori klanke says:

    I live at 7000’ elevation my question is how much or less water and oil is needed and how much more flour and what type. What is the rule of thumb for all cakes. Thank you.
    Thank you,

  • Rebecca eaker says:

    RECIPE HAS TWO SETSOF DIRECTIONS FOR EGG WHITES… one at a time OR whip first to peaks, mix in 1/4 of the whites and fold the rest in… which is it? I did it the first way recipe lists and cake fell … not sure if that’s why

    • Swans Down says:

      Hi Rebecca, the egg whites and yolks will be separated. You will be adding the yolks into the butter mixture one at a time, and you will be beating the egg whites and then folding them into the batter. Hope this helps, and happy baking!

  • Angela says:

    Why was my icing not smooth and rather lumpy.

    • Swans Down says:

      Hi Angela, we agree with Jenn’s reply to your comment: Make sure the butter is softened and at room temperature, and that the confectioners sugar is sifted, and you should have a smooth, creamy frosting. Happy baking!

  • Jenn says:

    Angela, it may have been because your butter was too cold for your frosting. Also, it could be your powdered sugar wasn’t sifted. I hope your next batch is perfect!

  • Better Baker says:

    Rebecca – the ingredient list says to separate, meaning egg whites from yolks. First half of directions says to add EGG YOLKS one at a time into the butter mixture. The second half of the recipe says to beat EGG WHITES until stiff peaks form. Add in 1/4 of it to your batter and then fold in all of it. What are you reading?

  • Stephanie Joseph says:

    Is the recipe that my aunt made for a swans down white cake in the 40′ s on this site? I loved it.

    • Swans Down says:

      Hi Stephanie, we’re not sure if this is the cake your aunt made, but we love hearing about cake recipes passing down from generation to generation, and we’d love to see you find this recipe. If you’re on social media (for instance, our Facebook page), or know someone who is, maybe you can ask our community of Swans Down fans if they remember such a cake from the 1940s. We’ll be on the lookout for it, too. Happy baking!

  • Tina back says:

    Can I make a 13×9” cake with the 1234 recipe?

  • suzanne ingram hodges says:

    i have a six sided swans flour pan what recipe will be the best for my pan

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