This gorgeous old-fashioned cake recipe has a wonderful flavour and crumb. It’s rich and dense with just a slight bit of tanginess from the buttermilk. The addition of orange blossom water makes for a lovely light floral taste, reminiscent of cakes of days gone by.

adapted from The Vanilla Bean Blog

Makes three 8″ round cakes or two 10″

1 cup salted or unsalted butter softened to room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon orange blossom extract (or omit and use 2 teaspoons of vanilla)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt (half if using salted butter)
1/2 cup buttermilk or unsweetened kefir
1/2 cup full fat sour cream


Preheat the oven to 350. Butter & flour cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper.

Using a stand mixer*, whip the butter with the whisk attachment at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the sugar, and beat again until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides as needed. Add the vanilla and/or orange blossom water, then whisk the batter again at medium speed for 4-5 minutes, until the batter is light and voluminous.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. Mix together the buttermilk or kefir and sour cream in a small measuring cup, and set aside.

Using a spatula, fold in the flour and the buttermilk-sour cream mixture in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour.

Divide batter evenly among the prepared cake pans and bake 25-30 minutes, or until set in the centre and a cake tester comes out with just a bit of crumb.

Allow layers to completely cool before cutting. It’s a rich, dense cake, so if you’re using a fluffy frosting you’ll want to torte your cakes for multiple layers. This cake goes beautifully with The Vanilla Bean Blog’s Blood Orange Frosting, but your favourite chocolate buttercream recipe would also be pretty wonderful!

*This recipe was written with stand mixer in mind, but you could make it work with electric beaters.