Tanyard Farm Buttermilk Cake

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Recipe photo
Hands-on time:
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Yield: 24 servings

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Tanyard Farm, right down the road from us in West Hartford, Vermont, is a wonderful example of an old-fashioned, diversified family farm. The farm includes Jersey cows, chickens, and pigs, greenhouses for starting vegetable and bedding plants, fields for growing flowers and organic vegetables, and bunnies and bantam chickens for visiting children to pet.

The farm used to also offer baked goods at a tiny bakery. Tanyard bakery specialties included sticky buns and coffeecakes, a variety of old-fashioned cookies, and this locally famous buttermilk cake. Thankfully, though the bakery is gone, this cake lives on.

Tanyard Farm Buttermilk Cake

star rating (22) rate this recipe »
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: 24 servings
Published: 07/01/2010




  • 6 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 to 1 cup diced pecans

Tips from our bakers

  • Are you wondering about where you'd find liquid whey? It's the liquid you drain from regular yogurt in order to make thick, Greek-style yogurt. Whey can be substituted for buttermilk in many recipes; though since it's thinner than buttermilk, you should only use about 2/3 to 3/4 the amount, as we do here.


1) Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9" x 13" cake pan.

2) Beat the butter and brown sugar together till smooth.

3) Add the eggs, beating till smooth.

4) Stir in the buttermilk and vanilla extract.

5) Add the baking soda, salt, and flour to the wet ingredients, beating till thoroughly combined.

6) Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

7) Bake the cake for 35 minutes. Towards the end of the baking time, prepare the topping.

8) Stir the butter and the sugar together. Add the milk, pecans, and salt. The glaze will be thick but pourable.

9) Top the baked cake with the topping, and return to the oven for another 10 minutes.

10) Remove the cake from the oven. The topping will look very runny. You can eat the cake hot, with the glaze still gooey; or let the cake sit at room temperature for a few hours, by which time the glaze will have set.

Yield: 24 servings.


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  • star rating 04/19/2015
  • Ellen Kennedy from Ontario, Canada
  • Quality of the cake exceeds expectations with such simple ingredients. I use one cup of brown sugar in the cake to reduce sweetness and still keep flavour. A favourite go to cake in our family now.
  • star rating 01/18/2015
  • Jo from Germantown, Maryland
  • Found this recipe when I had buttermilk left over from something else. I made it and took it to work. It was such a success I had a coworker asking me to make it for his wife's birthday...
  • star rating 06/05/2014
  • Sid from Kew Gardens Hills, N.Y.
  • Nice texture, moist with a crusty pecan top. Very rich and very sweet. Serve small portions topped with a dab of whipped cream
  • star rating 01/18/2014
  • Richard from New York, NY
  • star rating 12/31/2013
  • Amy from IA
  • Easy, fast and delicious! Brought to work and the entire pan disappeared in a flash. I imagine the buttermilk will allow the cake to stay moist and fresh for several days but I doubt it would last that long!
  • star rating 11/17/2013
  • Nike from North Carolina
  • Fantastic. Served this for breakfast this morning, hot out of the oven, and it was a hit. Sadly, I did not have pecans on hand, but the walnuts I had were a fine substitution. I decreased the sugar to 1 1/2 cups in the batter. I also added some nutmeg to the batter and cinnamon to the topping. The cake domed a bit, but settled down with some slight help from my spatula to prevent the topping from slinking to the sides. Will make this regularly---next time with pecans.
  • star rating 10/27/2013
  • Linda from Near Montreal, Quebec (Canada)
  • Excellent buttermilk flavour as I was looking for. So moist, mmmm. Here is my Spin: it's just me and my husband, so I baked in (24) in two muffin pans. Baked 8 mins, then alternated pans, then baked another 8 minutes. There was not too much of a dome, but as the baked up the muffin tin rim, much of the glaze went overboard. Baked for another 5 mins (with a baking sheet underneath to catch any spills) I let them cool in the pans and once they were at rom temp, I lined them up on parchemin appear covered baking sheet. At this time, I spooned some of the glaze back on each little individual cake. These will now go in the freezer so we can enjoy these sweet treats, whenever we feel like it! Even with the quantity of brown sugar I did not find this cake to be overly sweet. I believe the secret is to stick to a small portion (1/24). Very yummy, thanks KAF!
  • star rating 04/19/2013
  • Naomi from
  • Wonderful recipe! My family love it. I will bake this cake again.
  • star rating 03/24/2013
  • Mary Ellen/ Whisk Together from St. Louis MO
  • Delicious! I should have chopped my pecans finer. They seemed to sink into the middle.
    If the cake sunk in the middle, it likely wasn't quite cooked through--another five minutes and it likely would have been ok! Still, I'm sure the cake is tasty! Kim@KAF

  • star rating 02/27/2013
  • Houda from KAF Community
  • Very Delicious and easy to prepare cake..done it last night and I m doing it next weekend again :-))))
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