Buttermilk Coffee Cake

I needed to use up the buttermilk. Of all the things in the refrigerator, this is what had the strongest pull to be utilized before the storm, just to be sure it would not go bad.

buttermilk coffee cake

There really is no rhyme or reason to this urgency. Buttermilk isn’t exactly an expensive ingredient. And if we lost power, it probably would hold up better than most food stuffs filling the fridge, considering it’s already equipped with the good bacteria to fight off the bad. Still, I *had* to use it. So I did.

First, I made a Buttermilk Coffee Cake, ensuring that, on top of the hoard of cereal, granola bars, and other non-perishables, we would have something homemade to get us on through the worst. Then I added Buttermilk Caramel Syrup, in hopes that it would finish off the rest of my supply while turning it into something more stable. To be honest, I’m not entirely sure my version is all that much more stable–I think I may have curdled the buttermilk while making it, insisting upon boiling for longer than noted since many syrups require such. In any case, after I was done, there remained more buttermilk in the carton, so I guess my plan to use it up didn’t exactly work.

buttermilk coffee cake

I am happy to report that we weathered Irene well. We managed to not lose power or have our basement flood (the latter being thanks, in part, to the former, so that the sump pump could continue doing its job). Many people were not so fortunate, even in my own city. CL&P, the local power company, estimates nearly 700,000 customers in our state without power right now. By comparison, 1985’s Hurricane Gloria–to which Irene has been likened many times in the last few days–resulted in 477,000 homes without power. Irene did not hit Connecticut as a hurricane, but even as a tropical storm, she had a fierce temper and a lot of havoc to wreak. Those who have been affected by her wrath, you are in my thoughts. I do realize how lucky we have been. I hope power is restored promptly for you and that you and your loved ones are safe. The rest of the stuff can always be replaced, no matter how grim it may seem. As long as you are well, that is what matters most.

This Buttermilk Coffee Cake is in your honor. May you be able to enjoy it soon, as well, and celebrate surviving Hurricane Irene. Just in time for the next round after Labor Day weekend…

buttermilk coffee cake

Buttermilk Coffee Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A fluffy coffee cake that makes a great starter--or even dessert
Recipe type: Breakfast, Brunch
Serves: 12
  • 2½ cups all purpose flour
  • 1½ cups light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt
  • ¾ cup (12 Tbsp) cold Kerrygold butter, cut up
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¾ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1⅓ cup buttermilk (or milk with 1 Tbsp lemon juice or vinegar)
  • ½ cup chopped nuts (I used walnuts)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9x13 baking pan and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugars, and butter with a pastry mixer, or your hands, until you have coarse crumbs. Reserve ½ cup of the crumbs.
  3. To the rest, add the baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg, mixing thoroughly.
  4. In a separate small bowl, lightly beat the eggs, then add to them the buttermilk and mix.
  5. Fold the buttermilk/egg mix into the other ingredients, mixing until just wet.
  6. Spread batter into the prepared 9x13 baking pan.
  7. Add the nuts to the reserved crumb mix and stir. Sprinkle over the top of the batter.
  8. Bake for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  9. Cool slightly, then serve warm.

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