Orange Buttermilk Cake

Posted by on Aug 30, 2012 in Baking, featured, Recipes | 13 comments

Orange Buttermilk Cake

The time has come for cake!  In the last month we have moved house, celebrated G’s birthday, sent out birthday invitations for the littlest person in the house, and…drum roll… Low turned 1!  Hard to believe, kind of exhausting, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.





I have been sitting on this recipe for over a year, waiting for my dodgy-oven situation to resolve.  I have now happily discovered that the ovens in our new kitchen (yes, there are 2) not only steam the best rice, but they also bake like a dream.  I’m a very happy cook.



I love to bake with buttermilk.  It seems to make for a tender and more stable crumb in cakes and muffins.  If lactose is a problem for you, as it is for me, the ¾ cup of buttermilk is not likely to be problematic.  However, if you prefer, an alternative would be ¼ cup (60ml) lactose free plain yoghurt and ½ cup (125ml) lactose free milk.



This cake is iced with a very simple glace icing that dries to a firm crust.  Just be careful to heat the icing gently until a pourable/spreadable consistency or else it can become grainy.  Quickly spread the icing, dipping your knife in hot water to help, and then try not to fiddle with it too much.



Orange Buttermilk Cake with Glace Icing

 serves 12

125g soft butter
¾ cup castor sugar (I like to use raw/golden castor sugar)
zest and juice of 1 orange
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
3 eggs
1 ¼ cup rice flour (I like to use brown rice flour, or a mixture of brown and fine white rice flour from the Asian grocer)
½ cup corn flour
¼ cup tapioca starch
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon bicarbonate soda
¾ cup buttermilk

Glace icing
1 cup icing sugar
1 teaspoon soft butter
1 tablespoon orange juice


Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan forced).

Place a piece of baking paper over the base of a 20cm round springform cake tin, then secure the side onto the base, leaving the excess baking paper in place.  Grease the sides of the tin with butter or oil.

Using electric beaters, cream the butter, sugar, orange zest, and vanilla together until pale and creamy.  Beat in eggs one at a time.

Sift dry ingredients into a large bowl then blend with a whisk.  Measure ¼ cup (60ml) of  orange juice, reserving 1 tablespoon for the icing, and stir into the buttermilk; add to the dry ingredients with the butter and egg mixture and fold together to form a smooth batter.  Spread into the prepared tin.

Bake 50-60 minutes until it tests done with a skewer.  Stand in the tin 10 minutes before removing the sides and base of the tin and placing the cake onto a wire rack.  When the cake is cool, spread the top with icing.

Glace Icing

Combine all ingredients in a heat proof bowl.  Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and gently mix until it forms a thick but spreadable consistency.  Quickly pour onto the cake and spread over the top.



  1. Hi Natalie
    When you use rice flour in your orange buttermilk cake is it the fine white rice flour from the Asian grocery section or the coarser rice flour like in the McKenzies box?

  2. This looks delish! I have to convert to American but can’t wait to try it.

  3. Hi Julie,
    I use rice flour from Asian grocers. BUT my preference if for brown rice flour from the supermarket or health food store for added nutritional value.

    • Thanks for answering the rice flour question. It sounds delicious and is on this week-ends baking agenda.

  4. Happy Birthday!!! Thanks for all your advice and lovely recipes Natalie! I love your site and look forward to your updates :o)

  5. Have I said how lovely your photographs are? Your photos are just lovely Natalie!!!!
    This orange buttermilk cake recipe is so tempting.

  6. Hello Natalie

    Very happy with advice on your website. Can I leave out bicarb of soda in the Orange Cake. Thank you

    • Hi Lee,
      If you leave out the bicarb the cake won’t rise as much and the texture could be a little different. You will probably need to increase the amount of baking powder or the cake might turn out a bit heavy.

  7. This looks awesome! cant wait to try it – on the agenda this weekend.

  8. This is a really great resource for people on the low FODMAP diet. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Happy Birthday Low fodmap blog!
    You are doing a great job and provide excellent information. I look at a lot of Cooks
    Magazine articles for ideas. Today I opened your email quickly, clicked on the orange cake
    link and was sad to see the photo. I assumed I was looking at a photo from the Cooks Magazine.
    It certainly does not look gluten free.
    When I scrolled down I read the ingredients and YES I can eat this!,,,,,,,, You put a BIG SMILE on my face
    and I am excited to make this. Thank you!

  10. Hi Natalie, can this be made with low fat milk (lactose free)? Or rice milk?

    • Hi Abby,
      Baking with buttermilk does provide a particular characeristic to this cake. A mixture of LF plain yoghurt and milk is a good substitute. Although I haven’t tested this recie with rice milk, it will probably still give a good result, as would LF milk alone.

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