Credit: Linda Xiao

Recipe Summary

20 mins
30 mins
50 mins




  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 13x9-in. baking pan with butter and lined with parchment paper. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 cup buttermilk, eggs, oil, and 2 Tbs. vanilla.

  • Gradually add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk until batter is smooth. Carefully pour in the boiling water and stir until combined.

  • Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake in the center of the oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean and cake bounces back when lightly pressed.

  • Remove from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes. Invert, peel off the bottom piece of parchment paper, and cool on a wire rack.

  • Up to an hour before serving the cake, make the whipped cream: Pour remaining 1/2 cup buttermilk and the heavy cream, remaining 1 Tbs. vanilla, and confectioners’ sugar into a cold large metal bowl. Whisk until it has doubled in volume and has soft peaks.

  • To serve, top each piece of cake with whipped cream. Store cake in an airtight container at room temperature up to 4 days.


Meet your new go-to cake -- it comes together as easily as a boxed mix. No beaters are needed, just two bowls and a whisk. Dust it with confectioners' sugar and serve it with buttermilk whipped cream, or go to town with chocolate frosting when it's birthday time.

Make Cupcakes Instead

Place cupcake wrappers in two 12-cup muffin tins. Fill each two-thirds full. Bake until golden, 15 to 18 minutes. Cool in pan for 5 minutes on a wire rack. Remove from the pan and cool completely. Makes 24.

Nutrition Facts

176 calories; fat 8g; cholesterol 24mg; saturated fat 2g; carbohydrates 24g; mono fat 2g; poly fat 3g; sugars 15g; protein 3g; vitamin a 119.7IU; vitamin c 0.3mg; thiamin 0.1mg; riboflavin 0.1mg; niacin equivalents 0.7mg; folate 24.5mcg; vitamin b12 0.1mcg; sodium 185mg; potassium 53mg; calcium 47mg; iron 0.7mg.