Earlier today on the dreaded Pintrest, a friend of mine posted a link to some cookies on the Bake at 350 blog. Now, I am not one for decorated cookies, but I saw a link on the side for this cake. The Bake at 350 cake was Vanilla Bean Buttermilk Cake with Amaretto Buttercream and it sounded fantastic. At first, I was deterred by the amount of butter this cake took- 9 sticks (or 2.25lbs or 4-and-a-half cups)…then, I started to realize:


The only problem: I didn’t have any amaretto. Frankly, I’m not a huge amaretto fan. I only like it in amaretto sours. I noticed, though, that Bake at 350 mentioned that her cake was based off of a cake called White-on-White Buttermilk Cake with Jack Daniel’s Buttercream. Hey, I may not have amaretto, but I do have:


So, off to the store Seamus and I went to pick up cake flour and butter. A LOT of butter. I came home and immediately got to work. Frankly, this is the best buttercream I have ever tasted. I could have just happily sat on the couch and eaten myself into a sugar coma. The cake is wonderful, too, but the icing is AMAZING.

I’m going to preface these photos by saying that I suck at icing cakes. I can knit, I can draw, I can paint, I can cook, and I can bake, but I will never be able to ice a cake.  But I try!

White-on-White Buttermilk Cake with Jack Daniel’s Buttercream

For the Cake:

  • 1½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2-1/3 cups sugar
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups cake flour
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • 1½ cups buttermilk
  1. Place one baking rack one-third from the bottom of the oven and the second two-thirds from the bottom. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line three 9-inch cake pans with parchment paper rounds, grease with butter, and dust with flour.
  2. Using a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl on medium speed about 2 minutes, until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the egg whites and vanilla and beat on medium speed for about 1 minute. Combine the flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder in a medium bowl. Add about one-third of the flour mixture to the batter and beat on medium speed until incorporated. Add about half of the buttermilk and beat on medium speed until incorporated. Continue adding dry and wet ingredients alternately, scraping the bowl down and beating until incorporated after each addition. End with the dry ingredients. The batter will be thick and glossy.
  3. Spoon the batter evenly into the prepared cake pans. Stagger the cake layers on the oven racks so that no layer is directly over another. Set two layers on one rack and the third on the other. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cakes comes out clean and tops are flat and browned. Monitor the layers carefully for doneness; each one may be done at a different time. Set the cake pans on racks to cool for 10 minutes. Invert the cakes onto the racks and cool completely before frosting.

To make the buttercream:

  • 3 large eggs
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 cups (6 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3 Tbsp Jack Daniel’s whiskey
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  1. Using a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the eggs and yolks in a large bowl on high speed about 5 minutes. In a medium saucepan, combine the water and sugar; simmer until it reaches the soft-ball stage, registering between 234° and 240° F on a candy thermometer. Immediately transfer the syrup to a large heatproof liquid measuring cup. In a slow, thin stream, add the sugar mixture to the egg mixture, mixing on low speed the entire time. Increase the speed to medium and beat about 7 minutes, until the syrup has cooled (the bowl should be barely warm to the touch). Add the butter, half a stick at a time, beating on medium speed about 20 seconds after each addition. Once all the butter has been added, beat on medium until the frosting thickens slightly, about 3 minutes. Stir in the salt, whiskey, and vanilla.
  2. Place one cake layer on a serving plate and spread a thick blanket of frosting on top. Add the second layer and spread thickly with frosting. Add the third layer and cover the top and sides of the cake with an even layer of frosting. Covered, the cake will keep for 2 days at room temperature.

Seamus tested….

Seamus approved!