spiced buttermilk cakes

"Everyone’s eyes lit up when I brought these out at a makeshift picnic on Friday night. They paired as well with hot chocolate as they did with a sharp goat’s cheese. Crunchy with sugar, and rich in unexpected fruit, DetoutcoeurLimousin’s scone-rock-cake hybrids are a delight."
Dale Berning Sawa, The Guardian Readers' recipe swap

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spiced buttermilk cakes

spiced buttermilk cakes

Sometimes there is nothing better than a simple bake to enjoy with a cup of tea. My spiced buttermilk cakes are a cross between a scone and the classic British rock cake. Rich with butter, dried fruit and spice and on the table from start to finish in about 30 minutes. 

My buttermilk cakes are best enjoyed on the day of baking, still warm from the oven. But if you have any left over they can be revived the next day by splitting, lightly toasting and spreading with butter and jam. 

The last time I made these for a crowd they were gone in minutes, and more popular than the chocolate cake that was also on offer (and it was a really good chocolate cake too). There will always be a time and place for a decadent chocolate cake but sometimes all you want is the traditional, comforting flavours of childhood cakes and bakes. 

They also make a great 'on the go' breakfast or snack and pack up well for a picnic too.

recipe by Ema at De Tout Coeur Limousin

makes about 12 buttermilk cakes


300g plain white flour
125ml buttermilk*
150g chopped dried fruit of your choice (I used sultanas and cherries) 
125g butter
90g sugar (& extra for sprinkling) 
1 egg
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp quatre epices** (or mixed spice)
pinch of salt


preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6 and grease/line a couple of baking sheets

sieve the flour, baking powder, quatre epices (or mixed spice), and salt into a large mixing bowl

cut the butter into small chunks and rub into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs, then stir in the sugar and dried fruit

lightly beat the egg with the buttermilk before adding it to the dry ingredients. Be careful not to over mix, it's ready as soon as everything  comes together

add tablespoons of the mixture onto the prepared baking tray, leaving some room for them to spread, and bake for 15-20 minutes or until they are a light golden brown

sprinkle with sugar when they come out of the oven and serve

*If buttermilk is difficult to find you can substitute with kefir, sour cream, plain yogurt or in France lait ribot or lait fermenté

**quatre epices is a French spice blend literally meaning '4 spices' - generally containing a mixture of pepper, ginger, clove and nutmeg (although you will also sometimes find cinnamon and allspice have been added as alternative spices) 

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  1. I love the quote from the Guardian reader! My mouth is watering at the thought of that crunchy sugar on top. Thanks so much for sharing your brilliant recipe with #BakeoftheWeek - Great to have you back with us!

    1. thanks so much - always good to link up with my recipes :)

  2. They came out really well, but the sugar essentially just fell straight off at the end. Wouldn't it be better to sprinkle it before they go into the oven?

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