Tag Archives: buttermilk

Buttermilk Pancakes


My mom has always been the queen of pancake making.  Even when I really didn’t like pancakes, her particular fluffy, perfectly golden cakes were the exception I would make (hesitantly, but still…).  It’s no wonder pancakes were amongst one of the first things I learned how to cook.  These days, my go-to recipe is still the same one I used when I was 9 years old.  The same one I quickly scribbled down over and over again on scrap pieces of paper, for years, as Mom answered my endless annoying questions of, “How much of what do I put in here?!  Am I supposed to stir this? How do I know it’s ready? Can I flip it yet?”

Another thing my mom has always had a deep, abiding love of are really cheesy horror and thriller movies.  Growing up, late at night she would manage to find these terrifying Japanese horror movies that I would beg her to let me stay up and watch with her.  I don’t remember any of the movies, but I do remember closing one eye at  time, then both eyes, scared shitless by some weird creatures or ghosts I KNEW would come back to haunt my dreams later.

Do you know what goes well with cheesy, terrifying, subtitled horror movies on late night TV?  Late night pancakes.  They are the same as morning pancakes, but sometimes filled with more chocolate chips, and certainly eaten like desserts or late night snacks.  I liked when I was in charge of the late night pancakes. One for mom and one for me!  While this recipe makes more than two pancakes, feel free to eat them at anytime through the day. Add chocolate chips if you’re feeling adventurous.  Watch ridiculous scary movies while you shove them in your mouth. Mostly just enjoy them, though!


Buttermilk Pancakes

Serves 3-4 folks.


1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup melted butter, cooled to room temperature
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
oil/cooking spray
maple syrup for serving


In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Whisk together well.

In another bowl or simply a large measuring cup, whisk together the melted butter, buttermilk, and vanilla until well combined.

Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ones, just until the dry ingredients are evenly coated. Heat a griddle or large pan over medium-high heat until a few drops of water flicked onto the surface skitter across it.

Pour spoonfuls of about 1/4-cup of batter, per pancake, spacing them out enough to spread a bit. Cook until bubbles form on top and the batter sets (about 2 minutes). Flip the pancake and cook until golden brown on the other side (about 2 more minutes).

If you’re going to serve the pancakes all at once, turn the oven to 200 degrees F. Keep the cooked pancakes in there, in a covered dish or pan until ready to serve. Serve with the maple syrup.




Jalapeño Cheddar Buttermilk Cornbread

Whirl-wind weeks. They come and go, but damn… when they hit, it’s from every angle. I am writing this post from an i-Pad. My laptop – you know the one holding every back up of my posts here, all the poetry I haven’t sent out for submissions yet, the collection of poems I’ve been working on for the last year and a half meant to be turned into a chapbook of some sort… Luckily most of my photos are backed up on the desktop Mac we use as a family computer. So. I-pad for now, it is… and as it turns out things are merely taking a little getting used to…

My husband’s aunt (hi Phyllis) is in town visiting. Spring break is coming very quickly. Like, beginning Friday. We are heading out of town with both kids for the entire break, returning the afternoon before school starts back up. So… things are a little hectic. I’ve been encouraged to not cook. To pack, to plan, to think about warm sunshine and sandy beaches. Okay, the last part not encouraged, but certainly preoccupying my other thoughts. I’m not sure how the blogging thing will go while we’re traveling. We are making various stops, though only one or two days at each place… I’m taking a vow of flexibility. I promise nothing for posts, for photos. I’ll try, but am not committing. If you’re on Instagram, I will probably update there for the next week more often than anywhere… feel free to find me in that space. Sunday’s usual Day-to-Day Life post will have to wait. It’s okay.

That said, let’s talk cornbread. The base of this recipe is my go-to cornbread… it’s fluffy, sweet, delicate, but will hold up to the finest chili, or on it’s own. Add roasted strawberries and freshly whipped cream in the summer and call it a strawberry shortcake of sorts (of course leave out the jalapeños and cheddar – those don’t go so nicely with strawberries and whipped cream). If you want, you can double this recipe and bake it in an 8×8-inch square pan. The basic cornbread recipe is versatile. Get creative; add other peppers, different cheeses, eat it plain, top it with honey. You cannot go wrong.


Jalapeño Cheddar Buttermilk Cornbread Muffins

Makes about 6 average sized muffins

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup unrefined cane sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 small jalapeño, diced *
3/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

* If you want a slightly less spicy version, remove the ribs and seeds from your jalapeño before dicing. Alternatively, you can use jarred jalapeños if need be (while they have a slightly “pickled” taste, they’re often not as spicy as fresh jalapeños).


Preheat the oven to 375°. Line a muffin pan with paper liners or lightly oil the wells of the muffin pan.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium high heat. Once the butter is completely melted, stir in the sugar until thoroughly combined. Very quickly whisk in the egg.

In your measuring cup, whisk together the buttermilk and baking soda. Add this to the butter mixture, stirring until combined.

Add the cornmeal, flour, salt, diced jalapeños, and a half cup of the cheddar cheese into the wet ingredients. Mix until everything is evenly combined. Spoon the batter into your prepared muffin tin (filling each well about 2/3-full). Lightly top each muffin with the remaining shredded cheese.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the tops are lightly golden and a toothpick inserted in the center of each muffin comes out clean. Serve warm for best flavor.

Baked Buttermilk Doughnuts with Chocolate Glaze

I had been eyeing baked doughnut pans for a good year. It wasn’t that they’re overly expensive, or hard to find, or a complete irrational buy… It was merely a last resort effort at having self control, knowing that as soon as I had one in our kitchen, I’d be baking doughnuts like a crazy lady.

Then I got an e-mail from Zulily a couple weeks ago, notifying me of a sale on some bakeware, cookware, etc. The photo in my e-mail was of a baked doughnut pan and I couldn’t resist checking it out… Though not expensive, at full price, it was always easier to say, “Oh I’ll wait until it’s on sale…” On sale, I gave in. And then the damned thing arrived in the mail and that’s the end of that story.

No, it’s not. Within two hours of arriving at our doorstep, I had washed the pan and found a recipe to tweak and attempt. I opted for an easy buttermilk doughnut along with a thrown together chocolate glaze, based on my lack of powdered sugar in the pantry. I do have a long list of recipes I would eventually like to try. In part:

Baked Maple Pumpkin Donuts from The Sweet Life
Baked Apple Doughnuts from Bakers Royale
Gluten Free Maple Glazed Doughnuts from Cannelle et Vanille
Vegan Zucchini Carrot Banana Donuts from Scissors and Spice
Lemon Poppy Seed Donuts from The Novice Chef
Samoa Baked Donuts from Top With Cinnamon
Gluten Free Lemon Blueberry Cornmeal Donuts from Pickles & Honey

This is getting serious.

I’ve been a fan of doughnuts (donuts?!) for most of my life. Simple yeast-risen glazed doughnuts, preferably. Maybe a glazed cinnamon twist if I’m feeling fancy and adventurous. I think the love comes from my mama. I remember waking up before sunrise many times when I was growing up, just to ride with my mom to the airport in order to drop my uncle off, who’d fly back to Oahu for work. This ride wasn’t always just to say goodbye, it meant there’d be a stop at the bakery and I could help pick out (and eat) doughnuts on the ride home. There used to be a bakery in Kapa’a that has long since been gone, but my mom would bring us there often. Her desire: “greasy doughnuts” as she called them. These fluffy, fried, glazed yeast doughnuts that melted in your mouth with every bite. We were both sad when the bakery disappeared after 1992’s Hurricane Iniki.

If I really were to indulge my cravings, I’d eat fried doughnuts at least a few times a month. But I try to eat more healthy than that (most of the time). Baked doughnuts kind of dance that fine line of “healthier” but still “doughnut.” This recipe surprised me. I am not quite sure of what I was expecting, to tell you honestly… but these doughnuts came out fluffy, moist, but not airy like a fried doughnut would. They were delicious: sweet, cakey, nutmeg-y, lighter than I’d expect from a “cake” style doughnut. If you’ve got a different icing recipe, feel free to use it! This recipe can easily be doubled for a dozen doughnuts!


Baked Buttermilk Doughnuts with Chocolate Glaze

Yields 6 baked doughnuts


For the doughnuts:
1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup cane sugar
¾ tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. fresh ground nutmeg
¼ tsp. sea salt
½ cup buttermilk
1½ tbsp. honey
1 egg
1 tbsp. oil
½ tsp. vanilla extract

For the chocolate glaze:
½ cup cane sugar
½ oz. chopped bittersweet chocolate
½ tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tbsp. whole milk
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 tbsp. coconut oil
¼ tsp. vanilla extract


Preheat your oven to 425° F and lightly oil a 6-spot doughnut pan. (This is the one I’ve been using and enjoying a lot .)

In a medium sized bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, nutmeg and sea salt until fully combined.

In a separate small bowl (or your measuring cup), whisk together your buttermilk, honey, egg, oil, and vanilla. Stir the wet ingredients into your dry ingredients, until just together (the batter will be a bit stiff).

Spoon the batter evenly into the wells of your doughnut pan (about ¾ of the way full). Bake the doughnuts for 7-8 minutes, until lightly brown (barely brown) and a toothpick that’s inserted into the doughnut comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool after 5 minutes in the pan.

While the doughnuts are in the oven, prepare your glaze. Melt the tablespoon of butter in a small pot, over medium heat. Once the butter has melted, add the sugar, bittersweet chocolate, unsweetened cocoa, and milk. Whisk continuously until the sugar has completely disintegrated. Continue whisking until the mixture just comes to a boil. Remove from heat.

Whisk in the coconut oil and vanilla extract. Cool the glaze, whisking occasionally to keep the glaze smooth. The glaze should thicken as it cools. As soon as the glaze is thick enough to your liking (I cooled mine for about 6 minutes, whisking often), dip the doughnuts in, then flip and return to your cooling rack. Sprinkle on coconut flakes or sprinkles if you’d like.

Eat and enjoy (these are best eaten sooner than later!).

Buttermilk Apple Cake with Brown Sugar Roasted Figs

Sometimes recipe inspiration hits me in weird places. And I don’t mean in my left elbow, or right pinkie-toe. I was running at the gym the other day… I used to despise the treadmill – I’d opt for the elliptical machines, spin bikes, rowing machines – anything but running in one spot feeling like I should be going somewhere, but can’t. I’ve been enjoying my runs recently though. Rather than thinking about how I’m not actually going anywhere, despite the mileage going up on the machine’s tracker, I’ve found myself thinking about recipes to concoct. Sometimes all the thoughts of butter and sugar leave me with the incentive to run faster. Sometimes it makes me get off the machine so I can get home and make something tasty.

During that particular run, I found myself thinking about the large box of Gravenstein apples sitting in our kitchen, brought up from Sonoma County, California by friends last week. I had been thinking about these apples a lot, wondering what to make aside from applesauce. Apple cake sounded like a good idea. I had also been seeing a lot of recipes for fig desserts recently and decided to try them with the apples. The result was a tender, fluffy buttermilk cake, rich with apples and topped with sweet roasted figs. Delicious.

After Silas had a piece, I asked how he liked it? “It was really, really good… can I have another piece?” I asked if he’d ever eaten a fig before? “Yeah, I think I had them one time. They are nasty raw, though.” I said some people like them really ripe, topped with some honey along with goat cheese… His response? “Yeah. I think I had that at the farmer’s market one time. It was really not good for me.” Hehe! Honestly, I was entirely surprised that he enjoyed this cake! I’m sure you will, too. Plus it’s easy, which is all the more incentive to give it a try.



Buttermilk Apple Cake with Brown Sugar Roasted Figs

Yields 1- 8 inch cake


9-10 ripe figs, halved
3 tbsp. light brown sugar
drizzle of olive oil

2/3 cup cane sugar
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. Ceylon cinnamon
¼ tsp. sea salt
pinch of ground ginger
pinch fresh ground nutmeg
½ cup buttermilk
1 cup apples, peeled, cored, and diced


Roast the figs: Preheat your oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange the halved figs, cut side up. Lightly drizzle with olive oil, then evenly sprinkle the brown sugar over each fig. Roast for 15-20 minutes until the brown sugar begins to caramelize and the figs begin to shrink a little. Remove from the oven and set aside until ready to be used. Leave your oven on at 400°F.

Prepare your cake batter: Lightly oil a 8-inch round cake pan. Beat together the unsalted butter and cane sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat until fully combined. Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, ginger, and a pinch of fresh ground nutmeg into your butter mixture. (No need for sifting or pre-combining.) While the mixer is still on, add the buttermilk slowly, mixing just until just combined. Stir in the diced apples. The batter will be quite thick, do not fear! :) Pour the batter into your prepared cake pan. Use a spatula to evenly spread the batter.

Gently press the roasted figs into the top of your cake batter, arranging them in whatever way you’d like. Sprinkle the top of your cake with a little more cinnamon and fresh nutmeg, a little brown sugar if you’d like. Bake for 25-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of your cake comes out clean.

Allow the cake to cool to room temperature before cutting and serving.


Buttermilk Ginger Biscuits

While there isn’t a Whole Foods Market near us here in Ashland, whenever we’re near one while traveling, my husband has a semi-addiction. Ginger biscuits. It’s a 99% guarantee that they’ll be in the bakery section, next to the fresh baked muffins, bagels, and treats. These sweet biscuits are always shiny-topped, soft and flaky, and filled with pieces of ginger. They’re delicious, especially when still warm.

I’ve been on a mission to make ginger biscuits at home that at least fulfills the craving for these babies, especially if we don’t have plans to be near a Whole Foods any time soon. This is the second attempt, which turned out different than I anticipated–gladly. Soft and with an obvious ginger flavor, these were a bit more moist than the ginger biscuits we’re used to getting from Whole Foods. I do enjoy soft, pillowy biscuits though, so these were delicious in that way.

I used to have a really hard time making biscuits. Well, good biscuits. One thing I’ve learned is that shortening is helpful in creating really soft, fluffy biscuits. I used to avoid using it until I found this organic and vegan form one day, made by Spectrum Naturals. Also, remember to keep your ingredients as cold as possible. Often I’ll re-refrigerate the rolled and cut biscuits for 10 or 15 minutes before baking, just to let the butter solidify more (it breaks down slower in the oven that way, creating a soft texture rather than flat overly greasy biscuits). My favorite way to add butter to the flour mixture? Use a box grater. It makes it quicker to “cut it” into the dough and keeps things evenly dispersed.

These biscuits (like most) are best served straight from the oven, either plain or with some butter, some fresh berry jam. They also freeze really well and can be defrosted and heated back up.



Ginger Buttermilk Biscuits 

Yields approx. 1 ½ dozen medium biscuits


3 ½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup sugar
6 ¾ tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. dried ground ginger
¼ tsp. lemon zest
¾ cup unsalted butter
6 tbsp. vegetable shortening
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup plus 2 tbsp. buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. fresh ground ginger
¾ cup crystallized ginger, chopped
2 tbsp. heavy cream



Preheat your oven to 425°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl (I prefer the steel mixing bowl of my stand mixer), whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, dried ground ginger, and lemon zest. In a separate container, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, vanilla, and fresh ginger.

Cut in the butter and shortening, until the mixture resembles very coarse crumbs. Pour in the  buttermilk mixture, working quickly to stir together a soft dough. Fold in the chopped crystallized ginger. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, quickly but gently kneading about 10 times. Roll the dough out to about 1½ inches thick, then cut into squares about 2×2 inches. Re-roll the scraps to create more biscuits. Place on your prepared baking sheets and brush each top with the heavy cream. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until lightly golden on top and cooked all the way through. Serve fresh out of the oven.