Pumpkin Spice Coffee Cake and Using Buttermilk & Yoghurt In Baking

Using Buttermilk and Yogurt in Baking


By Joe Cowan

Director of Operations


Buttermilk is a fermented dairy product that you can typically find in natural food stores or co-ops. If you can’t find it locally, there are cultures available online that allow you to make your own from milk. The reason why buttermilk is so essential in baking, is because it is effectively like a sourdough starter but in a dairy medium. Filled with lacto-bacillus bacteria, it’s use is perfect for many applications that you may be avoiding. When baking cakes, cookies, biscuits, pies, and many more things, use buttermilk and allow the batter to sit out for a few hours or refrigerate it overnight. Doing this will soften or ferment the wheat in such a way that makes it much more digestible. We will be exploring a few of the many applications that buttermilk can unlock.

Pumpkin Spice Coffee Cake



  • 2 and ¼ cups freshly ground whole wheat flour (einkorn or emmer)
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground allspice
  • ¾ tsp. nutmeg
  • ½ tsp. ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp. ground cloves
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp Dr. Cowan’s Garden Three Beet Blend
  • 1 tsp Dr. Cowan’s Garden Winter Squash Powder
  • 1 small pumpkin, baked and scooped (I used Hubbard)
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup maple sugar
  • 3 eggs, room temperature


  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp brandy


  1. Butter and dust a Bundt pan with cocoa and set aside.
  2. Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and salt in a bowl.  
  3. Mix pumpkin, buttermilk and vanilla in another bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or use a hand mixer and a large bowl), beat the butter and maple sugar until fluffy (about 3 minutes). Add the eggs and beat until incorporated. Reduce speed to low and add flour and pumpkin mixtures alternating between the two. Pour batter into prepared Bundt pan.
  4. Allow batter to sit at room temperature for up to 3 hours or longer in the refrigerator to soften the wheat. Bake for about 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool about 10 minutes and remove from pan. Let cool.
  5. For the glaze, add brandy and maple syrup to a small saucepan and then heat on low until reduced and bubbling. Pour over the top of the Bundt cake while still hot.