Saturday was both my wonderful mother-in-law Nancy’s and my wonderful sister-in-law Sloane’s birthdays! We had the whole clan over for dinner Sunday night to celebrate, and I did a little baking for the first time in AGES. It felt so good to get my mixer back out! And these little cakes were a cinch. In fact, I doubled the recipe, divided the batter between three cake pans, and took the third to our good friends’ Maggie and Greg, who just brought their baby Owen home from surgery at Children’s in Atlanta. (Owen is doing really well – but please keep his continued healing in your prayers!)
The recipe from Smitten Kitchen (a blog for which both Maggie and I have a deep, undying love for) calls for raspberries, but I think this cake would be amazing with any berries in it. I haven’t tried it with frozen berries, but I may. I have a feeling it will change how the cakes bake, but maybe it won’t be a big mess. If anyone has any insight on this, please let me know!
I’m just going to paste Smitten Kitchen‘s recipe in here.
My Cook’s Notes, however:
– I used a mix of raspberries and blackberries, because I had them, because I’m pregnant and craving all. the. berries.
– Also, since I divided the batter into 3 pans, the cakes came out a wee bit thin.
– I also topped them the night of the birthday dinner with some homemade whipped cream. I highly recommend this topper.
– I also would like to make this cake again and use the “everyday cakes” as layers in a special, not-so-everyday cake with a whipped cream icing. I think it would be amaze-balls.
Without further ado, here’s Deb herself.
Raspberry Buttermilk Cake
Adapted from Gourmet, June 2009
You can just ignore the word “raspberry” up there and swap it up with any which berry you please, like blackberries or blueberries or bits of strawberries or all of the above. This is a good, basic go-to buttermilk cake (not unlike a lemon yogurt cake before it) — moist and ever-so-light — a great jumping off point for whatever you can dream up.
By the way, I was having a “moment” when I made this and for once, remembered to weigh my ingredients as I measured them, for all of you people out there that know weighing is way easier than dirtying a zillion cups and spoons. Now let’s just hope my scale is accurate.
Makes one thin 9-inch cake, which might serve eight people, if you can pry it from first two people’s grasp
1 cup (130 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) baking powder
1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick (56 grams) unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup (146 grams) plus 1 1/2 tablespoons (22 grams) sugar, divided
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest (optional)
1 large (57 grams) egg
1/2 cup (118 ml) well-shaken buttermilk
1 cup (5 ounces or 140 grams) fresh raspberries
Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in middle. Butter and flour a 9-inch round cake pan.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and set aside. In a larger bowl, beat butter and 2/3 cup (146 grams) sugar with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, then beat in vanilla and zest, if using. Add egg and beat well.
At low speed, mix in flour mixture in three batches, alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour, and mixing until just combined.Spoon batter into cake pan, smoothing top. Scatter (see Note) raspberries evenly over top and sprinkle with remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons (22 grams) sugar.
Bake until cake is golden and a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack and cool to warm, 10 to 15 minutes more. Invert onto a plate.
[Baking time updated, shortened, after so many of you concurred that this cake bakes crazy quickly.]
Note: Directions like “scatter” always scare me. Where’s the science? Here’s what my neuroses taught us: the ones that were downward were almost all swallowed by the batter. The “o” ones stayed empty, like cups. Both were delicious.
Make your own almost-buttermilk: No need to buy buttermilk especially for this or any recipe. Add one
teaspoon tablespoon [updated, as an astute reader pointed out that the larger amount is more common] of vinegar or lemon juice to one cup of milk and let it sit until it clabbers, about 10 minutes. Voila, buttermilk!
Happy birthday, Nancy and Sloane!
PS I’ve also shared these equally awesome recipes from Smitten Kitchen here on Oysters & Pearls in the past: