Tag Archives: smitten kitchen

Smitten Kitchen Buttermilk Berry “Everyday Cake”

Raspberries for Smitten Kitchen's Everyday Raspberry Buttermilk Cake | oysters and pearls

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!

Smitten Kitchen Raspberry Buttermilk Everyday Cake | oysters and pearls

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!

Deb Perelman's Raspberry Buttermilk Everyday Cake | oysters and pearls

Happy birthday, Nancy and Sloane!

PS I’ve also shared these equally awesome recipes from Smitten Kitchen here on Oysters & Pearls in the past:

Brown Butter Rice Krispy Treats

Smitten Kitchen Tomato Sauce

Smitten Kitchen Granola Bars

Until Next Time - oysters and pearls

Smitten Bars – aka a Healthy, Homemade, Delicious Granola Bar

I call these sinfully delicious bars “Smitten Bars,” 1) because I’m absolutely smitten with them, and 2) because I adapted them a smidge from the Smitten Kitchen’s recipe for Chocolate Chunk Granola Bars.  They are so delicious (especially after being on Whole30 for a month) that you feel like you’re cheating… on something!  These would be perfect to make for your kids… or yourself.  They’re gluten-free, they can be nut-free (to take to schools with rules about nut allergies), and you can amend them to suit your own personal tastes and diets.  It’s basically the perfect recipe.

Smitten Kitchen's Chocolate Chunk Healthy Granola Bars, Cat Tea Towel from Maiden South - oysters and pearls

You have cat to be kitten me right meow.  These snacks are healthy?  Tea towel from Maiden South.  #shamelessplug #catsonbikes

Smitten Bars - Healthy Delicious Chocolate Granola Bars - oysters and pearls

Smitten Bars - Healthy Delicious Chocolate Granola Bars adapted from Smitten Kitchen - oysters and pearls

Smitten Bars - Healthy Delicious Chocolate Granola Bars adapted from Smitten Kitchen - oysters and pearls

Let’s get down to recipe business, shall we?

Smitten Bars
recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen’s chocolate chunk granola bar recipe
yields 16-ish 2×2 granola bars


– 1 1/2 heaping cups (100 grams) gluten-free rolled oats
– 1/4 cup (20 grams) rolled oats, finely ground, or 1/4 cup oat flour
– 3/4 cup (60 grams) dried unsweetened shredded coconut
– 1 tablespoon ground flax
– 1 tablespoon chia seeds
– 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
– 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
– 1 cup (about 140 grams) chopped dried fruit (I used unsweetened, unsulphured dried cherries from Trader Joe’s)
– 1 cup (170 grams) chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chips
– 1/4 cup (65 grams) almond butter (use sunflower seed butter to be nut-free)
– 1/4 cup coconut oil, warmed until liquefied (may sub olive oil)
– 1/4 cup (about 85 grams) maple raw local honey (may sub maple/cane syrup)

other supplies

– 8×8 inch square casserole dish or baking pan
– parchment paper


Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line casserole dish or baking pan with two sheets of parchment paper, cross-ways and extending up the sides, in order to form a non-stick “sling” for your bars to make them easy to remove from the pan.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients (oats, oat flour, coconut, cherries/dried fruit, chocolate, salt, cinnamon).  In a smaller, separate bowl, whisk together the “wet” ingredients (almond butter, coconut oil, and honey).  Pour wet mixture into the dry mixture and stir until combined.

Transfer the mixture into the prepared pan, spreading it out until flat, then using another square of parchment paper to protect your hand, use the heel of your palm to press the mixture as firmly as you can until you cannot press it any further.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes at 350 degrees, until the tops are golden and the edges are light brown.  Let the bars cool COMPLETELY before cutting into them.  I recommend letting them cool to close to room temperature, then finish them off for a couple of hours in the fridge.  Then use the parchment paper “sling” to transfer the bars to a cutting board.  Using a sharp, serrated knife and a gentle sawing motion, carefully cut the bars into desired sizes.

According to Smitten Kitchen, these bars will keep for about a week in an air-tight container at room temperature… but I highly doubt they’ll last that long that way because you’ll eat them all.  So, I stick them a couple at a time in a snack-size freezer bag and pop them into the freezer.  That way, I can pull them out two at a time so Wheat and I don’t overindulge.  They only take about 30 minutes to an hour to fully defrost at room temperature, or overnight in the fridge. Perfect for packing in lunch boxes – for kids or working grown-ups. :)

Smitten Bars - Healthy Delicious Chocolate Granola Bars adapted from Smitten Kitchen - oysters and pearls

What’s your favorite healthy snack?  This has quickly moved to the top of my list, but I’m always on the look for more options!

Until Next Time

Brown Butter Rice Krispy Treats & Supernatural Brownies



Brown Butter Sea Salt Rice Krispy Treats with Supernatural Brownies | Oysters & Pearls

I mean, let’s be real.  Do you need more of an introduction than that?

I think not.  It’s Friday morning, it’s FREEZING, and it’s Friday morning, so I’mma cut to the chase.

You need these two things in your life, pronto.  They will make your weekend better.  I pinky promise.

I’ve mentioned these rice krispy treats on the blog before, but their importance bears repeating and a full on recipe.  This is one thing that is so near nirvana, that I changed nothing.

Smitten Kitchen's Brown Butter Rice Krispy Treats | Oysters & Pearls

Smitten Kitchen Brown Butter Rice Krispy Treats
not adapted in the least.  I’m not even going to alter her instructions one bit.

“Makes 16 2-inch squares or 32 1- x 2-inch small bars

4 ounces (1/4 pound or 1 stick) unsalted butter, plus extra for the pan
1 10-ounce bag marshmallows
Heaping 1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt
6 cups Rice Krispies cereal (about half a 12-ounce box)

Butter (or coat with non-stick spray) an 8-inch square cake pan with 2-inch sides.

In a large pot, melt butter over medium-low heat. It will melt, then foam, then turn clear golden and finally start to turn brown and smell nutty. Stir frequently, scraping up any bits from the bottom as you do. Don’t take your eyes off the pot as while you may be impatient for it to start browning, the period between the time the butter begins to take on color and the point where it burns is often less than a minute.

As soon as the butter takes on a nutty color, turn the heat off and stir in the marshmallows. The residual heat from the melted butter should be enough to melt them, but if it is not, turn it back on low until the marshmallows are smooth.

Remove the pot from the stove and stir in the salt and cereal together. Quickly spread into prepared pan. I liked to use a piece of waxed or parchment paper that I’ve sprayed with oil to press it firmly and evenly into the edges and corners, though a silicon spatula works almost as well.

Let cool, cut into squares and get ready to make new friends.”

Brown Butter Rice Krispy Treats | Oysters & Pearls

Completely unadulterated.  There is no room for improvement.

I made these last Saturday, in addition to the best brownies ever.  So good, they are called “Supernatural.”  I mentally bookmarked them when I read about them a while back on one of my favorite baking blogs, Hummingbird High.

Cook’s Note: Despite the name of the blog and the brownies, this recipe does not include any recently-legalized or currently illegal substances.

Supernatural Brownies with Pecans | Oysters & Pearls

Supernatural Brownies
seriously, I just barely tweaked it this time – from Hummingbird High


– 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
– 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate (2 bars) cut into pieces
– 4 eggs, at room temperature
– 1 cup granulated sugar
– 1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
– 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
– 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
– 1 cup all purpose flour
– 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Prepare a 9×13 casserole dish/pan by spraying with baking spray.  Hummingbird High recommends then lining with parchment paper, and spraying it, too.  I did that, and it made getting the brownies out easy.  But I’ve never had a hard time getting brownies out of a greased pan, so if you’re fresh outta parchment paper, don’t sweat it.

In a double boiler (or a homemade version of a metal bowl on top of a pot half-full of water <– what I did), melt the chocolate and butter together.  I used Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate – brown wrapper – 55%, I believe.  Use a rubber spatula to stir constantly until melted and smooth.  Remove from the heat and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, extract, sugars, and salt.  Whisk until fully incorporated, then whisk in the chocolate/butter mixture from the previous step, whisking in the pecans last.

Once the mixture is a uniform dark brown, use a large rubber spatula to gently fold in the flour. Be careful not to over mix, and fold until the flour is just incorporated.  As Hummingbird High says, it’s okay to have a couple streaks of flour left in the batter.  Overmixing results in tough brownies.

Pour batter into prepared pan and spread evenly with spatula.  Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Allow to cool completely on a wire rack, and preferably overnight, before cutting and serving.

Ghirardelli Chocolate and Butter for Supernatural Brownies | Oysters & Pearls

Supernatural Brownie Batter | Oysters & Pearls

Supernatural Brownie Batter with Chopped Pecans | Oysters & Pearls

Okay, there is no way on God’s sweet green Earth you will be able to resist these brownies as soon as they are cool enough to touch.  BUT they are indeed better the next day.  The solution to this problem that I came up with is: MAKE TWO BATCHES.  Duh.

Supernatural Brownies, the Best Brownies | Oysters & Pearls

These brownies are glorious.  The original recipe did not call for nuts, but as any good Southern girl would do, I added pecans.

Supernatural Brownies with Brown Butter Rice Krispy Treats | Oysters & Pearls

In my own Daddy’s words: “If your brownie doesn’t have pecans in it, you might as well just eat a piece of chocolate.”

Ladies and Gents, that is a direct quote.

Supernatural Brownies and Brown Butter Rice Krispy Treats, the Perfect Snack for a Cold Winter's Day | Oysters & Pearls

Let it also be known that said Daddy (and Mama, too, along with everyone else who tasted these) whole-heartedly approved of them.  And ate at least 3 each.  At least.

Brown Butter Rice Krispy Treats and Supernatural Brownies, The Perfect Pair | Oysters & Pearls

I hope that you bring one or both of these desserts into your life over the next couple of days.  Share with friends, make new friends, or hoard them.  It’s up to you. Eat them with vanilla ice cream, or pair them with an ice cold beer (said Daddy’s favorite combo).   Just follow your heart, and always let your conscience be your guide.

Happy Friday!!

Until Next Time