Strawberry-Blueberry Buttermilk Cake
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Blueberry Buttermilk Cake with Strawberries

As you all know, I am a huge fan of simple recipes.  What you might not know is that buttermilk is a staple in my house and I am almost never without it.  I even keep powdered buttermilk in the pantry for those rare times when I don’t have the fresh stuff in the fridge.  It adds such a nice flavor and texture to baked goods that I’ll often adapt recipes to include it even when it’s not originally called for.  So when I saw a recipe in last month’s Gourmet magazine that was simple, included buttermilk on the ingredient list, and looked absolutely delicious, of course I had to try it.

The recipe I’m referring to is Raspberry Buttermilk Cake.  I didn’t have any fresh raspberries on hand, but I did have a handful of blueberries and a pint of strawberries in the fridge, so I decided to adapt.  Although I know the raspberry version is probably delicious, I’m really glad I opted to use the berries I had on hand.  Not only was it a great combination, but this would be a perfect Red, White, and Blue Cake for a Fourth of July barbecue.  Served with whipped cream and extra berries, it would be both festive and delicious.

The ingredient list is simple: flour plus leavening, butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, buttermilk and fresh berries.

Ingredients for Blueberry Buttermilk Cake

Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

Cream Butter and Sugar

Beat in egg and vanilla then add flour (plus leavening and salt) and buttermilk alternately in batches.  You’ll have a nice fluffy batter at the end.

Buttermilk Cake Batter

Scrape the batter into a cake pan that has been buttered and floured (I like to make it easy by just spraying the pan with Baker’s Joy).

Buttermilk Cake Batter in Pan

Smooth the top with a spatula.

Smoothing the top of the Buttermilk Cake Batter

Then sprinkle your fresh berries evenly over the top.  You can use whatever berries you have on hand, or even chopped peaches or nectarines.  You want to use about a cup of fruit.

Sprinkle the Cake Batter with Fresh Berries

Now sprinkle the raw sugar over the top of the fruit.

Sprinkle with Sugar

Bake the cake until golden, about 25 minutes.  As you can see, the cake rises up and over the berries so they end up in the middle of the cake.

Blueberry Buttermilk Cake out of the Oven

After it has cooled in the pan for ten minutes, turn it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Blueberry Buttermilk Cake Unmolded

I decorated mine with extra fresh berries and if I would have had some whipped cream or ice cream on hand, I would have served it with that.

Blueberry Buttermilk Cake with Strawberries

But it was delicious all by itself!

Blueberry Buttermilk Cake with Strawberries

Strawberry-Blueberry Buttermilk Cake
Adapted from this recipe in Gourmet

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick), at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 cup chopped fresh strawberries
heaping tablespoon of raw sugar (demerara, turbinado or Sugar in the Raw)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees, butter and flour a 9-inch round cake pan (or spray with Baker’s Joy or equivalent).

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; set aside.  In a separate bowl, beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy, about two minutes.  Add vanilla and egg and beat well.  With the mixer set to low speed, beat in 1/3 of the flour mixture. Add half the buttermilk and continue beating on low speed until incorporated.  Scraping down sides of bowl as necessary, beat in another 1/3 of flour mixture then remaining buttermilk. Finally beat in the last 1/3 of the flour mixture until just combined.

3. Scrape batter into the cake pan, smoothing the top with a spatula.  Scatter blueberries and strawberries evenly over the top of the cake batter then sprinkle with raw sugar.

4. Bake until cake is golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes.  Cool in the pan for ten minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool until warm.  Invert onto a plate.  Serve with whipped cream and fresh berries on the side.

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49 Comments
  1. Kayte

    I say we keep this recipe close at hand. Looks absolutely wonderful.

    2:03 pm  Jun 26th, 2009
  2. The Purple Foodie

    I tried this cake from gourmet as well, but mine didn’t look as happy as yours! Your photos make me want to give it another shot.

    2:04 pm  Jun 26th, 2009
  3. Judy

    Beautiful Cake! I can’t wait to make this but I will have to buy some buttermilk. Sadly I never have it on hand!

    2:07 pm  Jun 26th, 2009
  4. Sarah (Coffee Beans and Curry Leaves)

    This looks delicious. I also love buttermilk whether in a cake or just a tall glass of it by itself. As a kid I refused to drink milk but would happily drink buttermilk. Go figure!

    2:11 pm  Jun 26th, 2009
  5. Barbara

    Ooooh! I just had a huge meal and this description made me hungry all over again! I can’t wait to try this!

    3:19 pm  Jun 26th, 2009
  6. The Blushing Hostess

    I too always have buterrmilk on hand – for cake, dressing, or aging my terra cotta outdoor pots. great for everything.

    4:11 pm  Jun 26th, 2009
  7. amanda

    i am so damn lucky to be real-life friends with you and eat all of your awesome desserts! this was soooooo good! :-)

    4:57 pm  Jun 26th, 2009
  8. Barbara

    Amanda…you’re killin’ me! Where do you guys live? Can I be real-life friends and eat awesome stuff too?

    5:02 pm  Jun 26th, 2009
  9. Susan at Sticky,Gooey,Creamy,Chewy

    I prefer the simpler cakes too. Less time and trouble before you get to eat them! This one looks like a winner. I just happen to have berries and buttermilk in my fridge….

    7:42 pm  Jun 26th, 2009
  10. Good Recipes » Blog Archive » Blueberry and Strawberry Buttermilk Cake — Pinch My Salt

    [...] Kim wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptAs you all know, I am a huge fan of simple recipes. What you might not know is that buttermilk is a staple in my house and I am almost never without it. I even keep powdered buttermilk in the pantry for those rare times when I don’t … [...]

    10:57 pm  Jun 26th, 2009
  11. pam

    I think my blueberry bushes might have enough to make this cake!

    4:07 am  Jun 27th, 2009
  12. Heather Peskin

    A lovely cake! The summer fruits are so gorgeous now it will be perfect cale for me to try.

    8:27 am  Jun 27th, 2009
  13. Ruby

    I do love that this recipe is simple. I don’t like overly sweet things either anymore (must be my old age?)
    This is a perfect summer recipe and I think I’ll make it exactly the way you did for my 4th of July bbq. The berries you used represent this holiday perfectly.
    Perhaps I’ll spoon a little cool-whip on top of each slice for the girls.
    Thanks for the great recipe Nicole!

    11:39 am  Jun 27th, 2009
  14. Amanda

    I agree about this being a nice 4th of July dessert. It’s simple yet fresh.

    12:03 pm  Jun 27th, 2009
  15. Amy

    I had great success adapting this recipe as well, though oddly enough my fruit did not sink!

    4:42 pm  Jun 27th, 2009
  16. Anali

    Since I first saw this cake on your flickr page, I’ve baked this cake several times. Yesterday, I bought several more pints of blueberries and was trying to restrain myself from baking this cake tonight. Your post might have just pushed me over the edge again! ; )

    4:52 pm  Jun 27th, 2009
  17. Aimee

    Nicole, I’m hoping my husband with pick this for his birthday cake so I can taste it! Then again, that is rather selfish, right?
    It’s beautiful, really.

    5:06 pm  Jun 27th, 2009
  18. Yvonne

    I just took this cake out of the oven and without even tasting it I just know it’s going to be a favorite recipe for years to come. Everyday ingredients, easy to assemble, lovely to look at. Can’t wait til after dinner to try it. By the way, I made the Red Velvet Cake for Valentine’s Day and it was stunning! Delicious! Impressed the socks off my company! Thanks for the inspiration.

    5:53 pm  Jun 27th, 2009
  19. cheffresco

    I’m impressed this was so simple – looks delicious!

    8:04 pm  Jun 27th, 2009
  20. Dragon

    I would love a slice of this cake right now. ;)

    8:47 pm  Jun 27th, 2009
  21. Amy

    This looks Amaaaazing!!

    9:27 pm  Jun 27th, 2009
  22. health

    oh god!! mmm.. yummyyy… wonderful recipe.

    4:00 am  Jun 28th, 2009
  23. Deanna

    I have some buttermilk left over and didn’t know what i was going to do with it. Yippeee. Now I know what I am doing with it!!
    p.s. you are my newest favorite food blog!!

    8:06 pm  Jun 28th, 2009
  24. Mrs. Myers @ Eat Move Write

    I love your blog! That cake looks amazing!

    9:07 pm  Jun 28th, 2009
  25. M

    looks really good & will definitely give it a try :) great job!

    11:00 pm  Jun 28th, 2009
  26. Jamie

    If you take a look at my blog you will see that I too am a great fan of the simple whether dessert or snack. And funny thing is, I just posted a cake very similar to this one! Lovely! But I must try yours as husband is a huge buttermilk fan.

    11:35 pm  Jun 28th, 2009
  27. Susan from Food Blogga

    Oh, Nicole, this looks scrumptious! I’m posting on blueberry sweet rolls today and will link to it. Then when I get more blueberries, I’ll have to make it!

    8:51 am  Jun 29th, 2009
  28. wendy

    I love simple cakes. Your cake looks delicious. YUM.

    12:16 pm  Jun 29th, 2009
  29. Cherie

    Holy hell! This looks really incredible…Im all over it- I need to give this one a go myself. The simplicity of it holds such appeal and the photos are enough to propel me into the kitchen even on a sunny day like today.
    Thanks for sharing dear.

    Cheers,
    Cherie
    http://cheriepicked.com

    1:13 pm  Jun 29th, 2009
  30. Yvonne

    OK, I just made this for the second time and doubled the recipe because we’re having a BIG BBQ at work tomorrow. I had taken samples of the first attempt for our staff to “try out” and the response was “OMG…” so…. I was concerned because all I had on hand this time was a frozen package of blueberries and when I opened the package I realized that they were OLD. I didn’t really have any other options so I proceeded ahead and since I did have some lovely strawberries I was hoping that no one would notice the rather shrivelled blueberries. NOT TO WORRY! They plumped right up in the baking process and, girls, you’d be proud! This is the best recipe ever for a smash hit dessert. Even with questionable blueberries!

    8:03 pm  Jul 1st, 2009
  31. When Good Dinner Plans Go Bad « That Certain Age

    [...] kebobs all put together and ready to be thrown on the grill when I got home.  I wanted to make the Blueberry and Strawberry Buttermilk Cake that was posted on Pinch My Salt (thanks Nicole!) as a perfect summer dessert.  I figured I’d [...]

    2:05 pm  Jul 2nd, 2009
  32. Laura

    Thanks so much for this recipe. I recently bought myself a stand mixer as a birthday present and this was it’s inaugural product. Delish!

    9:05 pm  Jul 3rd, 2009
  33. Barbara

    Okay! I made this recipe and it came out wonderfully. It was nice that it’s a small cake (although I’m sure it could easily be doubled) since it’s just me and the hubby. By the way, my husband wants to thank you A LOT. He loved this cake…he got the “I’m in heaven” look as soon as he put it in his mouth. I made some slight “modifications” (okay..screw ups) and it worked beautifully. Thanks so much for the recipe!

    If you’re interested in the “modifications”: http://strangerkiss.wordpress.com/2009/07/02/when-good-dinner-plans-go-bad/

    9:40 am  Jul 4th, 2009
  34. Blueberry Fever! « That Certain Age

    [...] had wonderful success with the Blueberry and Strawberry Buttermilk Cake from Pinch My Salt.  It was a key element in my Unplanned Dinner.  I don’t think that post really did it [...]

    12:08 pm  Jul 4th, 2009
  35. Stacey

    This looks delicious!! I made a blueberry crumb cake last week and wondered if strawberries would work..this just answered my question! I am definitely making this tomorrow!

    9:13 pm  Jul 9th, 2009
  36. Christine

    What a beautiful cake! I’m saving it to make when my blueberries come it. Thanks for the link Nicole.

    11:57 pm  Jul 31st, 2009
  37. A Bountiful Kitchen: Cooking Inn Style with Local, Sustainable Foods (Recipe: Aska Lodge B&B’s Green Tea Blueberry Smoothie) – Inn Cuisine

    [...] Blueberry & Strawberry Buttermilk Cake – Pinch My Salt [...]

    2:40 pm  Aug 3rd, 2009
  38. Madiant

    wow, amazing, but what else is amazing is that PAN? who is the maker? and who knew we weren’t relegated to using dull silver pans!

    12:57 pm  Aug 27th, 2009
  39. Nicole

    Madiant: The pan is a 9″ Calphalon nonstick cake pan. I got two of them as a wedding gift years ago and they have always worked well.

    2:00 pm  Aug 27th, 2009
  40. Podcast 76: Healthy Brunch Recipes … and it’s a Small World After All | Meal Makeover Moms' Kitchen

    [...] also baked it up, and the photos alone will convince you it’s a must-make recipe, and Pinch My Salt posted a version made with a combo of half a cup each of blueberries and strawberries. We got a [...]

    4:38 am  Oct 14th, 2009
  41. alison

    came across this recipe earlier and just had to give it a try (i already have plans to test out what brought me to your site yesterday, the red velvet cake, tomorrow, but couldn’t wait on this one).. i went for a fall spin on this and used apple and pear with an few extra drops of vanilla and brown sugar instead of the raw to really up the familiar fall flavor profile. i got a bit too greedy with the amount of fruit i put in (i probably actually doubled it!) but was amazed how almost all of it did get baked over. however, i do not recommend using that much fruit, especially kinds so full of moisture. i had to increase my cooking time as a result and the cake is a bit darker than i’d like and had a little trouble inverting it due to the internal structure being interrupted by so much fruit. all that said, it still tastes amazing and a dusting of powdered sugar on the top will make it more than presentable for the family!

    12:29 pm  Oct 30th, 2009
  42. Apple Cinnamon Buttermilk Cake — Pinch My Salt

    [...] a whim, I decided to update the popular Blueberry-Strawberry Buttermilk Cake with fall flavors by swapping in apples, cinnamon and extra vanilla for the blueberries and [...]

    9:33 am  Nov 2nd, 2009
  43. Mom’s Blueberry Sweet Rolls Taste Like Summertime | Mom’s Blueberry Sweet Rolls Taste Like Summertime recipe | Mom’s Blueberry Sweet Rolls Taste Like Summertime good food recipes

    [...] Blueberry Crumb Cake from Family, Friends, and Food Blueberry and Strawberry Buttermilk Cake at Pinch My Salt Blueberry Muffins at Obsessed With [...]

    7:18 pm  Feb 12th, 2010
  44. Blackberry Rhubarb Buttermilk Cake Recipe

    [...] Peach Almond Cake from Two Peas and Their Pod Strawberry Buttermilk Cake from Dishing Up Delights Blueberry and Strawberry Buttermilk Cake from Pinch My Salt Bookmark [...]

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  45. Fresh Strawberry Ice Cream — Pinch My Salt

    [...] Blueberry and Strawberry Buttermilk Cake [...]

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  46. dentist Burlington

    Delicious cake! All my guests are always asking me if I will cook it for them when theuy come home, they really love it! Recommended

    10:26 am  Oct 24th, 2011
  47. vandygrrl

    Could you make this with chopped up apple since it’s fall and that’s the fruit we have in season? I have some frozen berries that I could thaw and put in this if that would be better, but I wonder about an apple cake.
    Thanks for all the buttermilk recipes! We love it here but buy it rarely as a special treat. I always have such fun picking out just the right goodies to make from it and your site has given me a lot to pick from! Love all the beautiful pictures as well!

    4:26 pm  Oct 1st, 2012
  48. Liz

    This is one of my all time favorite recipes! I originally got it off of Smitten Kitchen and have made it at least 15 times since then. It is my go to when I have leftover buttermilk. I have found that it’s infinitely adaptable too, which is my favorite part. I’ve been experimenting with different flours have have replaced some of the AP flour with everything from whole wheat flour to buckwheat flour. My fiance and mine currently favorite is substituting half of the flour with rye flour and using a mixture of raspberries and blackberries. I’ve even used frozen berries before (in the winter, when fresh really isn’t a great option) and it still comes out fabulous each and every time.

    Sorry for writing a short novel on this cake, but I just love it!! I’m always happy to stumble across it when I am blog hopping :)

    8:37 am  Apr 11th, 2013
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