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Strawberry-Blueberry Buttermilk Cake

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.

Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

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.

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).

Smooth the top with a spatula.

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.

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

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.

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

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.

But it was delicious all by itself!

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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