blackberry buttermilk cake

The other night, my boyfriend and I were sitting at the kitchen table, tapping away on our respective laptops. He got up and came back with a ramekin of blackberries, still wet from the quick rinse under the tap he gave them. We mindlessly picked over them, until suddenly I reached into the ramekin and came back disappointed. No blackberries.

He got up, refilled our tiny ceramic container with another mound cold, wet berries, and we repeated the blackberry dance. He reached in, I reached in, but this time I won. I got the last berry, and left my boyfriend blackberryless. We were out of blackberries.

When they’re in season, blackberries are almost always in my fridge or on my counter. I generally eat them undressed, just rinsing them and setting a bowl out to nibble before dinner or mindlessly snack while watching television. Feeding the habit is easy, since they’re amazingly cheap this time of year.

Oh, and they replace raspberries without missing a beat in this moist, crumbly, super-fast cake.

Blackberry Buttermilk Cake
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen, who adapted from Gourmet, June 2009

You will need:

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup + 1.5 tbsp. sugar, divided
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest (optional— I skipped it)
1 egg
1/2 cup well-shaken buttermilk*
1 cup fresh blackberries (about 5 oz)

Preheat oven to 400. Grease a 9” round cake pan or springform pan.

Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl and set aside. In a separate bowl, beat butter and 2/3 c. sugar with a hand mixer until well blended. Add lemon zest and vanilla, and beat well. Add egg and, again, beat well.

Using your hand mixer, mix in about 1/3 of the flour mixture, followed by half the buttermilk, another 1/3 flour, the rest of the buttermilk, and the rest of the flour. (In other words, mix in 5 stages: dry-wet-dry-wet-dry.) Spoon batter in pan, and scatter blackberries over the top. Sprinkle with the rest of the sugar.

Bake about 20-25 minutes, or until cake is golden and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes, then turn out and cool another 10 minutes. Enjoy.

*Note: To make your own buttermilk, add 1 tbsp. vinegar to 1 cup of milk, and let sit about 10 minutes.

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