Raspberry Buttermilk Cake

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SONY DSC

What’s in a name? Much, I think. Would a cake by any other name be as alluring? I think not. It’s all in the branding – I’d far rather make a buttermilk cake than a plain old white cake, or, while we’re at it, “Impossible (fill in the blank) Casserole” or “Grandma Flo’s Shipwreck“… wait, I would totally make Grandma Flo’s Shipwreck, if it wasn’t one of those layered casseroles with sliced potato and ground beef, topped with a tin (not a can mind you, a tin) of tomato soup.

The raspberries are almost gone. And the Saskatoons, choke cherries, and rhubarb… even the leaves have up and left the tree out front – not entirely, but they abruptly started to bail out yesterday afternoon, as if on cue. Late this morning, the sun on my back felt like fall sun. I still can’t place what made it different than the sun of a week ago.

W and I went to my sister’s and I picked the last of the raspberries (as he AND LOU jumped on the trampoline) – just enough for a buttermilk cake. Halfway through mixing the batter (which takes all of about four minutes) I realized this recipe I was romanced into making is almost exactly the simple fruit-topped cake (a decade ago I called it “kuchen”) I’ve made for years. But still – it somehow tasted better. There’s something about this particular formula of butter, sugar, flour, buttermilk and vanilla.. a perfect crumb, buttery but with only a quarter cup of butter.. it would make a great pillow for any number of juicy fruits – peaches or plums, or apricots, or cherries, or blackberries.. or how about pluots? The hybrid of the farmers’ market – part plum, part apricot. (Mostly plum.)

Or perhaps cranberries in winter, with lemon or orange zest (add it as you beat the butter and sugar – that way the grainy sugar rubs against the zest and releases as much flavour as possible, and it gets distributed throughout the batter.)

And because it was in fact a buttermilk cake and not a plain old white cake I had to butter the pans with a scrap of waxed paper swiped through soft butter, just like my grandma did, rather than unceremoniously spray it with nonstick spray.

It seems like there isn’t going to be enough batter, but there is.

So precious I just want to curl up and hug it.

Raspberry Buttermilk Cake

AuthorJulie

1/4 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1-2 cups fresh (or frozen) raspberries (or other berries, or thickly sliced peaches, apricots or plums)

1

Preheat oven to 400°F. Butter an 8" or 9" round cake pan.

2

In a largish bowl, beat the butter and sugar for a few minutes, until pale and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

3

By hand or with the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour, and mixing each time until just combined.

4

Spread the batter into the pan, smoothing the top. Scatter raspberries overtop.

5

Bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden and springy to the touch.

6

Let cool for 10 minutes, then invert onto a cooling rack or plate, or eat warm, straight from the pan.

Category

Ingredients

 1/4 cup butter, softened
 2/3 cup sugar
 1 large egg
 1 tsp. vanilla
 1/2 cup buttermilk
 1 cup all purpose flour
 1/2 tsp. baking powder
 1/2 tsp. baking soda
 1/4 tsp. salt
 1-2 cups fresh (or frozen) raspberries (or other berries, or thickly sliced peaches, apricots or plums)

Directions

1

Preheat oven to 400°F. Butter an 8" or 9" round cake pan.

2

In a largish bowl, beat the butter and sugar for a few minutes, until pale and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

3

By hand or with the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour, and mixing each time until just combined.

4

Spread the batter into the pan, smoothing the top. Scatter raspberries overtop.

5

Bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden and springy to the touch.

6

Let cool for 10 minutes, then invert onto a cooling rack or plate, or eat warm, straight from the pan.

Raspberry Buttermilk Cake

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12 comments on “Raspberry Buttermilk Cake

  1. margo
    September 6, 2009 at 8:20 pm

    I did make this delicious cake, which reminded my mom of an old fashioned apple cake my grandmother used to make. Thank you!

  2. JulieVR
    September 6, 2009 at 7:40 pm

    Aha! The PrintFriendly button seemed to be disallowing comments, so I deactivated it. Darn! But at least I’m open to comments again!

  3. Avery
    September 6, 2009 at 8:10 pm

    LOL, were you afraid no one liked the cake? It looks scrumptious. I just made the soft pizza pretzels tonight, by the way… yum. A few are for my 7 year-old niece who likes savoury over sweet things (she won’t touch a chocolate chip. Go figure).

  4. Hilary
    September 7, 2009 at 7:38 am

    I so agree. There’s something about the word ‘buttermilk’ in a recipe title that instantly makes it more appealing. Even if it is just 1/2 a cup!

  5. cheryl
    September 7, 2009 at 2:36 pm

    This cake has to be one of the most requested cakes that I make. I substitute cane sugar and this really adds to the flavour and look. I came across this recipe on the Smitten Kitchen website and it’s a winner and definitely a keeper and can be made with any kind of fruit.

  6. Bonnie
    September 10, 2009 at 2:39 pm

    Oh yum! I finally made this cake today with frozen blueberries. It was SO good! I substituted 1/2 of the sugar with Splenda and it turned out great. I think next time I’ll try 1/2 splenda and 1/2 cane sugar as recommended by Cheryl. I have bags and bags of frozen blueberries and raspberries in the freezer and my husband is saying (repeatedly I might add) how good this cake will be in the winter. I think he wants it all the time! Wait til I try the pandowdy on him- lol 🙂
    Thanks again Julie for a great recipe.

  7. JulieVR
    September 10, 2009 at 3:11 pm

    If you do bake with Splenda, take note of the fact that the Splenda brown sugar blend has exactly the same amount of carbohydrates and more calories than plain old brown sugar. (The idea is that it’s sweeter, so you use more of it – but I’m not sure people do!)

  8. Sam@BingeNYC
    September 12, 2009 at 8:41 am

    Ah, every time I visit your blog, I leave ravenous. I love the food you make – this cake looks fab – gotta love a great buttermilk batter!

  9. bev
    April 11, 2010 at 8:20 pm

    just made this. it was wonderful !! i did improvise-thought i had berries in the freezer but they were not there. so i used canned peaches-sliced them up-YUM. this is a keeper recipe!

  10. gailhope
    April 22, 2010 at 11:47 am

    Hi Julie: Love your Red Lentil etc. conglomeration. I believe that beans may well be the answer to all our world food shortages. (Who knows!) My title for your bean cook book (after great consideration): “It’s Bean Great Cooking With You.” TX Gail

  11. peter
    May 26, 2010 at 7:13 pm

    why do i need to print 6 pages to get one recipe? Raspberry Butermlk Cake?

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