Tuesday, May 29, 2012

strawberry buttermilk cake

i have said it before, and here i am saying it once again- deb from smitten kitchen knows whats up. all the recipes i have made from her blog have been so right, plus it doesn't hurt that she is funny and sarcastic (and i respond well to sarcasm). she also has her first cookbook coming out in late october. 

i will be all over that.

my hopes, dreams and desires for this cake were pretty dang high, and let me just say in all honesty, they were surpassed.

surpassed, people.

i was dreaming of a light and tender cake with versatility, that was dead simple to throw together, baked in a minimum amount of time, and made my taste buds do a little dance.

what i got out of this cake was all that and more- i mixed it up in 5 minutes, it baked for about 20, it is a versatile recipe that allows you to add whatever berries you want, with or without a little orange or lemon zest, and the crumb was so. damn. tender.

best of all? i just got our new, favorite summer cake recipe. mixed berries would be perfect here, little juicy bits of blackberry, raspberry and blueberry. try a trifecta of all three of those berries, or just showcase one on this fluffy little cake. i also loved that the cake wasn't uber-sweet, it had just the right amount of sweetness in the cake, with little bursts of berry-sweeteness from the strawberries.

i went light on the strawberries this time, but next time i'm really going to let the cake have it and pack more on the top. they sink down so nicely as the cake bakes, getting enveloped in all that cakey goodness. next time i use strawberries, i will add some orange zest and maybe let the strawberries macerate in a little of the orange juice for a bit before dotting them along the top of the cake.

this is the perfect summer cake. 

get on it, folks!

strawberry buttermilk cake
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/strawberries/blueberries/blackberries/cherries/apricots/peaches

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. (i added the egg at the same time as the butter and sugar, just cuz i am impatient that way)

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 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.


* the recipe says to bake this luscious little cake @ 400 degrees, but i know my oven well, and it runs a little on the hot side, so i baked mine at 375. hopefully, you know your oven and how it cooks pretty well and can adjust your baking temp accordingly- if it runs hot cook it @ 375, if it runs cold, bake @ 425.

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