Baking fussy cakes is not my thing. I probably bake a multi-layered cake one to two times a year (every year for Andrew’s birthday and perhaps another occasion). I am a big fan of single layer cakes, though. They are more relaxed, don’t require an occasion, and somehow always meet your expectations. For some reason big cakes always carry exceedingly high expectations. I have yet to make a layered cake that I am completely happy with, but single layer cakes never fail to impress me. Like the single layer chocolate cake that I made a while back, this buttermilk cake is delicious, easy, and totally no fuss.
I first got the idea to make a buttermilk cake after seeing a couple versions with strawberries back in May (here and here). I totally forgot about it until this week when I came across this recipe for buttermilk cake with blackberries in the August issue of Food & Wine. I absolutely love this recipe. The batter is light and sweet. The blackberries add beautiful color and flavor. And a sprinkling of sugar over the cake before baking creates a wonderful crisp and slightly sparkly top.
If you want to be fancy, a sprinkling of berries and a dollop of whipped cream make this cake extra pretty. It’s also just as good on its own. So far eating this cake cold for breakfast is my favorite way to eat it, but then again cake for breakfast always sounds good to me.
Buttermilk Cake with Blackberries
Adapted from Food & Wine, August 2012 Issue
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar, divided
1 large egg, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk, room temperature
1 1/4 cups blackberries, plus more for serving
Sweetened whipped cream for serving (recipe follows)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Butter a 9-inch round cake pan, line the bottom with a piece of parchment paper cut to fit, and then butter the paper.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter with 2/3 cup of sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix to combine. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk in 3 alternating batches, ending with the dry ingredients. Before the last batch of dry ingredients has been completely mixed in, turn off the mixer and fold the batter with a rubber spatula until just blended (this will prevent over mixing).
Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smooth out the top, and scatter the blackberries on top. Press down the berries slightly. Then sprinkle the top with the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of sugar.
Bake for about 30 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Place on a wire rack to cool for about 10 minutes. Turn the cake out of the pan, remove the paper, and return it to the rack right side up to cool completely. Serve with additional blackberries and sweetened whipped cream.
Makes a single layer 9-inch cake.
Sweetened Whipped Cream
1 cup heavy cream, cold
2 tablespoons confectioners sugar (adjust depending how sweet you want it)
Splash of vanilla extract (optional)
Whisk the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Sprinkle the confectioners sugar in and add the vanilla extract if using. Continue whisking until stiff peaks form.
Makes about 2 cups.