Blueberry buttermilk cake

When something works, you tend to do it (or eat it) on repeat.  That's the case with this simple buttermilk cake that I keep coming back to.  The base cake is a delicious canvas for seasonal berries, which is really making its appearance again in the market.  I've nestled raspberries and strawberries into the lovely batter in the past so naturally, it was time for blueberries to have a turn.
It's great because not only is the crumb tender and moist, the cake brings just the right amount of sweetness to the fruit nestled within.  And it isn't too much cake - just enough batter to hold the fruit together.  It's a great cake for tea and makes a wonderful dessert.

Each time I bake this, I enjoy how the batter rises as it bakes and you end up with this cobbler-like top to the little cake.  And mine is indeed little in this particular instance since I made a 6-inch version.  My fridge was happily ladened with a variety of berries last weekend (my other half lovingly loaded me up for Mother's Day) and I decided to take some of the blueberries to make this treat for my husband.
As much as I adore this cake myself, I have to say that I often make it for my husband, who tends to prefer his fruit consumption in the form of dessert!  His secret is out!  Well, maybe it isn't quite so earth-shattering considering those who know him likely know he has a serious sweet tooth, which can be partially credited for bringing about this little blog in the first place!  
A few days before this, I also made some basic blueberry muffins but cake - the kind that makes us slow down and slice, and take the time to sit and eat - is such an elegant way to go.  This particular cake is easy and fast to make and a great use of berries for when you need to transform them into a dessert like I often do for my husband.  How can you go wrong with a moist, tender buttermilk cake encasing juicy blueberries and an almost-requisite touch of lemon zest in the background?


I divided the recipe listed below in half since I decided to make a mini cake this time - there's a lot to eat and we need variety, after all!  With the small proportions, I actually whipped up the cake batter by hand.  It's nice to be able to take some bowls, a wooden spoon, and a spatula to do things the old-fashioned way sometimes.
I do love how the cake rises and surrounds the berries as it bakes, leaving you with this cobbler-looking cake.  
Rustic is beautiful.  I  hope you enjoy the season's bounty of fresh berries!  And once in a while, maybe you'll use some of that bounty to make a simple cake like this one.  We all need a slice of cake now and again.  By that, I mean at least once a week.

Recipe:

Blueberry Buttermilk Cake
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen, who adapted it from Gourmet

- For one 8-inch round cake (you can divide the recipe like I did in this instance to make a 6-inch round cake; the cake should be done in about 20 minutes) -

1 cup (130g) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon (2g) baking powder
1/2 teaspoon (2g) baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons (56g) unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup (146g) plus 1 1/2 tablespoons (22g) sugar, divided
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/2 cup (118ml) well-shaken buttermilk
1 cup (5 ounces or 140g) fresh blueberries, cleaned

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Lightly spray an 8-inch round cake pan with baking spray (or butter and flour the pan).  Line the bottom with a round of parchment for easier removal later.

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Place butter and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add lemon zest, rubbing it into some of the sugar to release its essence.  Beat mixture on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. Add vanilla, then egg.  Beat well, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.  

On low speed, mix in the dry ingredients in 3 batches, alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.  Mix until just combined and smooth. Scrape batter into the cake pan, spreading and smoothing out the top.  Place fresh blueberries evenly around the top and sprinkle with the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of sugar.

Bake until cake is golden and a cake tester inserted into the cake comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes.  Remove from the oven, set on wire rack and let cake cool for about 15 minutes in the pan. Carefully remove the cake from the pan and let cool on wire rack.  The cake is delicious served slightly warm or at room temperature.


30 comments:

  1. A stunner!! And I love that it can be divided and made into a 6 inch cake. YUMMY!

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    1. I'm notorious for dividing regular cake recipes in half to bake into a 6-inch one. I always hope it won't involve half an egg but sometimes it does.

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  2. I am so much in love with fresh blueberries right now, I could eat it every day. And this buttermilk cake is another favorite. Mouth-watering good. I'd love to try it!

    Anu @ MyGingerGarlicKitchen.com

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    1. I'm working on some strawberries right now but boy, seasonal berries are a treat in many ways.

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  3. I love your fruit to batter ratio. Perfect and cake looks super moist. With berries in full season just perfect. Okay but a weird question you would only get from your friend in HK, how about jack fruit or mango. Would these be okay too or mango too moist?

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    1. Not too much cake, right, Bobbi? I did think about other fruits when I was making this version and while I can picture stone fruit, I think mangoes would bring too much moisture. Speaking of which, I have 2 ripening on the counter that I can't wait to eat! ; )

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  4. Perfect in every way! This is a beautiful cake and you know I love a moist buttermilk, tender crumb, less sweet, berry filled cake!

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    1. Thanks, Tricia. It's so easy to whip up and so simple and good. : ) Have a great weekend!

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  5. Yes, rustic is certainly beautiful! Wish I had a slice of this blueberry cake right now!

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    1. Love a slice of rustic cake. All cake is good though! ; )

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  6. Blueberries were my favorite berries back when I could eat fruit!! I would have ADORED this cake!

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    1. Thank you...and so sorry you can't have fruit!

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  7. I also like my fruit in my desserts!! This looks like a winner.

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    1. haha - yes, I understand that, believe me! : )

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  8. Wow! This looks completely gorgeous. Your bakes always turn out so perfect!

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  9. I love the contrast between blue fruits and yellow cake! It must be packed with flavors!

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    1. It definitely goes down easy. : )

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  10. I adore blueberries and this buttermilk cake is another delight ; -)

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    1. Thanks - hope you try this version one day.

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    2. I made it yesterday evening ;-) I brought a half to the office this morning, nothing is left :-))))

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    3. Wow - that's wonderful! I am so glad you share my love for this little cake. I think it's the kind of simple homestyle cake that you can't get at the pastry shop so it makes a nice change. Thanks so much for letting me know. So glad everyone enjoyed it. : )

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  11. A blueberry cake is always a winner in my books. This one looks incredibly delicious. The perfect accompaniment to a cup of coffee (which i am craving right now on this cold day).

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    1. Cake just always wins, doesn't it, Sonali. : )

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  12. Love how moist and beautiful your cake looks :)

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  13. This would be on repeat at our house too :)I love blueberry desserts and this simple cake is the perfect way to showcase them! Yours is just the perfect afternoon treat :)

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    1. Hi Kelly - I know you love your fruit desserts. Hope you are having some good ones at your place these days. : )

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