Thursday, January 24, 2013

Black & Blueberry Buttermilk Cake

The weather in San Diego this past weekend was unusually warm which had me thinking of Summer fruit. It just so happens that Blackberries were on sale at Sprouts for only .99 cents a package so I had to indulge.
On their own, the blackberries were sweet and delicious; definitely some of the sweetest blackberries I have ever tasted, but I bought so many of them I wanted to incorporate them into a coffee cake/dessert. I also had some buttermilk in the fridge that was about to expire so I decided to make this Blackberry Buttermilk Cake which I am calling Black & Blueberry Buttermilk Cake because I ended up throwing in some Blueberries.
The cake is tender, moist and delicious. The addition of fresh lemon and orange zest compliments the fresh berries perfectly and made them taste even better! If you make this cake, which I sure hope you will, definitely do not skip out on the fresh citrus zest.
My husband brought some of the cake to work with him 3 days after I baked it and it was still moist, fresh and delicious. I don't recommend going beyond 3 days since fresh berries can spoil pretty quickly.

Black & Blueberry Buttermilk Cake

3/4 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
2 1/3 cups sifted cake flour (sift the cake flour first, then measure out 2 1/3 cups)
6 ounces fresh blackberries and 3 ounces fresh blueberries
1/4 cup granulated sugar for the topping
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar for the cake batter
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon fresh orange zest
1 cup well shaken buttermilk
Powdered sugar for dusting


Position oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degress F.

Butter a 9-10" springform pan. Place a circle of parchment paper at the bottom. Butter the parchment paper and lightly dust the entire inside of the pan with flour.**Alternatively you can use a 9"-10" cake pan, but please make sure you butter and flour the pan & use the parchment paper. This helps prevent the berries from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Into a medium size bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.** Essentially you are sifting the flour twice - before you measure it and again in this step. Don't skip this step, it gives the cake its' light fluffy texture.

Sprinkle the berries in an even layer into the bottom of the prepared pan, then sprinkle 1/4 cup of sugar over the berries.

When this photo was taken, I realized I didn't have enough Blackberries so I filled in the gaps with blueberries. Hence the name Black & Blueberry Buttermilk Cake.

In the bowl of your electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl using your electric hand mixer), cream together the butter and the 1 & 1/3 cups granulated sugar until light and fluffy (approximately 2 minutes).

Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition and scraping down the bowl as needed.

Beat in the lemon and orange zests and the vanilla at low speed and mix just until combined.

At low speed, mix in the flour mixture and buttermilk alternating between the two. Start with 1/3 of the flour, mix just until combined, add 1/2 of the buttermilk, mix until just combined and repeat. Be sure to mix just until combined during this step so you don't overmix the batter.

Spread the batter in an even layer into the prepared pan.

Place on a baking sheet and bake for approxinmately 45-50 minutes. Since each oven is different, be sure to check for doneness at the beginning of the bake time (around 40 minutes). If the cake isn't done, repeat checking for doneness periodically until done. If your cake starts to brown too quickly, tent it with a piece of foil. The cake is done when it springs back when lightly pressed in the center or a toothpick in the center comes out clear. Be careful not to overbake.

Remove from oven and cool in pan on cooling rack for 15 minutes. Remove the sides from the springform pan and invert only a cooling rack. Carefully remove the parchment paper being careful not to pull off the berries.

Allow to cool a few minutes longer then dust generously with powdered sugar.

Place on a cake stand or platter and serve (dusting again with powdered sugar if needed).

Store leftovers tighly covered at room temperature. Since this cake is made with fresh berries, I recommend eating within 2 days although my husband brought our leftovers with him to work on day 3 and the cake was still moist and delicious. I wouldn't go any longer than that....


  1. I already have a pudding recipe on deck for this weekend, but this recipe you provided is a must. My family comes in at the end of February. This would be great to have while they are here. Thanks for sharing!!