For me there are two kinds of cakes: Celebration and Everyday. Celebration cakes are the fancy, layered, frosted ones you generally only make a few times a year for someone's birthday, anniversary or other special occasion. They're fun and exciting and the baker in me always looks forward to the challenge of pulling off a multi-layered and often fairly complicated dessert. The Everyday cakes are the simple, usually one layered, small, non-fussy cakes that you make for after dinner on a weeknight or whip up on a Sunday for no reason at all or because you have to use up a certain ingredient. I LOVE THEM!! These are the cakes of my heart--the cakes passed down from generation to generation, the ones that may not look like much but taste amazing and give a little lift to an otherwise ordinary day. Like this truly easy and wonderful Everyday Raspberry Buttermilk Cake. Light, moist, not overly sweet and full of fresh raspberries! Perfect for after dinner with a scoop of ice cream but just as good for a special treat at breakfast or with a cup of tea in the afternoon. Raspberries never had it so good!!
One thing I especially love about this cake is how buttery and moist it is and yet there are only 4 tablespoons of butter in the whole thing. The richness comes from the buttermilk which is not only low-fat but fairly good for you too. Am I going out on a limb and declaring that this cake is actually healthy? Well no, but there are loads of fresh raspberries and everyone knows how many antioxidants they contain, right? And if you want to learn a whole lot more on the health benefits of buttermilk and how you can make it yourself so that you don't have to run out to the store every time you find a recipe that calls for it, check out this very informative article from My King Cook.com. It's full of lots of great buttermilk tips!!
My family and friends loved this cake and I know I will be making it all raspberry season long. I suspect it would be good with blueberries and blackberries and maybe even strawberries too. I'm sure I'll find out! That's the thing, because it's so easy to make, I know it'll become one of my go-to summer desserts. After whipping up the batter, you scatter the berries on top and sprinkle on a bit of sugar so that when it bakes up, the crust gets delightfully crackly.
It's wonderful on its own but a scoop of vanilla ice cream would not be unwelcome!
And if I had this "everyday" it would not be unwelcome either (although my waistline might beg to differ!!
Everyday Raspberry Buttermilk Cake
Makes 6-8 servings
Prep Time: 12-15 minutes; Bake Time: 25-30 minutes
1 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar, divided
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/2 cup buttermilk, well-shaken
5-6 ounces fresh raspberries
1. Center a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 400ºF. Butter and flour a 9-inch round cake pan and set aside. (You could also use that baking spray that has the flour built in.)
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and soda and salt. Set aside.
3. Using and electric mixer, cream the butter and 2/3 cup of the sugar together until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the vanilla, followed by the egg. Mix well, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as necessary.
4. Turn the mixer to low and in 3 additions, beginning and ending with the flour, add the flour and alternate with the buttermilk in 2 additions. Mix only until combined, scraping down the sides with the spatula.
5. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Drop the raspberries any which way over the batter and sprinkle the remaining sugar over them.
6. Bake the cake for 25-30 minutes until the top is golden brown and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer the cake in the pan to a wire rack and let sit 15 minutes. Then invert onto the rack and let cool until just warm. Invert the cake onto a plate and serve warm or at room temperature. This is great on its own, but a scoop of ice cream or whipped cream wouldn't hurt either.
Note: Recipe adapted from a 2009 issue of Gourmet Magazine.