blackberry buttermilk cake

Saturday, April 6, 2013 |
Blackberries remind me of thorn-scratched hands, warm summer days, and juices bursting on the tongue while picking berries off the vine.  I rarely buy them because they never seem as good as fresh and foraged.  Last week when I saw blackberries in the produce aisle at my grocery store it seemed like a promise that summer is coming, so I purchased a package.  Then I went to the internet for a blackberry recipe.  I was distracted by cake.  That turned out to be a good thing.

Blackberry Buttermilk Cake (adapted from this Bon Apetit recipe)


3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan and parchment
2 1/3 cups flour, plus more for pan
2 1/2 cups (10 ounces) fresh blackberries
1/4 cup plus 1 1/3 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
zest of one small lemon
1 cup buttermilk
powdered sugar (for dusting)


Position a rack in middle of oven and preheat to 350° F. Butter pan; line bottom with a round of parchment paper. Butter parchment. Dust with flour; tap out excess. Arrange berries in a single layer in bottom of pan; sprinkle evenly with 1/4 cup sugar.

Combine 2 1/3 cups flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda into a medium bowl, whisk  and set aside. Using an electric mixer, beat 3/4 cup butter and remaining 1 1/3 cups sugar in a large bowl at medium-high speed, occasionally scraping down sides of bowl, until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. 

Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla and zest. Reduce speed to low; beat in flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with buttermilk in 2 additions, beginning and ending with flour mixture and beating just until incorporated. Pour batter over berries in pan; smooth top.

Bake until cake is golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 1 hour 10 minutes for a 9" pan (check continuously from 45 minutes on, as oven temperatures vary).  Let cool in pan for 15 minutes, then run a thin, sharp knife around the edge of the pan to loosen. If the cake rose past sides of pan, cut off excess so that cake will sit level on plate.  Invert on cake plate and remove pan. Peel off parchment. Dust top generously with powdered sugar and let cool completely.

Note: the original recipe called for a springform pan, and though that may have made it easier to invert, I had no problems using a traditional pan.  Also, I don’t have a KitchenAid, but a simple two-beater mixer works just fine.

Recommended for: a delectable and polished dessert for those who prefer cakes without icing, and as a perfect accompaniment to a spring tea or light summer supper.

Interested in other food-related posts?  Check out Beth Fish Reads’ Weekend Cooking.


Beth F said...

I love blackberries, and they grow wild around here too, which we often pick in the wee hours to have with breakfast. This cake looks good and I bet it would work with almost any summer fruit or berry.

Sue Jackson said...

Oh, wow - that looks decadent! Lots of butter! lol My husband LOVES blackberries, so I usually try to make him some treats when they are in season. He loves lemon desserts, too, so we are fond of a Cooking Light recipe for blackberry-lemon pudding cake - yum!


Book By Book

bermudaonion said...

We got chiggers picking blackberries one year so I always buy them now. That looks delicious!

Tales of Whimsy said...

YUM. I love the look of this. Light and delicious. :)

Debbie Rodgers @Exurbanis said...

We have wild blackberries growing on the back acre, so I'm going to be sure to try this when they're ripe. Looks YUM!

Liviania said...

You know, I've never had wild blackberries. I bet this cake would be great with coffee in the morning.

(Diane) bookchickdi said...

This cake looks amazing.

Unknown said...

I am in the cake without icing camp! Blackberries remind me of a summer when I was first married. My husband and I found a blackberry thicket in the middle of nowhere on a dirt road. We picked buckets of them!

Laurie C said...

I prefer raspberries to blackberries and cakes with icing to cakes without, but this still looks delicious!

JoAnn said...

I was tempted by blackberries this week, too, but ate them before I could search for a recipe! I'm pinning this for next time.

Peaceful Reader said...

Swoon. The cake looks delicious and your photos shine. This sounds like the perfect thing for my next book club meeting.

Ryan said...

Looks so good, and my mouth is watering for blackberries now.

Gilion at Rose City Reader said...

Oh, yum! And I am always looking for this kinds of recipe. My former mother-in-law used to make a berry cake like this and I can never find the recipe when I want to make one. I am going to pin this one! Thanks!

Rose City Reader

Teddyree said...

Oh that looks delicious, love seeing the progress photos too :)

Heather said...

blackberries and buttermilk sound as though they belong together. wow. I have been buying the blackberries for the past month or so and they have been quite good.

JoAnn said...

Just stopping by to let you know I made this cake for Father's Day today... it was amazing! My husband declared it his new favorite. I used blackberries, but can't wait to try blueberries next month. Thanks again for posting the recipe.

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