Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Elisha's First Post: Rasberry Buttermilk Cake

Another inspired recipe. (her pictures are so much better than mine:

I was looking for something that would lend itself well to toddler cooking, as I dream of playing in the kitchen with Elisha, and figured best to get her started enjoying it as soon as possible. This cake looked perfect, as it is quick to make, all basic ingredients, and easy to assemble. Plus I liked that Elisha would have fun with the fruit, and it wasn't overly sugary. This cake delivered on both the "great with kids" front, and also tasted really good. I've also made it again since this session, this time with jarred morello cherries from TJs, and it was very tasty with those too. This is great for a brunch or lunch dessert or any casual meal, especially if you have buttermilk around, as you can just throw it together with stuff typically in your kitchen.

A few things I did that worked well for keeping Elisha engaged and having fun throughout:

  • Mise en place-- I premeasured everything and had LOTS of little bowls with each ingredient. That way I let Elisha have the fun of dumping stuff into bowls, which is always great toddler fun, and it made things go super fast, so she didn't get bored
  • Let them run the machines-- I gave her the great honor of turning the kitchenaid on and off. Action reaction, what's not to love if you are 2?
  • Finger play--her favorite part was placing the rasberries in the batter, as she got to squish them in place, and she loved the tactile fun. She also loved "sprinkling" the sugar on the top-- the more touching/interactivity, the better!
  • Be relaxed/have fun--I didn't have enormous expectations so I was totally fine if a splash here or there got missed, or the batter may have gotten overworked, or the sugar sprinkled on top wasn't exactly even, as the most important thing was we had a great time. (and it turned out great anyway!)

Placing the rasberries (and note her comment at the end of the recipe about what happens if they are turned up or down! neat trick! it works.)

Sprinkling the sugar on top

Eating the spoils! Yum.

Raspberry Buttermilk Cake
Adapted from Gourmet, June 2009 (from
You can just ignore the word “raspberry” up there and swap it up with any which berry you please, like blackberries or blueberries or bits of strawberries or all of the above. This is a good, basic go-to buttermilk cake (not unlike a lemon yogurt cake before it) — moist and ever-so-light — a great jumping off point for whatever you can dream up.
By the way, I was having a “moment” when I made this and for once, remembered to weigh my ingredients as I measured them, for all of you people out there that know weighing is way easier than dirtying a zillion cups and spoons. Now let’s just hope my scale is accurate.
Makes one thin 9-inch cake, which might serve eight people, if you can pry it from first two people’s grasp
1 cup (130 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) baking powder
1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick (56 grams) unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup (146 grams) plus 1 1/2 tablespoons (22 grams) sugar, divided
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest (optional)
1 large (57 grams) egg
1/2 cup well-shaken buttermilk
1 cup fresh raspberries (about 5 oz)
(jb note: I added 1/2 teaspoon almond extract just because I love it)
Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in middle. Butter and flour a 9-inch round cake pan.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and set aside. In a larger bowl, beat butter and 2/3 cup (146 grams) sugar with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about two minutes, then beat in vanilla and zest, if using. Add egg and beat well.
At low speed, mix in flour mixture in three batches, alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour, and mixing until just combined.Spoon batter into cake pan, smoothing top. Scatter (see Note) raspberries evenly over top and sprinkle with remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons (22 grams) sugar.

Bake until cake is golden and a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack and cool to warm, 10 to 15 minutes more. Invert onto a plate.
[Baking time updated, shortened, after so many of you concurred that this cake bakes crazy quickly.]
Note: Directions like “scatter” always scare me. Where’s the science? Here’s what my neuroses taught us: the ones that were downward were almost all swallowed by the batter. The "o" ones stayed empty, like cups. Both were delicious.


Blogger Jerilyn said...

ok, those pics are priceless. E is one cute gal. Love the simplicity of the recipe. I've never made a buttermilk cake before but definitely sounds like its worth a try!

26 August, 2009 16:31  
Blogger Kaoru said...

Love that you are cooking with little E already. And she looks so happy eating the cake!

26 August, 2009 20:07  
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