This one, however, isn’t. It’s a nice, simple cake that’s really not too sweet at all — perfect for playing up the fresh flavors of ripe summer fruit.
The first time I made this cake, I used lots and lotsa berries. The recipe from Gourmet magazine called for raspberries, but I added blackberries and strawberries, too, just for kicks. It turned out great.
I made the cake again over the weekend, but I felt like changing it up a little. I’ve had nectarines on the brain for a week now, after adding some to little fruit bowls I made to take to the beach. I also happened to have a pound of dark, sweet cherries in my refrigerator from my homeboys Harry and David. I thought nectarines, cherries and cake might make a good combination. Of course, they did.
Since it’s such an easy recipe — just mix it up and pour it in the pan — you can whip it up in no time at all. I added more fruit than the original recipe called for, to make sure there’s a burst of fruit in each bite. And don’t forget to sprinkle the sugar on the cake before you bake it — it caramelizes, creating a sweet crust.
Oh, and if you’re reading this thinking that you’d go the traditional all-raspberry route, have I got news for you: July 31 is National Raspberry Cake Day! So bust out the berries and get baking.
Recipe: Summer fruit buttermilk cake
Adapted from Gourmet magazine
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ stick unsalted butter, softened
- ⅔ cup plus 1½ tablespoons sugar, divided
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup well-shaken buttermilk
- 1½ to 2 cups of fresh fruit (for the berry version, I used 2 cups of raspberries, blackberries and strawberries; for the other one, I used ½ nectarine, cut into small pieces, and 12 cherries, pitted)
- Preheat your oven to 400°F. Butter and flour a 9-inch round cake pan.
- In a bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- In the bowl of a standing mixer, cream the butter and ⅔ cup sugar at medium-high speed. When it’s light and fluffy, beat in the vanilla. Add the egg and mix until well-combined.
- Reduce the mixer’s speed to low, and add the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with the buttermilk: flour, buttermilk, flour, buttermilk, flour. Mix just until combined.
- Spoon the batter into the cake pan, and smooth out the top with a spatula. Plop the fruit onto the batter and sprinkle with the remaining 1½ tablespoon sugar.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the cake is golden and a cake tester poked into the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack and cool for 10 to 15 minutes more. Invert onto a plate and serve warm.
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