i just knew when i eyed this recipe for buttermilk cake in gourmet magazine (sniff!) this past summer that i would want to make it all year long with every available seasonal berry or fruit. first i made it with fresh, local blackberries, then with blueberries. i even tossed some diced, overripe pears in for another take on it. all were fantastic. it’s best with fruit that exudes some juice (or with aforementioned overripe fruit, chopped and mixed with a little sugar) while cooking. this is a great choice for a brunch or just a light, everyday dessert.
i had a few cups of leftover cranberry-clementine sauce that i had made from fresh fruit for thanksgiving, so i thought i’d give it a whirl in this cake for our monthly ‘let’s lunch’ group. the theme was thanksgiving leftover use. i was going to post about this fabulous turkey curry that the minimalist published just days before thanksgiving, but this cake turned out so remarkably good that i couldn’t resist. although i am a little, ahem, way late for lunch this time around, i did bring dessert, so i hope i’m excused.
cranberry buttermilk cake (serves 6-8)
adapted from gourmet
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup plus 1 1/2 tbsp granulated sugar, divided
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 tsp freshly grated clementine or orange zest
1/2 cup well-shaken buttermilk*
1 cup fresh cranberry sauce, strained (or fresh cranberries or other desired fruit)
preheat oven to 400 degrees F with rack in middle of oven. butter and flour a 9-inch round cake pan. cut parchment paper to size of pan, butter and flour the paper as well.
wisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. beat butter and 2/3 cup sugar on medium speed until pale yellow and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. add egg and beat until well-combined. add vanilla and clementine zest, mix until combined.
at low-speed, add flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. mix until just combined, do not over mix.
spoon into prepared pan, smoothing top. scatter fruit on top of batter. sprinkle 1 1/2 tbsp granulated sugar on top. bake until golden brown and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. the time varies depending on type of fruit used, but plan on about 25-35 minutes. if top becomes browned, you may cover with foil until center is set. allow to cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove from pan and cool on rack. or serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
*if you are like me and you don’t have buttermilk just hanging around in your refrigerator, don’t go out and buy it–you can make it at home! just add 1/2 tablespoon plain white vinegar (not flavored) or lemon juice to 1/2 cup milk and let sit until it clabbers-about 10 minutes. i usually make this in a container with a lid so i can easily shake it up before adding to batter!
see other let’s lunch folks take on turkey day leftovers here: