I recently got acquainted with a site called Pinterest. The site allows users to create boards where they can “pin” interesting stuff from other sites. It’s like a virtual scrapbook in my opinion. The most common contents pinned are related to photography, fashion, travel, and food. One of my friends has been trying to get me to try it out since last year, but I only got into it this month. Why? Well, another friend who was already on the site decided to make a board titled “Dale’s To Do List“, which is basically a wish list of cakes/sweets/dishes I may want to consider making myself. One particular recipe piqued my interest, enough to make me sign-up to access the recipe link.
This particular cake recipe came from Alexandra’s Kitchen, another incredible food site everyone should look into. She’s got some amazing recipes, and her photos are simply mouth-watering (the food subjects, I mean 🙂 ). This particular recipe is of her Buttermilk-Blueberry Breakfast Cake. Just click through the link to get to the original page. I have to say, I have never come across another cake recipe that was this moist and/or light! This recipe is truly a keeper. One of the main reasons for this is the fact that it uses buttermilk. Buttermilk does two things. First, it keeps the cake moist. Second, when coupled with baking soda or baking powder, buttermilk gives an incredible rise, giving cakes a fluffy, almost ethereal feel when bitten into. Another wonderful cake recipe that uses buttermilk for the same reasons is Red Velvet Cake. Where I come from, it’s not common to find buttermilk in the dairy section of markets. So before I go into the recipe, here are some substitutions everyone can use for a cup of buttermilk, in case it is difficult to get some of the real thing:
|1 cup||1 Tbsp lemon juice|
|1 cup||1 Tbsp vinegar (white, apple cider or rice)|
|1 cup||½ Tbsp cream of tartar|
|¼ cup||¾ cup plain yoghurt|
|¼ cup||¾ cup sour cream|
When substituting for buttermilk, the main thing is the acid component. It is the acid that reacts with the leavener (baking soda or baking powder) to make carbon dioxide gas, which gives the cake rise. If using lemon juice or vinegar, give the mixture about 5-10 minutes to rest before using. If using any of the last three in the table, make sure that the components are mixed together completely, with no lumps.
- ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 tsp. (or more) lemon zest — zest from 1 large lemon
- 1 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 egg, room temperature
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 2 cups cake flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 2 cups fresh blueberries
- ½ cup buttermilk
Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Cream the butter with lemon zest and 1 cup of the sugar until light and fluffy.
Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Meanwhile, toss the blueberries with ¼ cup of flour, then whisk together the remaining flour, baking powder and salt.
Add the flour mixture to the batter a little at a time, alternating with the buttermilk. Fold in the blueberries.
Grease a 9-inch square baking pan (or something similar) with butter or coat with non-stick spray. Spread batter into pan. Sprinkle batter with remaining tablespoon of sugar. Bake for 35 minutes. Check with a toothpick for doneness. If necessary, return pan to oven for a couple of more minutes. (Note: Baking for as long as 10 minutes more might be necessary.) Let cool at least 15 minutes before serving.
I’ve made this twice already, once every weekend over the last two weeks, and I have to say, it’s hard to go wrong with this recipe. But don’t expect this to be a dessert cake. It’s only mildly sweet, complemented by the tartness of the blueberries. It goes well with coffee, tea or hot cocoa. It also takes longer to make than pancakes, so if you don’t have the time to make it in the morning, make it the night before and simply warm it up a bit before serving.