As you may have guessed, I have a serious soft spot for everyday cakes.* I call them Dinner Party Cakes. Or Potluck Cakes. Or I Heard You Were Coming and So I Baked You a Cake, cakes. Or If You Bake a Cake, The People Will Come cakes, as a fresh-from-the-oven cake has a way of drawing friends around your coffee table on an otherwise blah Monday night. Home baked goods are magical like that.
This one was no exception. (Well, except for the part where the preggo in the audience may have fallen asleep before actually telling people when to ring the doorbell. But let’s not talk about that.) I saw it in Gourmet last week and it sounded so deliciously summery, I was “fixin'” (as my friend Molly says) to bake it immediately. Alas, I’m still convinced my new kitchen conspires against me, as this time the oven which had been working a whole 36 hours before had mysteriously stopped (Said “mystery” turned out to be a pilot light that needed re-lighting. What? I’m new here, okay?) and I had to wait a whole four days to actually get to this.
It was totally worth the wait. The cake is ridiculously simple, takes no time at all to assemble or bake (especially if you discover that your newly-lit oven runs ridiculously hot and spits out an almost-toasted cake in just over half the suggested time, not that I recommend this) and is therefore just perfect for your upcoming long weekend (or Tuesday night) as it will not keep you from it. I already told you, it’s magic.
Two years ago: Cellophane Noodle Salad with Roast Pork… promise me you’ll make this on the grill this weekend, m’kay?
Raspberry Buttermilk Cake
- 1 cup (135 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 tablespoons (55 grams or 2 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
- 2/3 cup (130 grams) plus 1 1/2 tablespoons (20 grams) sugar, divided
- Finely grated zest of half a lemon
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) well-shaken buttermilk
- 1 cup (5 ounces or 140 grams) fresh raspberries
Whisk dry ingredients — flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt — together in a small-to-medium bowl and set aside. In a larger bowl, beat butter, 2/3 cup of the sugar, and zest together with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluff. Add vanilla and egg and beat until well-combined.
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 neurotic note, below) raspberries evenly over top and sprinkle with remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons 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 to serve in wedges.
A few notes, refreshed in 2023: