Old-fashioned Chocolate Cake (aka Tony’s Birthday Cake)

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Tony loves chocolate cake.  So when I first saw this recipe in Bon Appétit in September 1995, I knew that I’d make him one for his birthday that December.  And I did.  And he loved it.  And I’ve been making it for his birthday just about every year since.  It really is just a good “old-fashioned chocolate cake”.  It’s rich and moist and chocolatey and dense and pretty darn simple.  I love the addition of chocolate chips in the cake.  And the cocoa frosting is thick and fudgey…I could eat it off a spoon (and often do!)  And I love that it’s three layers!  It’s become a family favorite and a great birthday tradition.

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The Birthday Boy with his birthday cake

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For his 50th…made it into a quarter-sheet sized cake with a cute picture of little Tony

PS  The day after his birthday this year, our son Kyle’s friend Steven was over and was eyeballing the one leftover slice.  It was hard to give it up, but I did.  This was the text he sent later, “Dude.  Tell ur mom I wish it was my b-day so she could make me one of those chocolate cakes.  Good lord!  Best chocolate cake I’ve ever had.”  Steven’s birthday is May 31.

 OLD-FASHIONED CHOCOLATE CAKE WITH COCOA FROSTING

For cake
3 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups cold water
1 cup corn oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

For frosting
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
5 cups powdered sugar
8 tablespoons (about) whole milk
1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

Make cake:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour three 9-inch-diameter cake pans with 1 1/2-inch-high sides. Sift first 5 ingredients into medium bowl. Mix water, oil and vanilla in large bowl. Whisk in dry ingredients. Divide batter among pans. Sprinkle 1/2 cup chocolate chips over batter in each pan.

Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool cakes in pans on racks 15 minutes. Cut around pan sides to loosen cakes. Turn cakes out; cool completely.

Make frosting:
Beat butter in large bowl until fluffy. Gradually beat in 3 cups sugar. Beat in 6 tablespoons milk and vanilla. Add cocoa and remaining 2 cups sugar; beat until blended, thinning with more milk if necessary.

Place 1 cake layer, chocolate-chips side up, on platter. Spread 2/3 cup frosting over. Top with second cake layer, chocolate-chips side up. Spread 2/3 cup frosting over. Top with remaining cake layer, chocolate-chips side down. Spread frosting over sides and top of cake.

(Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover with cake dome; let stand at room temperature.)

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Cinnamon Roll Cake

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Debra, one of my very favorite coworkers, had a birthday (a BIG birthday) last month.  Okay, really, Debra’s not just one of my favorite coworkers, but one of my very favorite people on the whole planet.  Really.  She’s kind and thoughtful and funny and generous and has a laugh that is absolutely contagious.

I was invited to her surprise party but couldn’t make it, so I wanted to do something special to make up for missing it.  I asked her wife what her favorite baked good was.  She said, “Deb loves cinnamon rolls…lemon bars too, but cinnamon rolls are her favorite.”  Cinnamon rolls.  Hmmm…I think I’ve made them once or twice and I really didn’t have time to do the whole wait-for-the-yeast-to-rise thing.

Then I remembered seeing a recipe that someone had posted on Facebook for a Cinnamon Roll Cake.  I tried to find which friend had posted it (spent way too much time on that little venture), but couldn’t.  So I Googled.  Duh.  There were dozens of them…seems to be a popular recipe on Pinterest and the food blog circuit.  And they are all exactly the same recipe. So I went to the blog that I thought looked cutest (The Girl Who Ate Everything) and made that one.  It was really easy and smelled heavenly while baking.

(As a little side note here, it smelled so good baking that it caught Tony’s attention.  He came into the kitchen and asked what I was baking.  I told him it was for Debra’s birthday.  He said something along the lines of, “how come you always bake such good stuff for work and not for me?” Guilt.  So I made a second one!!!!  Crazy, I know…but at least this way I got to sample it!  And it tasted just as heavenly as it smelled.  All warm and cinnamon-y and gooey and delicious.  Tony loved it and the neighbors we shared it with did too.)  

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The next day, I took the one I made for Debra to work and left it on her desk.  And then waited for her to discover it.  A while later, she walked over to my cubicle and said, “Bruser…did you make this delicious cinnamon cake”?  And I said, “yes, it’s a cinnamon roll cake.”  And she said, “Cinnamon rolls are my favorite thing.”  And I said, “I know.”  Giggle, giggle.  And she said, “how did you know?”  Giggle, giggle.  “Did my wife tell you?”  More giggling.  Anyway…it was very cute.  She said she loved it.  Said it might even be one of the best things she’s ever eaten in her life, “like a cinnamon roll and coffee cake all in one.”

Later that night, Debra texted me a picture of her son 14-year-old Ethan eating a piece of the cake.  She said, “He’s in heaven, Bruser!”

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So here you have it.  Cinnamon Roll Cake.  Like coffee cake and cinnamon roll all in one.  You don’t even have to wait until one of your favorite people’s birthday.  Make one this weekend. You’ll be so happy you might even laugh like Debra.

Cinnamon Roll Cake

INGREDIENTS

Cake:
3 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
1-1/2 cups milk
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup butter, melted

Topping:
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon cinnamon

DIRECTIONS
Mix everything together except for the butter. Slowly stir in the melted butter and pour into a greased 9×13 pan.

For the topping, mix all the ingredients together until well combined. Drop evenly over the batter and swirl with a knife. Bake at 350° for 28-32 minutes.

Glaze:
2 c. powdered sugar
5 Tbsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla

While still warm drizzle the glaze over the cake.

Pistachio Pound Cake

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This recipe was in the April 2012 issue of Bon Appétit, in their RSVP section (where readers write in to request their favorite restaurant recipes).  The reader who wrote in said, “The sublime pistachio pound cake at the Tasting Room in Houston is my dream dessert.”  And as soon as I read through the recipe, I couldn’t wait to make it.  And I did.  And it was so good that I was just looking for excuses to make it again.  For a couple of months, any time we either entertained here or we’d go to someone’s house for dinner, I’d volunteer  to bring a dessert and I’d make another Pistachio Pound Cake.  It’s buttery and light and citrusy and full of pistachios (don’t you just love pistachios?)  And it’s absolutely  gorgeous when you slice into it.  Yes, even sublime.

It’s delicious “dressed up” for dessert with some fresh whipped cream on the side (and maybe even a sprinkling of sugared pistachios…I did that once) and perfect for breakfast with coffee.

Anybody have a good excuse for me to make another one?

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Pistachio Pound Cake

INGREDIENTS

Nonstick vegetable oil spray
2 cups all-purpose flour plus more
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
5 large eggs
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
1 cup shelled, unsalted pistachios, coarsely chopped, divided

DIRECTIONS

Arrange a rack in middle of oven; preheat to 325°F. Coat a 9x5x3″ loaf pan with nonstick spray. Dust pan with flour; tap out excess.

Whisk 2 cups flour, salt, and baking powder in a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat butter on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Add sugar; beat until well incorporated, 1-2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating to blend between additions. Add juices and zests; beat until well combined (mixture will look curdled), 2-3 minutes. Add dry ingredients; reduce speed to low and beat just until blended. Fold in 3/4 cup pistachios. Pour batter into prepared pan; smooth top. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup pistachios over.

Bake cake, rotating halfway through, until a tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 1/2 hours. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely in pan. Run a sharp knife around sides to loosen; unmold cake. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.

 Serve accompanied with a dollop of freshly whipped cream and sprinkled with a few sugared pistachios (optional).

Sugared Pistachios

Heat oven to 350°.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.  Slightly whisk an egg white in a small cup.  Transfer 1 tablespoon egg white to a medium bowl; whisk until frothy (discard remaining egg white).  Add 1 cup coarsely chopped pistachios and 3 tablespoons sugar; toss to combine.  Spread on lined baking sheet.  Bake for about 8 minutes or until dry and toasted.  Cool; break apart.

The Best Freakin’ Carrot Cake

the best freakin carrot cake ever

I cut this recipe out of some magazine many, many years ago.  I cannot, for the life of me, remember what magazine it was, but I think it was Bette Midler’s carrot cake recipe.  I have no evidence whatsoever to substantiate that, just my bad memory.  I’ve Googled “Bette Midler’s Carrot Cake” and found nothing.  There was recipe for Katie Couric’s Lemon Loves (lemon bars) in the same magazine.  And there were cute cartoon illustrations of both Katie and Bette.

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At any rate, this is an amazing carrot cake.  So amazing, in fact, I’ve even renamed it “The Best Freakin’ Carrot Cake”.

My sister-in-law Kelly requests it for her birthday. (Oh, and btw, this would be Kelly the self-proclaimed non dessert lover, as in “I prefer fruit over dessert”…who, I am proud to say that I am slowly but surely reforming.  In addition to said carrot cake, she’s now a fan of my Double Chocolate Brownies and Salted Brown Butter Rice Krispie Treats!)  Okay, so one year, a girlfriend of one of my nephews joined us at for Kel’s birthday celebration.  She was in the process of starting her own food blog (CookingCuisine101).  We talked a lot about food and cooking and blogging and she encouraged me to start my own.  (I did.  Thanks Breeana!)  She’s a doll and she liked the carrot cake so much, she used the recipe as one of her very first posts.

I’ve actually adapted it a bit over the years (sorry, Bette) by reducing the amount of vegetable oil and increasing the amount frosting.  If you’re really trying to impress someone, decorate it with Candied Carrot Shreds.

And if you have any idea what magazine that was, please let me know.

The Best Freakin’ Carrot Cake

INGREDIENTS

Cake:

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups granulated sugar

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

4 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup vegetable oil

3 cup grated peeled carrots (appx 5-6)

1 8-ounce can crushed pineapple, drained

1/2 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped (optional)

Frosting:

3/4 c. (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temp

12 oz. cream cheese, at room temp

1 Tbsp. vanilla

6 cups powdered sugar

DIRECTIONS

To make the cake:  Preheat oven to 350°.  Grease and flour three 8-in. round cake pans.  Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl.  Add the eggs and oil, and stir until well blended.  Fold in the carrots, pineapple and pecans, stirring until thoroughly blended.  Pour one-third of the batter into each pan.  Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool the cakes in the pans for 15 minutes, then remove from pans and let cool completely on wire racks.

To make the frosting:  Place butter and cream cheese in a large bowl.  Using an electric mixer set at medium speed, cream the butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy.  Add the vanilla.  Reduce the speed to low and then gradually beat in the powdered sugar until the mixture is smooth.  Frost the cake.

Decorate with chopped nuts and/or Candied Carrot Shreds

Candied Carrot Shreds:

1/2 c. shredded carrot

1/2 c. sugar

1/4 c. water

1 T. Sugar in the Raw

Cover baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone mat.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, stir water and sugar together until sugar dissolves.  Bring to a boil.  Add carrot shreds.  Simmer for appx 15 minutes.  Strain.  Spread carrot shreds onto baking sheet.   Sprinkle with Sugar in the Raw.

Air dry for appx two hours OR place in very low temp oven (heat to 200°, then reduce to “warm”) for 30-45 minutes.

Pumpkin Roll

Chocolate and Mixed Nut Tart in a Cookie Crust, Cranberry-Pecan Bread Pudding w/Bourbon-Caramel Sauce and Pumpkin Roll

Okay, I’ve told you before that I love pumpkin desserts (see Pumpkin Snickerdoodles), but what I REALLY love are pumpkin desserts when a little sweetened cream cheese frosting (or filling) is involved.  I recently made Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple-Cream Cheese Frosting from Smitten Kitchen for a cake decorating contest at work.  Okay, so I didn’t win the decorating contest (there were some very cleverly decorated cakes and cupcakes, much better than mine), but they weren’t judged on taste, so whatever.  They were really delicious.

I’ve been making a Pumpkin Roll for Thanksgiving for a few years now.  There was a woman, when my kids were in elementary school, who would make pumpkin rolls for the Halloween Carnival bake sale and everyone would flip out.  She then started taking orders,  making a bunch, freezing them and selling them to those who pre-ordered.  I think I may have even bought one from her once.

I remember thinking they’d be great for Thanksgiving, so I decided I’d have to try making one myself.  It actually sounds a lot more intimidating than it is.  And, you can make it a few days ahead OR even freeze them for a couple weeks before.

It’s really delicious and so impressive when you cut into it and serve a beautiful little slice swirled with cream cheese inside.  This recipe is from Libby’s (the canned pumpkin people) website.  They suggest adding walnuts as an option.  I like to use Heath Bits (little crushed up bits of Heath bar toffee…in the chocolate chip section of the supermarket).

Pumpkin Roll

INGREDIENTS

Cake

1/4 cup powdered sugar (to sprinkle on towel)

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 large eggs

1 cup granulated sugar

2/3 cup LIBBY’S® 100% Pure Pumpkin

Filling

1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, at room temperature

1 cup powdered sugar, sifted

3 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup cup walnuts, chopped OR Heath Bits (optional)

Garnish

Powdered sugar (optional for decoration)

Chopped walnuts or Heath Bits (optional for decoration)

DIRECTIONS

For Cake:
Preheat oven to 375° F. Grease 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan; line with wax paper (or parchment paper). Grease and flour paper. Sprinkle a thin, cotton kitchen towel with powdered sugar.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt in small bowl. Beat eggs and granulated sugar in large mixer bowl until thick. Beat in pumpkin. Stir in flour mixture. Spread evenly into prepared pan.

Bake for 13 to 15 minutes or until top of cake springs back when touched. (If using a dark-colored pan, begin checking for doneness at 11 minutes.) Immediately loosen and turn cake onto prepared towel. Carefully peel off paper. Roll up cake and towel together, starting with narrow end. Cool on wire rack.

For Filling:
Beat cream cheese, 1 cup powdered sugar, butter and vanilla extract in small mixer bowl until smooth. Stir in nuts or Heath Bits.  Carefully unroll cake. Spread cream cheese mixture over cake. Reroll cake. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour.

Sprinkle with powdered sugar and additional chopped walnuts or Heath Bits before serving, if desired.

Cooking tip:
Be sure to put enough powdered sugar on the towel when rolling up the cake so it will not stick.

Spiced Applesauce Cupcakes with Roasted Apples and Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

What happens when you can’t decide whether to make Smitten Kitchen’s Spiced Applesauce Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting OR Roasted Apple Spice Sheet Cake?  OR whether to make a sheet cake or layer cake?  You get Spiced Applesauce Cupcakes with Roasted Apples and Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting!  And holy shmoly are they good!  I think I have outdone myself.

As written below, this recipe makes enough cake batter for one 8-9″ square pan or about 18 cupcakes.  I made cupcakes and doubled the frosting amount.  Had just a little left over and I did a very generous scoop of frosting!

Spiced Applesauce Cupcakes with Roasted Apples and Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

 INGREDIENTS

For cake
1 medium apple, any variety you like to bake with, peeled, halved and cored

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs

1-1/2 cups unsweetened applesauce

For frosting (double if making cupcakes!)
5 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Finely chopped walnuts, optional, for decorating

Dried apple rings, optional, for decorating

 Roast apple: Heat oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet or roasting pan with parchment paper. Arrange apple halves face down on paper and roast in a single layer until they feel dry to the touch and look a little browned underneath, about 20 minutes. Slide parchment paper with apple onto a cooling rack and set aside. Once cool, chop into smallish chunks (about 1/2″).

Reduce oven to 350°F.

 Butter an 8- or 9-inch square cake pan.  Cut parchment paper to fit on bottom, line the pan with parchment and butter that too or put liners in cupcake pan.

Make cake: Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices. Beat butter, brown sugar, and vanilla with an electric mixer at high speed until pale and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in applesauce. At low speed, mix in flour mixture until just combined, then stir in roasted apple pieces (should be about a cup). The batter will look a little curdly and uneven but don’t worry, it will all bake up perfectly in the end.

Spread batter evenly in pan and bake until golden-brown and a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, about 35 to 40 minutes. Cool in pan 15 minutes. Run a knife around edge of cake to loosen, then invert onto a plate. Reinvert cake onto a rack to cool completely.

If making cupcakes, fill each cup about 3/4 of the way full.  They don’t dome up too much, so you can safely fill them pretty full. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean.  Let cupcakes cool in pan on wire rack for about 15 minutes,, then remove from pan onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Make frosting: Beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla with an electric mixer at high speed until fluffy. Sift powdered sugar and cinnamon over cream cheese mixture, then beat at medium speed until incorporated. Spread frosting over top of cooled cake.  If making cupcakes, I used an ice cream scoop (about 3 tablespoons) to generously top each cupcake. 

 To decorate, I sprinkled each cupcake with a little chopped walnuts and then took one smallish apple ring, cut it (just so its not a ring anymore) and then twisted it (like the lime or lemon twist garnish in your cocktail.) Too cute!

 

Apples & Honey Cake

The Jewish High Holidays are almost upon us. The holidays begin with Rosh Hashanah (from the Hebrew words rosh, meaning head or beginning, and hashanah, meaning year).  Tradition tells us that we should dip apples in honey to ensure that the coming year is sweet.   I like to include apples and honey in my holiday recipes as well.  This is one of my very favorites.

Fast & Festive  Meals for the Jewish Holidays is my “go to” cookbook for anything Jewish.  I bought the book and met the author, Marlene Sorosky, some years back (in fact, I just opened the book and looked at what she signed, “To Cheryl, Yom Tov!  Marlene Sorosky, 9/97”) and have made many of the recipes in it since then.

This cake is all apple-cinnamon-honey-y.  It’s moist and dense and delicious.  I think I’ve made at least one every Rosh Hashanah since 1997!  Marlene calls it “Crowned Apple Cake”.  I call it “Apples and Honey Cake”.  You’ll want to add it to your holiday recipe collection.  (Actually, you’ll want to add it to just your plain ol’ recipe collection…you don’t have to celebrate Rosh Hashanah, or any holiday for that matter, to enjoy it!)

Apples and Honey Cake

INGREDIENTS

Apple mixture:

4 large green apples (about 2-1/2 pounds), such as Granny Smith or Pippin
1/3 cup honey
1 tablespoon cinnamon

Cake:

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs
1/3 cup orange juice
3 teaspoons baking powder
2-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
About 1/2 cup walnut or pecan halves for topping (optional)

DIRECTIONS

Heat oven to 350 degrees and place rack in lower third of oven. Grease and spray a 10-inch tube pan with removable bottom.

Peel, quarter, core and slice apples inch thick. Place in medium bowl with honey and cinnamon. Toss to coat and set aside while preparing cake.

In a large mixing bowl with electric mixer on low speed, mix flour, sugar, oil, eggs, orange juice, baking powder, vanilla and salt until combined.

Increase to moderately high speed and mix until well-blended, about 2 minutes.

Pour one-third of the batter into prepared pan. Arrange one-third of the apple slices over the mixture and sprinkle with chopped nuts, if using.

Cover with half the remaining batter. Arrange half the remaining apple slices over batter and top with remaining batter, spreading the top evenly.

Overlap remaining apple slices around top of batter, extending out like petals.

Pour any juices that remain in bowl over apples. If desired, arrange nut halves along the outer edge to circle cake.

Place cake on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 80 to 90 minutes, or until a toothpick or skewer inserted into center comes out clean. If top gets too brown, cover loosely with foil. Remove cake from oven and cool 10 minutes. Loosen from pan edges and bottom with a spatula. Lift cake from pan to serving plate.

Blackberry Buttermilk Cake

Okay, so I still have blackberries left over after bringing them all the way home to San Diego from Gig Harbor, WA and already making a batch of Blackberry Buttermilk Sherbet…they are getting really squishy and juicy and I do NOT want to throw out them out!  Went to my usual source of inspiration, Epicurious, and found two recipes that sounded good (blackberry, lemon and thyme muffins and a blackberry upside down cake), but had less than stellar reviews (btw, LOVE that I can read reviews before trying a recipe!).  So, I visited my other online inspiration, Smitten Kitchen, and found a Raspberry Buttermilk Cake, which she described as, “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 — moist and ever-so-light.”  Perfect!  Oh, did I mention there’s leftover buttermilk too…I hate it when that happens.  Why do they only make buttermilk in quart size?

Okay, on to the recipe.  Everything SK said about this cake is true. And I LOVE the little bit of crunchy sweetness from the extra sugar sprinkled on top.  It is delicious…a perfect little late afternoon snack or really wonderful with coffee for breakfast!

Blackberry Buttermilk Cake

INGREDIENTS

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar, divided
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest (optional)
1 large egg
1/2 cup well-shaken buttermilk
1 cup (5 ounces) fresh blackberries

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, 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 () 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.