If you’re looking for a fool-proof, quick, and easy cake, this Blackberry Lemon Buttermilk Cake is for you! I am no baker and I can throw this easy cake together on a whim. Blackberry Lemon Buttermilk Cake is ever-so-slightly sweet, packed with blackberries and served with a simple lemon whipped cream. Perfect for entertaining or a random summer day.
Blackberry Lemon Buttermilk Cake
If there was cake I could eat for all of eternity, it would be Blackberry Lemon Buttermilk Cake.
Many years ago, long before I was aware food blogs existed or had thoughts of starting my own, I was on an endless misguided internet hunt for the perfect pear tart, and after I’d exhausted all my usual spots – Epicurious, Food and Wine, Martha Stewart – I happened to come across a food blog that had just what I was looking for.
After I printed off my recipe, I kept clicking on dish after dish – I couldn’t leave. I then proceeded to spend the better part of the day perusing through this wonderful site, full of recipes right up my alley and spoken in a voice that left me wanting to read more.
That website was Smitten Kitchen, and it propelled me into a world I didn’t even know existed – food blogs. Finally I found my calling.
A recipe very similar to today’s Blackberry Lemon Buttermilk Cake with the second recipe I tried of hers, and I was hooked.
This super light cake is ever-so-slightly sweet, incredibly easy to throw together, and packed with the most delicious tart blackberries. Blackberry lemon buttermilk cake is soft in the middle and crisp on the edges. The lemon-scented whipped cream gives the perfect hit of citrus that of course pairs perfectly with tangy buttermilk and sweet/tart blackberries.
This “everyday” cake as she describes is just that, but so much more. Yes, it’s “everyday” in the sense that it can be whipped up in no time, but what comes out of the oven is anything but ordinary.
Sweet, light and perfect anytime of year – this is the kind of cake I dream about.
It’s moist from the creamed butter, has a fine crumb and airy feel, from the buttermilk, and spring-like essence with the addition of lemon.
Ingredients in Blackberry Lemon Buttermilk Cake
Flour. In the original recipe, the flour called for is All Purpose, but I’ve been into bulking up what I’ve been eating, so I subbed out half of the AP flour for equal parts of whole-wheat and almond flour. I think this substitution actually makes the cake even better than it’s original form.
Baking soda and baking powder. Baking soda is needed whenever a cake has acid in it, like buttermilk. Of course, baking powder is used to help the cake rise.
Salt. A little bit of salt is necessary in desserts to even out the sweetness. If I’m feeling a sweet/salty vibe, I’ll double the amount of salt.
Butter. What is a cake without butter? Nothing. In this Blackberry Lemon Buttermilk Cake, the butter needs to be room temperature. Unsalted butter is what I use.
Sugar. Because I don’t like cloyingly sweet desserts, and this buttermilk cake isn’t meant to be super sweet, we actually use a pretty conservative hand of sugar. Only 2/3 cup + two tablespoons.
Egg. One large egg add the perfect amount of richness and moisture to the blackberry lemon buttermilk cake.
Buttermilk. We can’t have a buttermilk cake without buttermilk. Buttermilk cakes tend to have a lighter crumb, and I love the subtle tanginess it adds to cakes.
Blackberries. Look for plump, slightly tart blackberries.
How to make Blackberry Lemon Buttermilk Cake
Stir the dry ingredients. Add the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to a medium bowl. Set aside.
Cream the butter and sugar. In a stand mixer, beat the sugar and butter together on a medium speed until light and fluffy. About 2-3 minutes.
Add the egg. Add the egg, lemon zest, and vanilla. Beat until combined.
Add the dry mixture and buttermilk. Start out by adding a third of the flour, followed by half of the buttermilk. Repeat, ending with the flour. Fold in the blackberries.
Bake. Pour the batter into a greased 9×9 baking dish and bake 15-20 minutes.
Make the whipped cream. Clean the same bowl you used to make the cake. Whisk the cream on medium speed until soft peaks form. Add the sugar, lemon zest, and vanilla. Whisk very quickly until combined.
This is what the perfect dessert looks like to me – nothing too over the top or complicated, just a simple berry cake, hot out of the oven, with whipped cream.
Can Blackberry Lemon Buttermilk Cake be made in advance?
I think this cake is best served the same day. You can make it in the morning, and then serve it in the evening. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still delicious the next day, but it loses that crisp exterior the next day.
Do I have to use three different flours for this cake?
So I know this is a little high maintenance, but I promise it’s worth it! However, if you only have all purpose or whole-wheat flour on hand, you can use that.
Substitutions and Tips and Tricks for Recipe Success
- The lemon buttermilk cake is done with a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out with a few moist crumbs attached to it.
- It’s super important you don’t overtake this buttermilk cake, you want it to be moist and soft, not tough and dry.
- If blackberries aren’t in season, swap them out for blueberries or raspberries. I wouldn’t recommend strawberries, as they tend to release a little bit more juice than the others.
If you love this cake, please check out these other delicious desserts.
Blackberry Lemon Buttermilk Cake
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup almond flour
- 1/4 cup whole-wheat flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
- 2/3 cup + 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup blackberries
Lemon Whipped Cream
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 tbsp powdered sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp lemon zest
- stand mixer
- Mixing bowl
- Square baking dish
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter a square 9x9 baking pan.
- In a medium bowl, whisk flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside
- In a stand mixer, beat sugar and butter until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add egg, lemon zest and vanilla, beat until combined.
- Add the flour mixture in thirds, alternating with two additions of the buttermilk. So you want to start and end with flour. Mix just until combined.
- Transfer batter to baking pan. Scatter blackberries over batter and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons sugar.
- Bake 15-20 minutes until golden brown, and a wooden toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.
- While the cake is baking make the whipped cream.Place cream in the bottom of a stand mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment.Whisk on high until medium peaks form. Add vanilla, sugar and lemon zest. Refrigerate until needed.Serve cream with warm cake
*Source: Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen via Gourmet, June 2009
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