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I have a complicated relationship with desserts. While sometimes I’m really into making them – both for special occasions and simply just to enjoy on weeknights – most of the time I need to find a solution to feed two of my family demands: the option of something sweet that’s not ice cream after dinner, and a steady stream of homemade cakes or cookies available at any given time. Naturally, I do my best to roll these two things into one.
One of the best cake-for-dessert recipes I made during lockdown is this Frozen Berry Buttermilk Cake, adapted from Epicurious. It’s a simple sponge studded with frozen berries, perfect for using up whatever you’ve got and a great way for still enjoying fruit way past its season. You can of course make it using fresh, but with the possibility of another lockdown looming for us here in the South East, and places in the North already locked down, things you can make from your freezer are always welcome.
I’ve used a mixture of frozen raspberries and blueberries here, but as I said, use whatever you’ve got or prefer.
Also note this is a rather flat cake here in these pictures because I only own a 20cm round cake tin (anything else you’ve seen me bake that has been round has been made by either turning up in my mother’s kitchen that basically contains everything, or by borrowing something for a specific recipe!) but honestly, use what you’ve got. A slightly smaller tin will make for a slightly taller cake, just make sure to keep an eye on it in the oven, and test it with a cake tester that should come away clean towards the end of cooking.
I like to serve this cake plain, but if you are going down the dessert route, a dollop of thick natural yogurt or creme fraiche would not go amiss.
A simple buttermilk cake studded with frozen raspberries and blueberries, perfect for dessert or for snacking.
55g (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
135g (2/3 cup) golden caster (granulated) sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate (baking) soda
120g (1 cup) plain (all purpose) flour
large pinch salt
120g (1/2 cup) buttermilk
60g (1/2 cup) frozen raspberries
60g (1/2 cup) frozen blueberries
icing (powdered) sugar, for dusting
Pre-heat the oven 200 degrees (400 fahrenheit) and grease and line a 18-20cm cake tin with baking parchment.
In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugar until pale. Beat in the egg and the vanilla extract.
Stir in the baking powder, bicarbonate soda, flour and salt until just combined. Stir in the buttermilk until you have a smooth and consistent batter.
Scrape the batter into the prepared cake tin and smooth over the top with a spatula. Sprinkle over the frozen fruit before baking in the oven for 30-35 minutes until the cake is set (not wobbly in the middle) and when you insert a cake tester into the middle it comes away clean. After 20 minutes you might need to turn the cake in the oven to make sure it browns evenly.
Leave the cake to cool in. the tin on a wire rack for 15 minutes or so, or until the tin is just cool enough to handle enough to turn out the cake. Do so, and allow the cake to cool completely before serving, dusted with a little icing sugar.
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