Thursday, March 31, 2011

Cherry-Lemon Buttermilk Cake

This is a recipe I think would be perfect for a brunch, shower, or Easter get-together. It ends up light, not overly sweet but very fresh and fits the spring weather. The buttermilk and fruit create a super moist cake! The original recipe uses blueberries and I was planning on using only those until I saw whole cherries in the frozen fruit section. I prefer to use frozen berries for just about everything, so I purchase a lot of them. There is no race to finish them before they go bad and have to be wasted. They work beautifully in recipes like this because they "hold up". Anyway, I have been trying to find a way to include cherries in my son's diet. He won't try them, and I've been reading lately on their health benefits. Did you know that they work as an anti-inflammatory, more potent than aspirin? I didn't, but have read it several places lately. In the end, I decided to make two batches- one with cherries and one with blueberries.

I was skeptical about using tart cherries along with lemon. Usually blueberries go well with lemon because they are so overly sweet but I was pleasantly surprised at how well the cherries worked out. I ended up preferring the cherry one for taste, but not so much for appearance. So, here is the only catch with this recipe. If you use cherries, they are pretty large. I wanted to break mine up and so I threw them into the mixer and let them get completely incorporated. This results in a cake with kind of an odd purple color. If you fold them in whole (and gently) with a spoon, your cake won't discolor but you might have really big pieces of fruit. Finally, if you decide to use berries, it works to toss them with a bit of flour so they won't all sink to the bottom.  If anyone has a suggestion about how to improve this piece of the recipe, I'd love to hear from you!

What You Need:
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick butter, softened
2/3 cups sugar, plus 1 tablespoon
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Juice of 1 lemon
Zest of 1 lemon
1 egg
1/2 cup buttermilk
5 oz. pitted cherries {fresh or frozen} OR you can use blueberries, raspberries, your preference!

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease and flour an 8 or 9 inch round or square cake pan.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside. Beat butter and 2/3 cup sugar on medium-high until fluffy, 1-2 minutes. Add vanilla extract, lemon juice and lemon zest. Add egg and beat well.
At low speed, mix in flour mixture in three batches, alternating with the buttermilk in two batches, mixing until just combined. Add cherries. You can either incorporate cherries with a mixer, which will break them up and make your batter a pink or purple color, OR you can add a bit of flour to your cherries and fold them in gently with a spoon to keep them whole and keep batter a cake color.  Pour batter into cake pan, spreading and smoothing the top. Sprinkle with 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar to create a crispy top. 
Bake until cake is golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes then turn out onto a rack and cool to warm, 10 to 15 minutes more. Invert onto a plate and cut into 8 slices.
Serve plain or with whipped cream. Enjoy!

No comments:

Post a Comment