Here in L.A. it’s harder to get in touch with my old New York self, the self who used to make an afternoon snacking cake. If you say the words “afternoon snacking cake” here in L.A. you will be shot by the body police, buried in a mountain of silicone, and never heard from again.
So I made sure to close all the blinds when I set out to make this cake from the most recent Food & Wine; a cake perfect for nibbling in the late afternoon or for breakfast or with tea in the morning.
Cakes like these are the more elegant, more refined cousins to cakes covered in gloppy frosting and sprinkles (not that there’s anything wrong with that). They’re the Audrey Hepburn of cakes: simple, pared down, pretty.
The batter is so easy, I didn’t take any pictures. Butter + sugar, beat beat beat. Add egg. Add vanilla. Add flour mixture, alternating with buttermilk, finishing with flour and you’re done. Into the pan it goes and you dot it with blackberries, sprinkling everything with sugar.
Oven pre-heated to 400 F, the cake goes in for 30 minutes or so until a cake tester comes out clean. It’ll look like this:
Let that cool for 10 minutes, flip it upside down, peel off the parchment paper, and flip it right-side up on a cooling rack to cool completely.
Thats’s your snacking cake. Let’s have a slice:
A very good snacking cake indeed.
But what are those noises outside my door? Is that Paris Hilton with a machete? Quick, grab the lard and throw it at her while we make our escape. And bring the rest of that cake!
Recipe: Blackberry Buttermilk Snacking Cake
Summary: Based on a recipe in the August 2012 issue of Food & Wine.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 2/3 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups blackberries, plus more for serving
- Sweetened whipped cream, for serving
- Preheat the oven to 400 F. Butter a 9-inch round cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Butter the paper (I used a non-stick spray).
- In a small bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl, using a mixer, beat the butter with the 2/3 cup of sugar at medium-high speed until fluffy, 3 minutes. Beat in the egg and vanilla. At low speed, beat in the buttermilk and dry ingredients in 3 alternating batches, ending with the dry ingredients; do not overbeat. Gently fold the batter just until blended, then scrape into the pan and smooth the top.
- Scatter the 1 1/4 cups of blackberries over the batter; lightly press them in. Sprinkle the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of sugar over the cake. Bake for about 30 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Transfer the cake to a rack to cool for 10 minutes. Turn out the cake and remove the paper. Turn the cake right side up and let cool completely. Serve with whipped cream and more blackberries.
Preparation time: 20 minute(s)
Cooking time: 30 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 8