Helloooooo, Fleur-De-Licious readers! I hope that I wasn’t a disappointment as the “very exciting change” coming to this very awesome blog. First, let me say I am supes excited and honored to be a part of Fleur-De-Licious. There are a few reasons for this: 1) this blog is awesome; 2) this blog has awesome readers; 3) I now have an excuse to bake ALL THE TIME (“It’s for the blog! I HAVE to bake 3000 cupcakes a week!”) and 4) I get another excuse to bug Hannah ALL THE TIME (“It’s for the blog! I HAVE to text you about cupcakes 3000 times a week!!”). Really, it’s a win for all of us.
Second, I understand if you are a bit suspicious of my credentials. You’re probably all “Who is this girl and how do I know she even appreciates baked goods?” And I get that fersure. I hope this first post will allay your fears a bit and show you that I’m the real deal.
Okay, so, I’m gonna tell you a story. Once upon a time (exactly one year ago today), I went to law school orientation. This was kinda scary and a little stressful and SO HOT. Ugh! Pretty much all I could think about as I walked into orientation is: how am I supposed to make friends when I’m all sweaty and look like I don’t know about hygiene!?!? It was hard.
Anyway. First day of orientation, we broke out into our sections (translation: the only people you EVER see in your first year of law school) for lunch and an ice breaker. This ice breaker involved interviewing someone from the section and then sharing three things from the interview with the rest of the class. Pretty harmless stuff, right? Wrong. Maybe. Kinda.
So, my partner and I are going through the questions: favorite movie (Orange County), favorite book (Harry Potter 3 bc things start to get REAL y’all), favorite place (Granada, Spain) etc. Then, my interviewer asks me “What is your favorite food?” and without skipping a beat, I say “cake.” This is normal, right?!
Nope. My interviewer breaks out laughing and makes me repeat my answer, which is still “cake.” (Like any normal person’s SHOULD be. I mean, really. Don’t be ridiculous.) Needless to say, “cake” was repeated to the rest of the class in the sharing portion of the ice breaker, and everyone else in my section also laughed. How was I supposed to know that future lawyers say things like “hummus” or “pizza” to that question??? That was NOT in the “So You’re Going to Law School” books!
So it only took approximately 3.5 hours before I let everyone in my section know what’s up: 1) I like baked goods; 2) I’m not afraid to admit that I would rather eat cake than anything else ever; and 3) I may or may not be a fat kid. Not bad for a first day of grad school.
This story is why I decided to make y’all some CAKE for my very first Fleur-De-Licious post. I’ve been lusting after this cake for a few months, and now I have an excuse to make it (thanks!). Overheard in the kitchen after this came out of the oven were things like “nice balance of sweet and tangy,” “the orange is a nice complement to the blackberry,” and “we need to go to dinner, or I’m going to keep eating this cake.” So you should probs make this.
Blackberry Buttermilk Cake
Makes one 9 or 10 inch cake, serves 8-10
3/4 cup unsalted butter at room temp. (plus a little extra to butter the pan and the parchment paper)
2 1/3 cups cake flour
10 oz. fresh blackberries
1/4 cup plus 1 1/3 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 large eggs at room temp.
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoon (or one orange’s worth) finely grated orange zest
1 cup well-shaken buttermilk
Powdered sugar for dusting
- Preheat your oven to 350ºF and place the rack in the middle of the oven. Butter and flour a 9 or 10 inch pan. (The recipe calls for a springform pan, but since my grad student budget dictates what baking supplies I have, I used a regular cake pan which worked as well). Line the pan with parchment; butter and flour that parchment too.
- Place the blackberries in a single layer on the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle 1/4 cup sugar over the layer.
- Sift cake flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda together and place to the side for a sec. Side note: if you don’t have cake flour lying around (guilty), you can substitute for it pretty easily. 2 tablespoons cornstarch to every cup of all purpose flour does the trick.
- With an electric mixer, on medium-high speed, beat together the butter and remaining sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, being sure to fully incorporate each one before adding the next. Beat in the vanilla and orange zest.
- Reduce the speed on the mixer to low. Next, you want to alternate adding the flour and buttermilk. This always confuses me, so I’ll break it down if you’re like me. First, add a third of the flour mixture. Then, half the buttermilk. Then, another third of the flour mixture. Then, the rest of the buttermilk. And then, the last of the flour. This is probably not as complicated as it always seems to me. After the final addition, beat until just incorporated.
- Pour the batter over the berries in the pan and smooth the top.
- Bake the cake until the top is golden brown and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. The recipe says this should take about 1 hour 25 minutes, but mine was quickly approaching burnt around 1 hour in. This could have something to do with the fact that I used a regular cake pan rather than a springform. But I would check the cake around an hour to see what your cake/oven combo has decided to do.
- Let the cake cool in the pan set on a wire rack for about 15 minutes. Then, run a knife around the edges, invert the cake onto a rack, and remove the pan. Don’t forget to peel off the parchment paper.
- Dust the top generously with powdered sugar and let cool completely. Or don’t and just dig right in!