Monday, April 30, 2012

Turn That Frown Upside Down

I do my very best to come up with creative post titles when I have the energy. But I think I've pretty much exhausted all of my cake references. I've done "Let Them Eat Cake" and "I'll Have My Cake and Eat It Too", and since it is Monday morning and generally no one likes Monday mornings, I'm stretching it to include frowns and references to the "upside down" in the cake title. But I'm pretty much out.

Anyway, my parents celebrated their 25th anniversary last week and I made this cake to bring to the dinner. Generally, my parents fall into the fruit dessert category. They are much less likely to order something insanely rich and chocolate. So as I was perusing through the Mother's Day cake ideas on Bon Appetit's website, I found this recipe and thought it would be perfect for the occasion. It was incredibly delicious. Sweet, but not overpowering. The cake was dense and had substance, but wasn't too heavy and wasn't at all dry. I think it would be a perfect cake for hot summer nights. Both of my nieces also enjoyed it, so it's a kid-friendly dessert too. Finally, the difficulty-factor was pretty low. I actually whipped it up Friday morning before class, cooked it while I showered and got ready, and then let it cool while I was gone. Definitely give it a try!

Blackberry Buttermilk Upside Down Cake
recipe from here

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan and parchment
2 1/3 cups cake flour (sifted, then measured) plus more for pan
2 1/2 cups (10 ounces) fresh blackberries note: I got two containers, closer to 12 ounces and I loved it
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, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
1 cup well-shaken buttermilk
Powdered sugar (for dusting)

I'm looking back over the recipe now and it occurred to me that I used regular flour, not cake flour. My cake turned out great, but I only cooked it for an hour (instead of the hour and twenty five minutes the recipe called for) and as I mentioned, it almost had a pound cake-type consistency. I'm wondering if the lighter, more refined cake flour would have changed that? I'm not sure and I'm also not sure I would want it changed. It was pretty delicious as it was.

First, I greased the pan. I used a 9" spring form pan with a removable bottom. Then I put down a pre-cut 9" parchment paper and greased the top of the parchment as well.
Then I floured the entire inside of the pan.
 Then I laid out all of the blackberries.
And I sprinkled 1/4 cup sugar over the top of the berries.
Into a medium sized bowl, I sifted together the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
In a large bowl, I creamed together the rest of the sugar and the softened butter.
Then I added the eggs and mixed them together. I also added the vanilla and the orange zest and mixed together.
Next, I added 1/3 of the flour mix and mixed and then 1/2 of the buttermilk. Then I added another 1/3 of the flour, mixed, the rest of the buttermilk, mixed and the last bit of flour and mixed. Basically I just added the ingredients slowly so that they had time to absorb and mix without getting clumpy.
I poured the batter over the berries and smoothed the top.
I baked the cake for 1 hour and 5 minutes at 350 degrees. The recipe suggested an 1 hour for 10" pan and 1 hour and 25 minutes for a 9" pan. But that seemed a bit odd to me, so I checked it after an hour and added five more minutes and then it was done. I inserted a toothpick in the center and it was clean. But you could also test it by gently pressing with a finger and it should bounce back.
I let the cake cool for 15 minutes and then removed the outside of the pan.
Then I flipped the cake over onto the wire rack and gently peeled off the parchment.
More of the bottom of my cake came off than in the original picture, but I think that was because I used more blackberries. Next time I'll let the parchment stay on a bit longer and see if it helps.
 I sprinkled powdered sugar over the top, but because the cake was still warm, the sugar immediately melted in certain places.
So when the cake was cooled, I added some more.
When it came time to eat, I sliced it up and we all gobbled it down. I love the pretty purple layer on top. Hope you enjoy!


  1. Is it me, or does powdered sugar make everything delicious? I don't mean to disparage any other part of this recipe, but I'm just saying, powdered sugar sure is "the icing on the cake."

    And the scoreboard reads: Me, 1. Lack of creative cake title references, 0.

    1. Perfect! That will be the next cake post title for sure.


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