Monday, February 06, 2012
Cast Iron Buttermilk Strawberry Cake
I am a cake fanatic. Not those fancy fondant cakes. Decorated cakes seriously do nothing for me. Its all about the taste. I just love a big ol' slice of great cake.
Layer cakes are my favorite but when I am under a time crunch (i.e. kids are coming home from school in 20 minutes and I am wanting to greet them with the smells of something sweet from the kitchen), a basic buttermilk cake is just about the most amazing thing ever.
I see alot of these recipes floating around. I first stumbled across one of these recipes in this fabulous cookbook and since then I have seen dozens of them. Mine is pretty similar to all the rest except for a few tweaks here and there. Varying fruit depending on what's on sale at the store that week and I always bake mine in a deep cast iron skillet.
We lucked out on ours 10 years ago in someones trash pile. Yes...a huge stack of cast iron that someone threw away. Craziness. Anyhow, this deep cast iron is absolutely the workhorse of my kitchen. Everything from roasts to crumbles turn out absolutely amazing.
And don't ask me about seasoning it. I have no clue. I don't use soap on it but beyond that I don't do anything special.
Speaking of special....lets get onto this recipe...
Strawberry Buttermilk Cake
(Adapted from this book and Smitten Kitchen, which adapted it from Gourmet. There's nothing new under the sun, right?)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar, divided
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/2 cup well-shaken low fat buttermilk (you could use full fat but I don't notice a difference in taste...so lets just call this "healthy cake" by using low fat buttermilk).
1-2 cups fresh berries (strawberries are my all time favorite for this cake)
Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in middle. Butter a 9-inch round cake (or cast iron) pan and cut a parchment paper round to place in the bottom of the pan.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and set aside. In a larger bowl, beat butter and 2/3 cup sugar with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, then beat in vanilla. Add egg and beat well.
At low speed, mix in flour mixture in three batches, alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour, and mixing until just combined.Spoon batter into cake pan, smoothing top. Scatter berries evenly over the top and sprinkle with remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar.
Bake until cake is golden and a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.
Its best eaten warm...but heck, this is really good the next day too.