Saturday, June 25, 2011

Fresh Blueberry Bundt Cake

One of the reasons I love summer is the fresh fruit that is so readily available, especially the berries.  My family LOVES berries, all kinds.  Blueberries bring back memories of childhood.  I grew up in Maine and I think everyone has heard of wild Maine blueberries.  If you live out in the country, you likely have some wild blueberry bushes growing somewhere on your land (or some other berry-my mom has black raspberries growing all along her yard.)  

So the other day I made my inaugural trip to Costco (you're thinking, "What?!"- give me a break, I used to live overseas, no Costco there.)  Anyhow, they had these huge containers of beautiful blueberries, so I had to get some.  We've been snacking on them, putting them in our cereal, having blueberry pancakes, all the usual things.  But, we had a playdate to go to and I wanted to bring something yummy.  I had some buttermilk left over from the whoopie pies, and I wanted to use that if possible, too.  I didn't find what I was looking for in my cookbooks, but a quick search online gave me a recipe at Epicurious to work with.  The end result was a really moist, flavorful blueberry cake.

Aren't they beautiful?

Blueberry Buttermilk Cake
3 cups flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
3/4 Splenda for baking
3/4 cup butter or margarine (I used a 50/50 blend)
3 eggs
Zest of 1 large lemon
1 cup buttermilk
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 350F and prepare a large bundt pan.  I usually use Baker's Joy, although my stoneware bundt pan is pretty well seasoned, but I gave it a light spraying anyway. 
Combine the flour and baking soda in a medium bowl and set aside.  In another bowl, use a hand mixer or stand mixer to cream together the butter and sugar until nice and fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, combining well after each egg.
Combine the buttermilk and the vanilla.  Alternately add the dry and liquid ingredients to the butter/sugar combo, mixing well after each addition.  The batter should be thick and and airy. 

The next step is to lightly fold the blueberries in to the batter, trying to avoid breaking as few of the berries as possible, while distributing them evenly in the batter.  Transfer the batter to your prepared bundt pan, smoothing the batter in the pan.

Bake at 350F for one hour, or until a cake tester comes out cleanly.  We had to leave for swimming lessons and I was a little late getting this in the oven, so at 55 minutes, I turned off the oven and opened the door a crack, hoping for the best when we got back.  An hour later, we returned, I took the cake out of the oven, crossed my fingers and turned it out onto the cooling rack.  I needn't have worried.  The cake came right out of the pan and was fully baked.  I wrapped it up (still warm!) and rushed off to our playdate.  The cake got rave reviews from the moms and the kids in attendance.  

I'd make this again for a brunch, easily.  Or just to have on hand for a snack cake.  It's also a great cake to bring somewhere, as it traveled very well. It was easy to make and came out very moist and delicious.  

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