Sunday, March 23, 2014

Clementine Buttermilk Cake

This simple buttermilk cake was the result of trying to find another something to do with leftover buttermilk. I love baking with buttermilk, so it's always exciting when I have some leftover and have to find a way to use it up. Another excuse to bake is fine by me. Recently I seem to be drawn to single layer cakes that are perfect for an afternoon snack, or an after dinner dessert. I love the elegant simplicity of this type of cake, and I love being able to eat a slice of cake without feeling like I consumed pounds of sugar and butter. To jazz up this cake just a little bit, I added just a hint of clementine zest which beautifully complemented the slight tang of the buttermilk. Eat this cake just as it is, or add some berries or whipped cream for a little extra specialness, whatever you decide, you won't be disappointed. 

I didn't manage to get a picture of the cake before I had a slice or two, but that doesn't matter. If you look closely you can see a few tiny flecks of orange from the zest, so pretty. This is an easy cake to put together. It's just rich enough to make it special, but not overly sweet or heavy. Perfect for a satisfying, yet light treat. 

Clementine Buttermilk Cake
Adapted from The Broken Bread
  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Zest of 1-2 clementines (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
Set rack in center of oven, and pre-heat oven to 350F

Mix together all dry ingredients in a medium bowl and set aside.

In standing mixer with a paddle attachment, beat room temperature butter and sugar until light and fluffly, about 3 -4 minutes.

Add in eggs one at a time, making sure fully each one is fully incorporated before the addition of the next. Mix in the zest and vanilla, and beat until contents are smooth, about 1-2 minutes.

With the mixer on the lowest speed, add the flour mixture and buttermilk alternatively. Beginning with 1/3 of the flour mixture then 1/4 of the buttermilk, repeating, and ending with the flour. After the last addition of the flour, mix a few times, scrape down the sides, then finishing mixing the batter by hand with spatula.

Pour contents into an 8 or 9-inch cake pan that has been lightly greased with butter, and bake at 350F for about 28-30 minutes, rotating cake halfway through. Test for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cake, the cake will be down when the tester pulls out with just a few moist crumbs.

Transfer pan to a cooling rack, and removed cake when properly cooled.

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