Alas, this will be the final blueberry post for the summer of ’14. Not the last blueberry thing we’ll eat, for sure, because we freeze blueberries to use in the wintertime. They are equally good as the fresh ones in a cake like this, so if you run across this post later on in the year, don’t hesitate to use frozen berries in it.
But fresh ones are what we have today – a final picking that Larry did with his Mom the other day. Blueberry picking is definitely a tradition in his family, and I remember, when the girls were small, going with his Mom and her Mom to one of the big U-pick places around here to get a bunch of them picked for jam and freezing. Nothing smells quite as delectable as a field of laden blueberry bushes in the hot summer sun. Grammy loved blueberries, and I swear she ate as many as she got in the bucket, which was saying a lot, since the woman was a berry-picking fiend. She could out pace me any day of the week.
For us, it is time to begin thinking about getting some tomatoes put up, since they are finally getting ripe in large enough numbers to justify getting out the canner. [Here is what I do with a lot of them: Easy Tomato Sauce]
But first, I think we need a cake!
This one is particularly fine, with fresh ginger and spices, and the sweet tang of buttermilk to make it rise up really nicely. The ribbon of juicy berries in the middle turn all soft and jammy, and then when it’s cooled off some you can hit it with a blizzard of powdered sugar.
It is so good, you will wish you had baked two of them, which is very easy to do, since this recipe doubles nicely.
- 4 ounces soft butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups flour
- 1 & ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon allspice
- 1 cup cultured buttermilk
- 2 cups whole blueberries, fresh or frozen and thawed
- powdered sugar, for dusting the top
- Preheat the oven to 350º, and generously butter a 9 in round cake pan.
- With a stand or hand mixer, beat the butter briefly to cream it.
- Add the sugar and beat until combined well, scraping down the sides of the bowl.
- Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
- Beat in the ginger and vanilla, continue beating until the mixture lightens a little in color and becomes silky.
- Whisk the dry ingredients together in a small bowl.
- Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in thirds, alternating with the buttermilk like so: ⅓ of the flour, ½ of the buttermilk, ⅓ of the flour mixture, ½ of the buttermilk, ending with the rest of the flour. Beat one minute, or until very smooth.
- Spread half of the batter in the pan, layer in half the blueberries, then the rest of the batter and finally, the remaining berries. Tap the pan lightly on the counter a couple time get everything settled.
- Bake the cake on the middle oven rack for around 45 minutes, turning a time or two to ensure even baking. When done, the top will spring back slightly when lightly pressed, and a tooth pick inserted near the center should come out with no more than a few moist crumbs on it.
- Cool in the pan for 15 minutes, and then turn out on a cooling rack, or a plate if serving right away.
- Dust the top with powdered sugar, and serve in wedges. Refrigerate leftovers.
The very best cake of later summer – moist, fruity, with a touch of gingery bite!
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Donalyn/The Creekside Cook
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