Today in the Kitchen – Blackberry Buttermilk Cake with Muscat

May 1, 2009 | Recipes | 16 comments

So, this isn’t really “today” in the kitchen. 

 Today actually consisted of a horrible treck out in the deluge for much, much needed groceries (stock piling anyone?) and then 11 pints of canned Lemon Curd – this time instead of regular lemon juice I used Volcanic Lemon Juice…WOW!  Two dozen lemon scones also made with Volcanic Lemon juice and a homemade pizza too! Between the oven cranked to 400 degrees for hours on end and the stove top hot with double boilers and my huge boiling water canner I did my part to destroy mother earth today!  Can I request that my carbon footprint be in the shape of a red soled Christian Louboutin???

There was also a serious raping and pillaging of my Tupperware cabinet – I threw half of it out, I mean come on, how many plastic containers does one house need!  (I DID recycle!  I am only joking about destroying Mother Earth but if you are new to the Farmhouse you’ll probably catch on quick that I don’t believe the whole carbon footprint nonsense.)  ANYWHOO – Why can’t I ever leave that stuff alone?  Back to the terrible Tupperware cab – The more you have the more they pile up in your fridge only to turn into science experiments.  Now, if it doesn’t have a lid it’s in the recycle bin.  I feel like I have lost ten pounds!
The score was even when I asked y’all if you wanted the Onion Tarte or Black Berry cake recipe first- I though this one would serve us well on such a gloomy afternoon-

This was the dessert served at that blogger luncheon held at the Farmhouse a few weeks back.  I am still enjoying the memory of this delightful cake and thought you might enjoy presenting it at an upcoming spring baby shower or birthday dinner…I have adapted it’s name and ingredients from a recipe I found in Gourmet magazine eight years ago…

Blackberry Buttermilk Cake with Muscat
For the cake you will need:
2 cups of cake flour (I used my trusty King Arther Organic Flour) just make sure it’s not self rising
1 teaspoon of baking powder – for your health preferably aluminum free
1 teaspoon of baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter (organic)
1 cup sugar (organic evaporated cane juice)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 large eggs
1 cup well shaken buttermilk (You can simply add lemon juice to milk to make it sour if you don’t have buttermilk on hand, this is what I did)
For the topping:
3/4 cup Muscat dessert wine or other dessert wine (Don’t let this ingredient intimidate you.  If you don’t know what you are doing, walk into your local wine shop and tell them you are making a cake and you need a cheap dessert wine – or you could splurge and get the good stuff – the original recipe calls for Beaumes-de-Venise but Trader Joe’s Muscat did the trick for me!)
4 tablespoons sugar
Teaspoon of orange zest or strip of orange zest
1/3 cup blackberry or berry preserves (I did not have preserves but did have 4 berry blend in the freezer, I thawed a scoop out added some sugar, boiled it and made my own instant preserves.  So while blackberry preserves may be ideal, mine was a blend of raspberry, blueberry, blackberry and marion berries – my point is, if at all possible work with what you have!)
3-4 cups of fresh blackberries (if you don’t have your own bushes I find the large clamshell at Costco to be a great deal and full of LOVELY berries)
Crank up that oven to 350 – (dig that heal in as you make your carbon footprint for the day!)  Line the bottom of a buttered 9 by 2 inch round pan with a round of wax paper.  The easiest way to do this is to lay the pan on the wax paper and use a Sharpie to trace it.  Then cut out your shape a smidge inside of your Sharpie circle.  Butter the paper too.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, soda and salt.  If you are new to baking/cooking this is a trick to delightful cakes that you won’t want to leave out.  Sift, sift, sift.  I don’t have anything fancy just a wire/mesh strainer that I shake everything through.  Most of you will have a more elegant or proper technique!  
Beat together the sugar and butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy, then beat in the vanilla.  Now that is a perfect world direction.  I got no where near “pale and fluffy” it was more like “chunky and what the heck is this supposed to look like” but by the time I added the vanilla and followed the next step it seemed to look a little better.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each.  Then with your mixer on low add the buttermilk until it is “just” combined.  Add your sifted flour mixture in three batches, mixing after each until just combined.
Spoon your batter into your prepared cake pan, smoothing the top as best you can and bake in the middle of the oven until golden and a tester comes out clean.  About 40-50 minutes.  Cool in the pan on a rack (I still don’t have one)  and then run a knife around the edge and slide the cake onto a cake plate.  If you find your cake has bulged and will not lay flay simply flip it over, bulge side up and take a serrated knife gently, horizontally through the cake, thus cutting of the bump.  Then eat it!!!!
To make the topping:
Bring the wine, 3 tablespoons of sugar and zest to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring until sugar is dissolved.  Boil until syrup is reduced to about 2/3 of a cup.  1-2 minutes.  If you made a strip of zest now would be the time to remove it.  If you have a fine grater for your zest just leave it in there.  
Reserve 2 tablespoons syrup and pour remainder slowly and evenly over the cake.  This will make you feel so cool and professional.  Notice the intense look on my face in the photo!
Stir together the rest of the syrup, your preserves and remaining tablespoon of sugar in a small saucepan and simmer, stirring occasionally until thickened slightly, about 1 minute.  It should be like think syrup.  Put blackberries in a large bowl, the pour preserves mixture over them.  

GENTLY stir berries with a rubber spatula to coat, then pour over the cake!  Serve warm is possible for the most “ooos” and “ahhs” from your guest.  And I suppose it can be served room temp to – if you must.
Pressed for time?  Cake can be made a day ahead, fully cooled and wrapped in plastic wrap.  Sorry – you gotta do the berry part the day you are going to serve it!
Oh, I am pooped after this day and all this typing!  I hope you try this this weekend or even for Mother’s Day.  But whenever you do…Bon Appetit!


  1. Allidink

    Oh that is so yum! Love blackberries.

    All the best,

  2. Farmgirl Cyn

    This was one of the most delicious desserts I have ever eaten. (I made it myself a few weeks after inhaling it at Angela’s) Though the directions seem long, they are really quite simple. And you really can make some simple substitutions. I did not have the blackberry jam, so I substituted pear jam. I don’t think the berries even noticed the difference. I also used a sweet ice wine, which was very pricey (a gift from Christmas from a dear friend), but it was the only sweet wine I had. Except for a box of Sangria, which I also think would have worked fine.
    The presentation of the cake is spectacular, as you can see from the photo. The blackberries were on sale this week, so I bought some more, and will be making it tomorrow for a bible study. I took it over the top and served it with some fresh whipping cream, but it totally is not necessary.
    Angela’s whole luncheon menu was spectacular, and I have already made the black pepper/parmesan tart, though I filled it with creamy goats cheese and topped it with homemade roasted red peppers. SO good!
    Bon appetit!

  3. cityfarmer

    You always catch me when I’m hungry…..


  4. Olde Tyme Marketplace

    That looks scrumptious. I know I must give that one a try for sure!
    Thanks for sharing! Your blog is wonderful!

  5. Berlin Deluxxe

    You are so pretty and too cute! And the cake looks very yummy 🙂 I copied and pasted your recipe onto word so that I may make it for my bridal shower. Thanks!

  6. Jen

    Thanks for the yumminess. Can’t wait to try. And your kitchen is making me drool, too.

  7. Old Centennial Farmhouse

    Gosh, what a beautiful dessert and gorgeous presentation! You’re the gourmet and the photos of you and your kitchen are adorable! Blackberries are a special treat and this looks DIVINE! (I’ve always wanted to grow blackberries!) I love it when you post your recipes!

  8. Anne Marie

    yeah- whatever – still don’t know why I WASN’T INVITED!

    cancel the wine trip out here
    cancel the pony rides for your children


  9. English Cottage in Georgia

    Yummm, the pics look wonderful. This is a must do recipe…thanks for the detailed directions with the pics.
    Now if I could just look as pretty, cool and collected as you do while baking… 🙂
    Hey, I love the jabs on Mother Earth religion.

  10. Thistle Cove Farm

    This does sound delicious, think I’ll begin collecting the goodies for the making of it. Daddy gave me thornless blackberry vines -from his garden/orchard- and I planted them this week along with a couple of heritage apple trees. Next, to go through the freezer, using frozen blackberries to make jam.

  11. FarmHouse Style

    I am going to file this one away for a few weeks until my blackberries come in. They just started blooming this week, but I will make this lovely cake with the first batch of ripe berries I pick…. it looks and sounds delcious! Thanks for sharing the recipe.


    BTW you are too funny with your red Christian Louboutin carbon print:-) LOL!

  12. Manic Mom

    This looks so scrumptious. I wish I was there for a slice.

  13. RobinfromCA

    Oh, it looks so yummy! Now, what can you substitute for us non-alcoholic types? I adore blackberries and it looks so nice to have a cake without frosting for something different. Oh! My tummy just growled!


    BTW – Have you noticed how Earth day has turned into Earth month? What’s up with that? I’ll take the Christian Louboutin shoes as well!

  14. Crystal

    Oh my gosh, I just love your blog. I just can get enough of France and Parisienne things, but yet I am just a farmgirl back home. Love the blending of things on your blog. I have been trying to figure out how and what to post on my blog and how it will all blend. Thanks for the inspirations and glad I found your blog 😀

  15. Victoria

    Um, can this be made GF? Rice flour is definitely “non rising!” I will call you today re: the weekend…


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