Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Buttermilk Blueberry Lemon Cake

And, just like that, it's March. And honestly? LA has actually been feeling like spring lately, with beautiful rainstorms and thunderheads and chilly nights. The air smells really fresh and the mountains are clear. It's perfect baking-with-the-windows open weather. AND SO I DID.

Despite the lovely and active weather, though, I've been in a tiny little rage the past few days. I'm chalking it up to some epic PMS (sorry, dudes), which sometimes hits with a realllll vengeance. I once told a man in traffic to "die in a fire" which is probably the worst thing you can quickly say to someone and of course I didn't mean it but it felt very good coming out. Just terrible.

It's not just rage. I once started crying when a post office employee told me my favorite stamps had been discontinued. Crying. In a post office. Because I couldn't buy stamps with pictures of vintage seed packets. I could buy many other stamps at the same price. Still crying.

I'm not a crazy person but I guess it's sometimes hard to tell.

Also, FYI: Starbucks discontinued their breakfast hot dogs this week, which I can acknowledge as for the best but it does feel personal.

Ultimately, when you're feeling like none of your clothes fit correctly and the sound of strangers breathing makes your skin crawl and you can't stop eating grilled cheese sandwiches in your bed, I recommend making this soothing buttermilk blueberry lemon cake. Don't be misled -- this cake is for everyone at all times. It is even sometimes referred to as a "breakfast cake," which is a beautiful term. But know that it's extra comforting when comfort is needed, and very easy to whip up. Also, you get to use a zester, which can satisfy any extraneous aggression. 

I modified a recipe from a pregnant mommies Facebook group. :-/

Buttermilk Blueberry Lemon Cake

1/2 cup unsalted or salted butter, room temperature
zest from one large lemon
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons white sugar
1 tablespoon white sugar for sprinkling like a sugar fairy
1 large egg, room temperature 
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup flour for tossing with the blueberries
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 pint fresh blueberries
1/2 cup buttermilk
(You can make your own buttermilk by putting 1/2 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice in a 1/2 cup, then filling to the top with regular milk. Let it stand for five minutes. 
...Or just buy buttermilk.)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 13 x 9 cake pan.
Zest the hell out of that lemon.

Cream the butter, sugar and lemon zest until fluffy and/or you wish you could use this mixture as lotion.

Probably really great for your skin?
 Add the egg and vanilla and continue to beat until combined.
In a large bowl, toss the blueberries and 1/4 cup flour until well-coated.

Floury blueberries. Blech.
In another bowl (this is three bowls now), combine the 1 3/4 cup flour, baking powder and salt.
Alternate adding the flour mixture and the buttermilk to bowl #1.

This batter is delicious unbaked, just sayin'.
Carefully fold in the blueberries and gently mix. I wasn't gentle, and my blueberries mostly exploded, but it's really fine and I'm over it.
Spread the batter in the greased pan. The batter is pretty thick and won't pour, but spread evenly as best you can.
Sprinkle the 1 tablespoon of white sugar on top of the batter. I didn't do it evenly and SPOILER ALERT you can tell.
Bake for 35-40 minutes and for pete's sake, use that toothpick test to determine when it's done.
Cool and enjoy!

This cake is extra lemony, so if you're not into that, cool it on the zest. If you ARE into that, be prepared to eat it with your hands directly from the pan, potentially burning yourself in the process.

Happy baking!