Easy Raspberry Cake

Raspberry Buttermilk Cake with Lemon Whipped Cream
Source: Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Serves 8


A family friend recently set up T and me with a new couple. I met the lovely female half, Miche, over coffee in June, we hit it off, and we arranged a dinner date to get ourselves and our husbands together. I offered up my house and said I would make dinner, and Miche committed to bringing plenty of libations. During the week leading up to our double-date, I obsessed over dessert recipes. I wanted something light and summery that would taste amazing but not seem like I was trying too hard, so a confection like this was out of the running. I’m not a pastry chef after all (yet…hmm…), so perhaps my maiden voyage into tart dough and pastry cream should wait for an audience of just Terwilliger and me.


In a furious flurry of link-sharing and ogling with my friend Jess over g-chat, she sent me the link to this delectable little buttermilk cake by my absolute favorite food blogger, Deb at Smitten Kitchen. I gave this recipe a test run at home and deemed it the ideal combination of delicious, fun, and unfussy. I spruced it up with some lemon-kissed whipped cream for our diminutive dinner party, and everyone gave it a thumbs up. I maaaay have had a few sips of a cocktail at dinner, and that maaaay have clouded my judgment, but I am pretty sure it was delicious.


Raspberry Buttermilk Cake
1 C. flour
1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
1/4 C. unsalted butter
2/3 C. sugar
1 egg
1/2 t. vanilla
1/2 t. grated lemon zest
1/2 C. buttermilk*
1 C. raspberries
1 1/2 T. coarse sugar

*During my test run, I used 1/2 C. of regular milk plus 1 1/2 t. apple cider vinegar to create my own buttermilk. When I made it for company, though, I bought real buttermilk, and I really couldn’t distinguish a difference. There are probably plenty of purists who would disagree with me, but I think the fake buttermilk is perfectly acceptable in this recipe.

Preheat oven to 400. Grease and flour a 9-inch round cake pan.**

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, powder, soda, and salt.

In a the bowl of a mixer, combine butter and sugar; beat until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in egg, vanilla, and zest and mix well. Turn mixer to lowest setting and add dry ingredients in thirds, alternating with buttermilk and ending with dry mixture (so you’re doing dry-milk-dry-milk-dry). Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth the top. Scatter raspberries over top of cake. (I ended up tossing them 2 or 3 at a time into the dough until I’d used them all, because I discovered that raspberries are quite wayward, and trying to scatter more than a couple at a time resulted in a lot of berries on my kitchen floor.) Then sprinkle the coarse sugar over the dough and berries. (Use regular sugar if you don’t have coarse — though I highly recommend the big grains for their tantalizing crunch-factor.)

Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

**I used an 8-inch round cake pan, and the cake puffed way up and ended up taking closer to 35 minutes until it was done.

Allow cake to cool for 20 minutes before slicing and serving.

whipped cream

Lemon Whipped Cream (can be made ahead)
1 C. heavy cream
2 T. sugar
1 T. lemon zest
2 t. lemon juice

Combine all ingredients in mixing bowl and use an electric mixer to beat to soft peaks. Chill until ready to serve.

Notes: This was pretty tasty, but the zest was the prominent flavor. We have a lemon tree in our yard growing right next to an orange tree (I know, life is tough), so the lemons are these fragrant, delicious little hybrids with a distinct hint of orange. So my opinion on this recipe is biased, because I was tasting Tree-in-Our-Backyard-Whipped-Cream, which was not quite what I was expecting. (Full disclosure, though: I think whipped cream, for me, is one of those things where I always think “ooh! delicious whipped cream!” and then when I eat it, I think “oh, so that’s what this tastes like. hunh.”


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