Emphasis on the official part. I’ve always been one to mark the first day of summer by the last day of school or the first day in June, which means I’m about seventeen days into my summer. But, hey, that could just be me. I have a tendency to go off book when it comes to holidays or events labeled on calendars.
Little known fact about myself: I like to celebrate (if I remember that is) the random, obscure, and definitely-not-listed-on-any-calendar national holidays. National Yogurtland Day? Best believe I’m waiting in line to eat my weight in free frozen yogurt. National Donut Day? Why, hello, Krispy Kreme drive thru, where have you been all my life? National Siblings Day? Instagram will be blown up with pictures of my brother and I, mainly because we were adorable kids, but also because the holiday demands it. Who am I to ignore these wonderful national holidays? But, better question, who are you to ignore them?
Maybe it’s just me, but I find these kinds of days to be fun. I believe it’s the little things in life that make you happy, and these national holidays are the epitome of the little things. But, before I get more philosophical on you, let’s get back to the first official day of summer. A day that is listed on calendars, but not given very much attention on the celebration scale.
I vote we change that. I think it should be celebrated. And, what better way to do that than a Raspberry Buttermilk Cake? Yeahh, I’ll answer that question, there is no better way to celebrate it. So, if I were you, I’d join me. Like now, before the entire cake is eaten.
Raspberry Buttermilk Cake. Funny story. I don’t ever have buttermilk or raspberries, for that matter, in my fridge. It’s just not something I buy with frequency. Actually, if we are being completely open, this was my first time buying raspberries. I know, how weird, right? Raspberries just aren’t my thing. In fact, the only berry that is my thing is a strawberry. Again, I know, how weird.
But, Costco had a sale. And raspberries scream summer. And, okay, fine, there wasn’t a good-looking box of strawberries left. So, the raspberries found themselves in my fridge, sitting next to a half-opened carton of buttermilk, which I had used to make a healthy potato salad (substitute buttermilk for mayo…surprisingly quite tasty) a few days before.
And then I saw a recipe for a Strawberry Summer Cake on Smitten Kitchen. I think it was the world’s way of telling me to grab the raspberries and buttermilk and make a cake in honor of the first day of summer. And, when the world speaks to you like that, you don’t even think about it, you just do.
So I did. And, can I just say, I’m glad I did. The buttermilk cake is super moist, flavorful, and pairs rather nicely with the tartness of the raspberries. As the cake bakes, the raspberries turn into puddles of jam that soak into the cake, making your house smell amazing and your stomach grumble in anticipation. This dessert isn’t overly sweet, but I found a hefty spoonful of homemade whipped cream definitely makes up for that. It’s a light, summery, easy-to-put-together kind of dessert—so, basically, the ideal way to celebrate the first official day of summer if you ask me!
Raspberry Buttermilk Cake
Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Yields: 1 9-inch cake
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter + extra for springform pan, softened to room temperature
1 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
½ cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
16 oz fresh raspberries, washed and dried
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and butter a 9-inch springform pan (or cake pan or deep dish pie pan).
In a small bowl whisk flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl beat butter and 1 cup of sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Mix in egg, buttermilk, and vanilla until well combined.
Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing until just smooth.
Pour batter into prepared pan, smoothing the top with a spatula. Arrange raspberries, bottoms up, on top of the batter in a single layer. Sprinkle, as evenly as possible, remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar over the berries.
Bake cake for ten minutes then reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees and continue baking for 50-55 minutes until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean (gooey raspberries on the toothpick are a given). Let cake cool in pan on a wire rack. Cut into slices and serve with whipped cream.