When I saw this post http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2012/06/triple-berry-summer-buttermilk-bundt/ on smittenkitchen.com, I was so mesmerized by photos of the berry-studded cake with sexy icing dripping down its sides that I saved the page to my bookmarks so I could scroll through the photos whenever I wished to. Naturally, I couldn’t wait to make it. Alas, I live in a faraway tropical city called Singapore where fresh berries have to be imported from faraway lands and cost a bomb. Frozen berries aren’t exactly cheap, but given the quantity of berries required for this cake, they were a reasonable alternative.
To my dismay however, frozen berries too aren’t easily available at any grocery store. Also, I didn’t know how economical it would be to buy 600g of frozen raspberries for $16, frozen blackberries for $14 and so forth. With each disappointing trip to a different grocery store, I grew increasingly depressed, bemoaning my pathetic state (why do I have to live in Singapore?! why are berries so expensive?! why do I love blackberries when they’re like practically nonexistent here?!! why couldn’t I live in Canada?! or someplace where I can have access to fresh seasonal berries for godssakes!!! i think you get the idea.)
Thankfully, on a glorious day sometime this month, I chanced upon a bag of frozen mixed berries of just the right quantity I needed to make this cake. Of course I grabbed it and set about making it as soon as I got the chance to do so.
It’s a simple buttermilk cake, employing the usual cake-baking method (beat butter, sugar and eggs, add flour and buttermilk alternately, then fold in fruit), but made gorgeous and deliciously jammy by the delightful berries. I believe any combination of berries will be absolutely glorious in this cake, although the original recipe calls for raspberries, blueberries and blackberries. I’m sure using blackberries only will be even more fabulous; I will have to try that another day. The only problem with using frozen berries is that you will likely end up with a purplish batter (caused by the excess juices from the frozen fruit when you fold the berries into the cake batter) which I guess would be unfavourable to most people, but I’m not most people, purple is my favourite colour, I have made pink-swirled cakes many times, so why not purple, it’s time for purple! I’m sorry, that’s how my brain thinks; can’t help it.
I think the mixed frozen berries I bought had a combination of four or five berries so it turned out to be a mixed berry buttermilk bundt cake, but whenever someone asked what cake this was, I replied ‘triple berry buttermilk bundt cake’ and I really like the sound of ‘triple berry buttermilk bundt cake’, so I shall just stick to the original name. (Was this explanation really necessary? I really do like to talk a lot sometimes.)
The citrus icing is pretty and will score you points for presentation, especially if you’re a pro at these things (which I am not), but in terms of taste, I felt that it was unnecessary; the berry cake has tremendous flavour on its own. However, I had difficulty with the release of this cake (I nearly cried, after spending so much effort and cash on my beloved berries, the cake was not perfect!), so there was some patchwork to be done. The icing came in helpful here as it covered up the imperfect portions of the bundt and tried to prettify the cake.
This triple berry buttermilk bundt cake will definitely be part of my go-to stash of recipes, because it got compliments from all my family members and also some guests that happened to drop by. Preparation is also a breeze – I made this within 2 hours. Of course, you need to have sufficient berries lying around if you have a sudden hankering for this cake. Or it could be adapted with any fruit according to the season, as suggested in the original recipe. A clear sign that this cake is a winner was the fact that more than half of the bundt was gone by the end of the day. This, in a household which takes a week to consume 14 frosted cupcakes, means a lot.