Buttermilk Back-to-School Cake

Yield: 9 generous servings Active time: 30 minutes Total time: 1 hour 15 minutes August 20, 2020

School is virtual this year, so instead of anticipating packing new school supplies, finding a new classroom, and meeting new friends, we’re navigating online class passwords, connectivity challenges, and learning how to avoid accidentally un-muting at the wrong time.

Back-to-school cake is needed now more than ever. It’s been chocolate in prior years, but this moist, delicious buttermilk cake is more to Leo’s taste. Next time we’ll try it with whipped cream frosting, perhaps with crushed freeze-dried raspberries for color.

Recipe from Food52.

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk

Directions

Be sure the butter and eggs are at room temperature. Preheat the oven to 350º. Line a 9- by 9-inch square pan (or a loaf pan, or a 9-inch circular pan) with parchment paper, then butter or spray the paper.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl, or in a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes. Do not skimp on this step!

Beat in the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides and making sure batter is fully combined after each addition. Add the vanilla and beat to combine.

Add one-third of the dry ingredients, beat to combine, then add half of the buttermilk and mix again. Alternate between dry and wet ingredients, starting and ending with the dry, until everything is just combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth it out with a spatula. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

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