As I sit here waiting to leave for my 6:45 cycling class, for some reason there's nothing I want to do other than bake. I think it may be that cycling continuously kills me (I'm convinced it never gets easy) and baking is just about as far in the other direction as it gets. Maybe I'm just trying to make the excuse, "Well I can't leave while it's in the oven." So, to avoid all of this I figured I should catch up posting some recipes I've made over the past week. I'll start with a delicious strawberry buttermilk cake. This cake is way too easy to be as good as it is. That's not a bad thing, though. I think anyone could make it, and the whipped cream definitely takes it to a whole new level. Truth be told, I was just experimenting around with the whipped cream and don't remember the exact measurements for how I made it, but it was amazing. I think maybe I'll just make lemon-blueberry whipped cream from now on and put it on everything. YUM. When looking at that recipe, if you make it and it doesn't taste quite sweet enough (or doesn't have enough lemon or blueberry flavoring) add to it! I got the idea from Eats Well With Others, where she made blueberry buttermilk cake with strawberry whipped cream. The same strawberry buttermilk cake has been surfacing all over the food blog world recently, but the idea of fruit flavored whipped cream sounded too good to pass up. I know local strawberry season has sadly just about ended, but they're still pretty cheap at the grocery store (or Costco/Sam's Club if you want them in bulk). Enjoy this recipe, it won't last long once you make it!

Easy Strawberry Buttermilk Cake
Recipe from Food and Fun Cafe
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar, divided
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
** Use 1/2 cup buttermilk instead of the egg as an alternative
1/2 cup well-shaken buttermilk
1 cup fresh strawberries (about 5 oz)

Preheat oven to 400°F, placing the rack in the middle. Butter and flour a 9-inch round cake pan and keep ready.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Beat butter and 2/3 cup sugar with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy; this should take about 3 minutes, then beat in the vanilla. Finally add the egg and beat well for another 2 minutes.

Switch the mixer setting to low speed, mix in flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour, and mixing until just combined. Remember, do NOT overbeat.

Fold in half of the strawberries into the batter. Spoon the prepared batter into the cake pan, smoothing it on the top. Scatter the remaining strawberries evenly over the top and sprinkle with remaining 1 1/2 Tbsp sugar.

Bake until cake is golden and a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, roughly about 25 to 30 minutes. Cool in the cake pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and allow to cool completely. Invert it onto a serving plate.

Using a knife warmed by placing under hot running water, slice the cake into wedges and serve. You can also make it fancier by topping it with a dollop of whipped cream, or dusting with some more Confectioner's sugar.

Blueberry Whipped Cream
1 cup whipping cream
1 1/2 tablespoon powdered sugar
1/4 cup blueberries
Zest of 1/2 lemon

In a blender or food processor, puree the blueberries and lemon zest. If you desire a sharper lemon flavor, lemon juice can be added to this as well. Next, beat the cream until barely thickened. Add in the powdered sugar and beat until soft peaks form. Fold in puree and beat slightly more until whipped cream reaches desired consistency.

*Everyone makes whipped cream a different way. Some people use powdered sugar, some regular sugar, some add vanilla.. that's not really what matters here. Make the whipped cream as normal, but add the zest and blueberry mixture to the almost finished product.


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