Berry Buttermilk Cake Recipe (2024)

By Dawn Perry

Berry Buttermilk Cake Recipe (1)

Total Time
1¼ hours, plus cooling
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Buttermilk makes this stir-together cake super tender, but you can use any milk you have in its place. Same goes for the fruit: Use your favorite frozen berries, or a combination, but frozen cherries, mango or peaches work as well. Just cut any big fruit pieces into bite-size pieces before folding into the batter. And if you do happen to have fresh summer fruit around, that’ll work, too.

Featured in: 3 Summery Sweets You Can Make With Frozen Fruit

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Yield:1 (9-inch) square or round cake

  • ½cup/120 milliliters vegetable oil or other neutral oil, plus more for greasing the pan
  • ½cup/120 milliliters buttermilk or milk
  • 2large eggs
  • 1tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1cup/200 grams plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • cups/190 grams plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • ½teaspoon baking soda
  • ½teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1(10-ounce/285-gram) bag frozen berries (about 2 cups), any kind, any combination (large berries quartered)

Ingredient Substitution Guide


  1. Step


    Heat oven to 350 degrees. Brush a 9-inch baking dish or pan (square or round is OK) with oil and line with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, whisk together ½ cup oil, buttermilk, eggs, vanilla and 1 cup sugar. In a separate medium bowl, whisk 1½ cups flour, the baking powder, baking soda and salt to combine. Whisk wet ingredients into dry until just combined. (Some small lumps are fine.) Toss berries on a plate with remaining 1 tablespoon flour. Fold into batter and transfer to the prepared baking dish.

  2. Step


    Sprinkle evenly with remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, 53 to 58 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving. Cake will keep, loosely wrapped at room temperature, for about 4 days.


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Cooking Notes


Can the fruits/berries be used frozen or should they be thawed and drained?

Julie Spencer

If you buy a quart of buttermilk to make this recipe, you can portion the rest of it in measured amounts in freezer bags. It keeps forever in the freezer and is really handy to have around.


Note the recipe says frozen berries, if you thaw first you will discolor the dough with all the liquid. Frozen berries dredge very easily with flour, add them last, fold them in gently and you will have little discoloration.


This is a good basic recipe and buttermilk or sour cream works best. The sugar can be reduced easily to 1 cup (or perhaps even 3/4 cup). I prefer using square pans. To answer another reviewers question, cooled melted butter can be used as well. I have been making cakes similar to this, using blueberries, apples, strawberries, etc. You can add cardamom with orange peel, lemon with nutmeg or cinnamon. Sometimes when I reduce the sugar in the main cake, I just sprinkle a bit of sugar on top.


Do not thaw frozen berries before using them in this cake. Thawed berries will collapse and their juices will run out. Those juices belong in the cake! Frozen berries will burst as the cake bakes, leaving their delicious juices right where they belong. Sincerely, a long-time user of frozen berries in cakes.


What do you mean, use a 9in square pan or a 9-inch round pan? These are very different sizes. A 9 inch square pan gives you 81 square inches. A 9-inch round pan will give you just under 64 square inches. That will make a huge difference in the thickness of the cake and the baking time. Cakes baked in one of these pans will turn out very badly, and it is uclear which one it would be. Perhaps you meant a 9-inch round pan or an 8 inch square pan? Those would be roughly the same size


Melted butter is a great alternative to vegetable oil. I also cut the granulated sugar from 1 cup to 1/3 cup. No one in my family missed the cut sugar and the cake was moist and delicious! I also used an 8-inch round spring-form pan, greased with butter and coated with flour. Cooking time was 60 minutes in a 350 degree convection oven.


Not to further confuse, but it also depends on whether the kosher salt is Mortons or Diamond Crystal, which are not equivalent. Most baking recipes that call for kosher assume Diamond Crystal, but some call for coarse sea salt and others Malden sea salt, which are not equivalent to each other or to either of the other two.But don't despair. In 2010, the NYTimes published a very helpful guide:


It depends on the type of kosher salt, but generally, 2 tsp of kosher salt equals 1 tsp of table salt. Like me, many, many cooks have made the switch to kosher salt for cooking. The conversion is readily found on the internet if you are interested in more details. Don't be frustrated, look it up.


I used a mixture of frozen blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries, and this cake was much too sweet; perhaps with tarter berries it would have worked better. I’ll try cutting the sugar in half next time.


When baking with frozen fruit; keep your fruit frozen, dredge in flour while it's frozen. It works perfectly and keeps frozen fruit from sinking to the bottom. This recipe is for using frozen berries but you can dredge your fresh berries as well. If you use frozen fruit in a recipe that calls for fresh it might need 5 or more minutes extra [not this recipe].


The flavor of the cake made with blueberries was fine, but nothing to write home about. Next time I will add more spices, lemon zest would probably make it much better.


I am SO glad I read the reviews before baking this cake! 1 cup of sugar is way too much, and the lemon is a great addition. What I did:1/2 cup sugar only in wet ingredients (2 tbsp sprinkled on top, as per original recipe)1/2 tsp ground ginger added with dry ingredientsLemon zest from one whole lemon added with wet ingredientsFROZEN raspberriesBaked in 8 1/2" square pan (completely done at 53 minutes, non-convection oven)The result was excellent, and I will do it again.


Do yourself a favor and throw away your table salt. Kosher salt for cooking, Malden sea salt for finishing. Problem solved.


Can someone tell me why I need to grease the pan (under the parchment paper)? If it’s about not sticking, isn’t that why you use the parchment paper? Thanks! (PS...not an experienced baker...!)


I used fresh blueberries and blackberries and added 2 very ripe pears. Instead of white sugar on top, I used raw sugar and doubled the amount. I baked it in a 9 inch cake pan coated with baking spray for 70 minutes. It disappeared very quickly.


I’ve made this with white whole wheat flour and 2/3 c sugar. Also have used chopped fresh comice pear and sliced almonds with lemon curd. Very adaptable recipe.


My partner picks lots of berries for the freezer and we have a large plum tree. This recipe works great with the frozen berries and fresh plums, I make many cakes at once, they freeze well.

Julee Jackson

Made this last night, agree sugar way too much, reduced to 1/2 cup and still borderline too sweet, will do 1/3 cup next time. Did not sprinkle sugar on top either. Used fresh large Marionberries (blackberries) dredged in flour and it was delicious. Did not add any spices as suggested but did use a high quality vanilla that gave it a strong vanilla flavor. Paired with vanilla ice cream while cake was still warm from oven, heaven!

tips for next time

Lovely! Used 1/3 almond flour. Only half a cup a sugar - it is plenty sweet. Roll frozen fruit in flour like directions say


I had fresh blueberries which I partially froze before using them in the cake, and also added the zest of half a lemon. I used melted butter instead of the oil. All other ingredients were left as per the requirements in the recipe. I would also serve this in lieu of a coffee cake for breakfast. It was absolutely delicious.

anna frances

i adore this recipe, it's a great vehicle for virtually any fruit. I've used mangoes, raspberries, blackberries, etc. it's great with a little bit of whipped cream or some vanilla ice cream. simple & stunning.

Jean Miller

Delicious, easy, moist, and bursting with the flavors and colors of summer fruits. Worth turning on the oven even in the middle of a Texas heat wave. I used a combination of fresh blackberries from Poteet, Texas and fresh Hill Country peaches. I added some grated orange zest to the wet ingredients and some cinnamon to the dry ingredients andI doubled the recipe, using two 9” round pans. They were perfectly done at 50 minutes. A lovely summer cake!


I prefer this to Allison Roman’s old fashioned strawberry cake, which was also delicious but much more effort and involved a stand mixer. The flavor is comparable and this recipe is so much simpler. I too cut the sugar by half. This tastes like a blueberry muffin and with a light and fluffy texture. I used frozen wild blueberries and this gave it a nice dispersion of small fruit throughout. :)


Agree with others on adding lemon zest to frozen blueberries and cutting sugar. I subbed ground chia seeds to make it eggless (1 tablespoon of ground chia seed plus 3 Tablespoons of water to make one egg). The cake was divine and gobbled up immediately. Going to experiment with frozen cherries my son made me buy and lime zest this week.


Very good VERY easy


My fruit sank. I think it was because I didn't drain them well enough.

J Baker

I've made this cake many, many times and my family really enjoys it. A few additions I've tried and liked are 2Tbsp of tahini and/or maple syrup, mixed in with the wet ingredients. Ground cardamom and ginger are also nice additions.


Used a little less sugar. Strawberries and raspberries were delicious. Took about 55 min to bake and was so good with Demerara sugar on top for crunch!


This has become my go-to cake for brunches and coffee dates, and I’ve made it for several new-parent friends (good one-handed breakfast or snack while holding a newborn!) I’ve used frozen and fresh berries and I slightly preferred fresh blueberries. Added a little lemon zest to the batter, used turbinado sugar for the top, and made a lemon drizzle for it as well. Always a big hit (I tell the kids it’s blueberry pancake cake.)

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Berry Buttermilk Cake Recipe (2024)
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