• Blueberry Buttermilk Cake

    I will warn you all right now, I’m on something of a blueberry kick right now, so be prepared for several blueberry recipes to come. It seems like the time, right? To be fair, there’s really never a time that’s not for blueberries, but now that Memorial Day has passed and summer has ~unofficially~ started, I find myself craving blueberry desserts all the time. Not to worry, I’ll soon bring out the rhubarb recipes I swear it, but until then, this glorious cake will do just as well.

    It all started when I came across this recipe from Smitten Kitchen. I was looking for something simple for a weeknight birthday cake, without sacrificing taste. Imagine my displeasure when I went to buy raspberries at the store and discovered that they were $6 per tiny package!! I may act like I’m made of money when I step into Sephora but alas I am not. I decided that blueberries would just have to suffice, added some cinnamon to the batter and the topping, and voila, a beautiful cake was created! The cinnamon is a lovely compliment to blueberries, the buttermilk makes this cake impossibly moist, and the cinnamon sugar sprinkle on top lends a satisfying crunch to round the whole thing out. We stuck in some candles and called it birthday cake for my wonderful mom, and it was a hit! Second only to how good it was the next morning, slightly warmed and with a cup of coffee. If I started my day like that every day, maybe I’d consider becoming a morning person. CONSIDER it, but don’t hold me to that.

    Some quick notes about Sweet D, you may start to notice some little updates here and there, the largest being my fancy new recipe blocks (see below), over the next few posts. In an effort to bring forth the best blog that I can, I’m learning some new bits and pieces, along with the help of my computer science trained (recently graduated!) brother, to make my site easier to navigate and really get myself out there. In the coming weeks I’m hoping to reorganize my Recipes page as well, so I’ll be sure to keep you posted. It felt like the right time to take Sweet D to the next level, because I love having my little corner to bake and write, and I’m hoping other people do too. I’m not always a huge fan of change, but this feels like a good one!

    Before we get started of course, here are 5 things to be happy about:
    ONE. Checking up on a friend “just because”.
    TWO. Reflections on wet pavement.
    THREE. Measuring and setting out all your ingredients before you start cooking.
    FOUR. Sitting on the porch just to enjoy the weather.
    FIVE. Finding a new song that you listen to over and over.

    Let’s bake!!

    Blueberry Buttermilk Cake

    A play on an equally beautiful recipe from Smitten Kitchen, this incredibly simple recipe is as good for dessert as it is for breakfast, with bursts of jammy blueberry and a crisp, cinnamon sugar top.
    Prep Time20 mins
    Total Time45 mins
    Course: Breakfast, Dessert
    Keyword: blueberries, cake, dessert, fruit, spring baking
    Servings: 8 people

    Ingredients

    Buttermilk Cake Ingredients

    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • ½ tsp baking powder
    • ½ tsp baking soda
    • ¼ tsp salt
    • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
    • ½ stick unsalted butter softened
    • cup sugar
    • ½ tsp vanilla extract
    • ½ tsp lemon zest
    • 1 egg
    • ½ cup buttermilk
    • 1 cup blueberries

    Cinnamon Sugar Topping

    • Tbsp sugar
    • ½ Tbsp ground cinnamon

    Instructions

    • Preheat your oven to 400°F. Butter and flour an 8-inch round cake pan.
    • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder + soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter and the ⅔ cup sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes.
    • At this point, add in the vanilla and lemon zest, then the egg. Mix until all is well combined.
    • With the mixer on low, add the flour in three installments, alternating with the buttermilk in 2 installments. Mix until just combined. Transfer the batter to the prepared cake pan.
    • Drop the blueberries on top of the batter in the pan, it doesn't matter how you arrange them, they'll sink into the cake as it bakes. Mix together the cinnamon sugar topping and sprinkle evenly over the entire batter.
    • Bake the cake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the top is golden and a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean. Cool the cake in its pan for 10 minutes, then invert onto a plate to serve. Best eaten warm!

    xoxoxoxoxoxoxoD

  • Memorial Day Recipe Round-Up

    Can you believe that it’s already Memorial Day Weekend? Honestly I’m a little spooked, where did all of the Spring go?? It’s almost JUNE. Whew okay I’m calm we’re good it’s all good. I’m interrupting my usual Tuesday posting schedule to bring you this special collection of recipe highlights, perfect for a backyard barbecue! Whether you’re hosting a party or just feel like making something new and fun, please enjoy this collection of my 10 most Memorial Day appropriate recipes!!

    ONE. Blueberry Slab Pie

    Do you need dessert for a crowd? Or do you just eat enough pie on your own? Look no further than this masterpiece, it is deceivingly simple to make, because why mess with the flavor of blueberry and pie crust? Also did I mention that slab pies are baked on a sheet pan, crazy easy to slice, and serve up to 20 people? Go make a pie!!!

     

    TWO. Fresh Fruit Tart

    Slightly more labor intensive than a slab pie (only slightly), it’s hard to pass up a tart like this when theres fruit art involved. A crisp tart shell holds a generous portion of rich vanilla pastry cream, and from there the decorating is up to you! Will it be a symmetrical pattern? Or an artful heap? Berries or stone fruit? Or both? It’s up to you!!

     

    THREE. Strawberry Rhubarb Shortcakes

    Did you think I would go an entire rhubarb season without mentioning rhubarb?? Think again!! While a new 2019 rhubarb recipe is on its way, I will tide you over until then with this twist on the classic strawberry shortcake. A buttery biscuit, lightly sweetened soft whipped cream, and a heaping scoop of strawberry rhubarb quick jam becomes a simple yet incredibly flavorful dessert that guests can assemble themselves and take the pressure off you! You’re welcome!!

     

    FOUR. Fried Burrata in Romesco Sauce

    I realize that here on Sweet D I tend to favor dessert recipes, after all, it’s called SWEET D, right? However, this recipe was designed with entertaining in mind, so I’d be crazy not to include it on this list. And while you could eat this whole thing yourself (and I’d be very impressed with you), the best way to eat a ball of fried burrata is surrounded by friends, with a glass of chilled white wine and lots of garlicky bruschetta. Do I need to keep convincing you? I didn’t think so.

     

    FIVE. New York Cheesecake with Roasted Blueberry Sauce

    The best part about this cheesecake recipe, aside from the fact that it could LITERALLY be in a museum, is that the whole thing can be made the day before and kept chilled in the fridge, meaning you have more time with your guests, more time to grill, and more time to eat snacks! Highkey this recipe is one of the most decadent ones on my site, I still think about it at least once a day and you should too.

     

    SIX. Almond Sheet Cake

    You know how every year, Ina Garten makes a Flag Cake using a sheet cake and some berries? Well, here’s your fancy base to a flag cake, the simplest almond cake and frosting which will be a gorgeous and elegant compliment to the fruit on top. A word to the wise- if you choose to make the flag on this cake, use fresh berries only and don’t add any extra sugar to them, the berries will release their juices and make the top of the cake very soggy!

     

    SEVEN. Cornmeal Peach Cobbler

    Okay I know that ~technically~ it’s not peach season yet, but I couldn’t bring myself to look past this perfect cobbler in all its bubbly, fruity glory. Golden cornmeal biscuits are an excellent, slightly salty counterpart to the classic flavor of peach, but if you’re having trouble finding good ripe peaches this time of year, you could always substitute with blueberries, strawberries, or cherries!

     

    EIGHT. Tomato Salad with Burrata

    What’s that? You spent all your time making the desserts on this list and don’t have any food for dinner? Boy have I got good news for you. Enlist one of your guests to be your tomato chopping sous chef, and this salad will be done in 10 minutes. That’s right, TEN. And with the rustic yet glamorous presentation, people will think you put a lot more work into it than you did. Plus, there’s no better combination than mozzarella and tomato, am I right or am I right?

     

    NINE. Mini Pavlovas

    Are you sensing a theme here for these desserts? If you guessed berries, you’d be correct. Personally, nothing screams summer holiday like fresh berries, so it seems only fitting that they keep popping up on this list. While pavlovas are slightly on the challenging side, the payoff is well worth it, there’s nothing quite like the crisp, marshmallow texture of a pavlova with whipped cream and berries.

     

    TEN. Summer Fruit Galettes

    You know that I had to fit one more pie recipe in here, it’s practically in my contract. And what better recipe than the deeply unfussy, rustic pie that doesn’t even require a pie plate? These galettes are easily customizable, easily served, and the best part is you don’t have to sacrifice any of the things you know and love about regular pie to do it. A win-win!

     

    Happy Memorial Day Weekend, I hope it’s filled with all ten of these foods! XoxoxoxoxD

  • Norwegian Gold Cake

    On the heels of a very family-filled weekend, it seems only fitting to share with you a family recipe that has been passed down and sideways since before I was born. Called “Norwegian Gold Cake”, I am actually unsure of where it even got its name, but the recipe comes from the grandmother of my mom’s cousins (what that makes her to me, I couldn’t even begin to guess). The cake is luxuriously rich and golden in color thanks to the 5 eggs in the batter, but is also perfectly offset by the lemon-orange buttercream that tops it. Its got the zest and juice of both fruits and is the freshest, brightest tasting frosting you’ll ever have. When I was little, you knew dessert would be good if you showed up to my grandparents house and this cake was sitting on its cake plate on the dining room table. My grandma even put her own spin on it, preparing the cake with half citrus frosting and half coffee frosting. This may sound like a strange combo, but both frostings pair so well with a dense cake like this one separately, however the real best way to eat it is to have one slice with some coffee frosting and some citrus frosting. Traditionally in this family, this cake is baked in a tube pan, but it could also be done in a 9 x 13″ as a sheet cake instead, although a shorter baking time will probably be required.

    A piece of advice, read this recipe through all the way before starting, since some of the process is different than most cake batters. This recipe uses the reverse creaming method, which involves beating together the flour and butter instead of the sugar and butter. This way, gluten doesn’t start forming until the flour comes into contact with a liquid, and when the flour is coated in butter, it slows down this production. As a result, the cake should be more tender and velvety, as well as bake with less of a domed top. That last bit doesn’t matter so much for this recipe since you aren’t stacking the cake, but when making layer cakes, reverse creaming is a good idea since each cake bakes up flatter and less trimming is required. There’s your baking education for the week!

    This weekend we watched my only brother graduate from Notre Dame and it was so special. We spent Friday in Chicago, where we saw the Shedd Aquarium, the Art Institute, and had some crazy good food to warm us up on a particularly drizzly day (I’m talking chicken and waffles for brunch AND Russian food for dinner), then drove to Indiana for the remainder of the weekend. I am immensely proud of everything my brother has done, it’s been awesome to watch him grow over the past four years and he deserves every good thing coming to him. He’ll be starting a job at Google in August and ooooooh we’re so proud! Go Aidan!


    Before we get started, here are 5 things to be happy about today:
    ONE. Sun showers that produce rainbows.
    TWO. Going out for tea.
    THREE. Putting your hair up.
    FOUR. Having your coffee in the park.
    FIVE. Pinch bowls.

    Norwegian Gold Cake

    This may be the most coveted family recipe that I've got; a moist, rich cake with the most perfect citrus buttercream, this cake is perfect for birthdays, dinner parties, or when you just feel like treating yourself!
    Prep Time45 mins
    Cook Time40 mins
    Total Time1 hr 25 mins
    Course: Dessert
    Keyword: buttercream, cake, citrus

    Ingredients

    Norwegian Gold Cake Ingredients

    • 1 cup butter, at room temperature
    • 1⅓ cups all purpose flour
    • 5 eggs
    • cups sugar
    • 2 tsp baking powder
    • 1 Tbsp vanilla bean paste

    Citrus Buttercream Ingredients

    • 1 lb confectioner's sugar
    • ½ cup butter, at room temperature
    • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
    • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
    • 1 Tbsp fresh orange juice + zest

    Instructions

    Norwegian Gold Cake Steps

    • Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease a tube pan or 9×13" cake pan with butter and flour, then set aside.
    • Cream together the flour and butter on medium speed for 3 to 5 minutes, until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition.
    • In a separate bowl, combine the sugar and baking powder, then add this to the flour mixture. Mix in the vanilla.
    • Pour the batter into your prepared pan and tap on the counter a few times to pop any air bubbles. Bake the cake for 35-40 minutes, until the top is golden and the cake tester comes out clean. If you're using a 9×13" pan, start checking earlier, between 25 and 30 minutes instead. Allow the cake to cool for 15 minutes in the pan, then turn out onto a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.

    Citrus Buttercream Steps

    • Cream the butter and confectioners sugar together on low speed in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add in the vanilla.
    • Add the lemon juice and zest, plus the orange juice and zest, and mix until incorporated. At this point, you can adjust the proportions by adding more confectioners sugar for a thicker frosting, or more juice for a thinner one.
    • When the cake is completely cooled, frost and decorate however you'd like! If you're feeling ~fancy~, you could even try to candy some fruit peels, instructions found here!

    YUM! xoxoxoxoxoD