From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...The really simple recipe was developed by Julia Moskin for The New York Times. It is a riff on the buttermilk cake that is sold by Cranberry Island Kitchens in Portland, Maine. The original version of the cake was baked in individual mussel-like molds. The Times riff was baked in loaf pans, while mine baked in a 13 x 9-inch cake pan. Can there be a riff of a riff? I clipped this recipe last fall to use for our next family vacation. We inevitably find ourselves in huge old houses that have scads of bedrooms but kitchens in which only Wilma Flintstone would be comfortable. This recipe caught my eye because it requires only a bowl and spoon to prepare and it sounded perfect for summer breakfasts. I gave the cake a try and was happy enough with the results to save the recipe in my vacation file. I hadn't planned on making it again until the gang was assembled, but this weekend we had a breakfast guest who is allergic to eggs. I remembered the cake and pulled out the recipe to serve for breakfast on Sunday morning. I thought this cake would be perfect for her. Oregonians are a bit like squirrels, but we stash blackberries as well as hazelnuts for winter use. I used them in the cake, but I doubled the amount the recipe called for. Because I used a baking pan, I had more surface area to cover and a cup of blackberries looked pretty foolish sitting on the cake batter. The blackberries added a lovely nip that helped balance the sugar in the cake, and my friend, who generally has tea, toast and orange for breakfast, loved having something different for a change. I wanted to share it with you, because there are not a lot of recipes for eggless cakes floating through cyberspace. I thought you might like to add this one to your files. Please make a mental note that the flour is sifted before measuring and then sifted again when it is combined with the baking soda. This is a nice, almost effortless cake that I think your family will enjoy. Here is how it is made.
Eggless Buttermilk Coffee Cake with Blackberries...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of The New York
1 tablespoon butter, for greasing the pans
1 cup vegetable or canola oil
1-3/4 cups sugar, plus 2 tablespoons for sprinkling
2 teaspoons nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups sifted flour, plus extra for dusting pans
1 teaspoon baking soda
1-1/3 cups buttermilk
1 cup ripe blueberries, raspberries, or blackberries (optional)
1) Heat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and lightly flour two 9-by-5-inch loaf pans or a 9-by-13-inch rectangular pan.
2) In a bowl, mix oil, 1-3/4 cups sugar, nutmeg and salt. Sift flour and baking soda together and add to bowl. Mix in buttermilk and pour batter into prepared pans. If using berries, pour in half of batter, sprinkle on berries and pour remaining batter on top.
3) Sprinkle the 2 tablespoons sugar over the surface and bake 30 to 40 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. Let cool in the pan. Yield: 12 servings.
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