Balsamic Fruit Buttermilk Cake

June 25, 2012 § 1 Comment

Summer is here, and that means lots of fruit! I don’t grow a ton of summer fruit in my garden, but the farmers’ markets are quickly filling with strawberries, apricots, cherries and nectarines.

One of the first food blogs I ever read was Joy the Baker, and I’ve been addicted to her blog ever since.  So, I think it is only fitting that my first cake entry come from her.

This cake speaks for itself. It has roasted balsamic fruit, buttermilk, and is baked in a skillet…what could be better?! Normally, I have some small measure of self control when it comes to baked goods, but with this cake, all control went out the window. Don’t be fooled by the small slice in my photo. That slice was followed by another…and another…and then at least three more!

Balsamic Fruit Buttermilk Cake (adapted from Joy the Baker’s Roasted Strawberry Buttermilk Cake)

Roasted Fruit

  • 12 ounces (or approximately 1 1/2 cups) fruit (I used a combination of white nectarines, yellow nectarines, and strawberries, but you can experiment with this!)
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 teaspoons balsamic vinegar (balsamic reduction is also delightful in this)


  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (or cake flour if you have it)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • Generous 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted  butter, melted and cooled a bit
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons turbinado sugar* for sprinkling on top

* Turbinado sugar is nice because it has larger crystals, and gives you a little crunch. If you don’t have any, just use  brown sugar or cane sugar, or skip the sugar topping all-together.

Balsamic Roasted Strawberries

Preheat oven to 375º F. Make sure you have a rack in the center of the oven.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. If you don’t have a rimmed baking sheet, use an oven-safe baking dish, otherwise you will lose all of your delicious fruit juices to the bottom of your oven!

Prepare your fruit of choice. If you are using strawberries, hull them and cut in half (if they are especially larger, consider quartering them). If you are using apricots, peaches or nectarines, pit and dice into approximately 1/2 cubes. If you opt for cherries, pit and halve.

Lay your fruit in the center of the baking sheet. Sprinkle brown sugar and salt over fruit, and drizzle with olive oil. Mix slightly with spoon or hands. Roast for 35-40 minutes, until juices have thickened (but before they burn). Remove berries and juices to a bowl, and stir in the balsamic. Set aside while you make the cake batter.

Buttermilk Cake

Heat Oven to 400º F. Keep rack in the center of the oven. Butter an 11-inch cast iron skillet (or other similarly sized baking pan).

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.

In a smaller bowl, whisk buttermilk, eggs, cooled butter and vanilla.

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, and stir until well-combined, but not over-worked.

Pour batter into the buttered cast-iron, and evenly distribute the roasted fruit and juices on top. Make sure you sample the juices! Sprinkle with turbinado sugar.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a knife or tooth pick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Do not over-cook. Cast irons retain heat for quite a while, so the cake will continue cooking once it is removed from the oven. Allow cake to cool slightly (or completely) and then serve!

Time to start slicing!!


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