Blackberry Rhubarb Buttermilk Cake Recipe

It was a chilly weekend. We wanted to work in the yard, but it was too wet and cold. I was forced to stay inside and bake.  On Saturday morning, I made a blackberry rhubarb buttermilk cake. I am trying to make a dent in our rhubarb-we have four plants and they are ripe and ready to be used.

Strawberries and rhubarb are commonly used together, but I wanted to try blackberries since they are my favorite berry. I adapted one of my favorite Gourmet cake recipes as the base. The tender buttermilk cake is simple to make. It is moist, buttery, but not overly sweet. The plump, juicy blackberries add bursts of sweetness and the rhubarb chunks bring a slight tartness to the cake. I think the blackberries were the perfect  pair for the rhubarb.

The cake is charmingly rustic, no frosting is needed. The berries sunk to the bottom of the cake, so I just served it upside down to show off the beautiful berries. If you want to showcase the sugary crust, serve it right side up. Either way, this cake is a winner.

Blackberry Rhubarb Buttermilk Cake

Yield: Serves 8

Cook Time: 20-25 minutes


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 sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 cup well-shaken buttermilk
3/4 cup fresh blackberries
1/2 cup rhubarb, chopped
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar


1. Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in middle. Coat a 9-inch round cake pan with cooking spray.

2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.

3. Beat butter and 2/3 cup sugar with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until batter is smooth, about 2 minutes. Beat in the vanilla, egg, and lemon zest. Mix until well combined.

4. At low speed, mix in the flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with buttermilk. Start with the flour and end with the flour. Mix until just combined. Don't over mix.

5. Spoon batter into cake pan, smoothing the top with a spatula. Scatter blackberries and rhubarb evenly over the top of the batter. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons of turbinado sugar.

6. Bake until cake is golden brown and a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, 20-25 minutes. Let the cake cool in pan for about 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack and cool completely. Serve the cake upside down to show off the pretty berries and rhubarb. Cut into slices.

Adapted from Gourmet

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If you like this cake, you might also like:

Plum Nectarine Buttermilk Cake from Two Peas and Their Pod
Peach Almond Cake from Two Peas and Their Pod
Strawberry Buttermilk Cake from Dishing Up Delights
Blueberry and Strawberry Buttermilk Cake from Pinch My Salt

Categories: Cake