Buttermilk: it's super delicious in certain recipes, but for some reason, it only comes in a way-too-large size. I needed a small amount of buttermilk for flan imposible and had tons left over, so I googled my way to a raspberry buttermilk cake. Alas, our last carton of fresh raspberries were consumed along with the flan, so I had to make recourse to what I had left: giant, relatively bland strawberries from Trader Joe's. Embedded in this cake, though, the berries were perfect: tart, bright, and beautiful.
This cake is fluffy and flavorful on the inside, with a delightful sugary crunch on top. And it comes together in no time at all.
We had the cake with vanilla ice cream. It was a perfect end to a tasty barbecue . . . a sweet promise of the summer weather that is to come.
Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in middle. Butter and flour a 9-inch round cake pan. I added a circle of parchment on the bottom just to be safe.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Beat butter and 2/3 cup sugar with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes, then beat in vanilla. Add egg and beat well.
At low speed, mix in flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour, and mixing until just combined.
Spoon batter into cake pan, smoothing top. Scatter raspberries evenly over top and sprinkle with remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar.
Bake until cake is golden and a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack and cool to warm, 10 to 15 minutes more. Invert onto a plate.