Jewels dropped on white satin--this cake is wonderful as breakfast, tea or dessert. It has a slightly tart flavor from the buttermilk which keeps it softly dense with pops of berries throughout and a thick, vanilla glaze that dries to a shiny lacquered finish.
This loaf is pretty as a gift, but make two--one for you and one for them.
Trader Joe's has a great selection of freeze-dried berries, as does Whole Foods/Amazon.
Notes: Oil is grape seed.
BERRY BUTTERMILK LOAF
Ingredients: 1 3/4 cups flour, 1/2 tsp. baking powder, 1/2 tsp. baking soda, 3/4 cup buttermilk 3/4 sugar, 2 eggs at room temperature, 1 tsp. vanilla extract, 1/2 cup neutral oil, scant 1/4 cup freeze-dried berries-crumbled. For the frosting: 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar, 1-2 Tbsp. warm water, 1 tsp. vanilla extract, 1 Tbsp. crumbled freeze-dried berries.
1. Preheat oven to 350* and grease and line a standard loaf pan.
2. Whisk the flour, baking powder, and baking soda in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk the sour cream, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and oil together.
3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and mix until smooth. Fold in 1/4 cup of freeze-dried berries. Pour into the loaf pan and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. Cool completely.
4. Whisk the powdered sugar, vanilla and 1 Tbsp. water together until there are no lumps. The frosting should be a thick but pourable consistency. If you need to add more water, do it by a teaspoon at a time. Sprinkle immediately with crumbled freeze-dried berries.
Tip: To crumble the berries, place into a zip-lock bag and roll with a wine bottle.