Buttermilk is a game-changer in baking. It simply does some magical chemistry during the baking process to break down gluten and produce a tender crumb. Although we’re not concerned about breaking down gluten since we’re gluten free here, buttermilk can still be used for a few reasons. First buttermilk adds a pleasant tang to baked goods. It’s a truly unique flavor. In this recipe, I find it to be subtle but detectable. Second, it also creates a wonderful texture and crumb even in gluten free baked goods.
Buttermilk sold in stores typically is not a byproduct of the butter making process. Instead, cultures (the good bacteria guys) are added to milk. When allowed to ferment, this creates a thick liquid and that notable tang. Buttermilk is incredibly versatile and can be used to make biscuits, pancakes, marinades, and dressings.
I hope that you love this little cake as much as I do. It’s the perfect cake to accompany a cup of tea or to include on a luncheon menu. It’s also a guilt free breakfast option. Sweetened with coconut sugar, the sweetness is subtle and offers just enough to satisfy but not enough to make you feel guilty!
I’ve also added cinnamon to the recipe. The blueberries, buttermilk, and cinnamon work really well together. It’s a bit of an unexpected flavor, but unexpected in a great way. You can certainly eat this cake plain, but I really love adding a dollop of whipped cream to the top along with a sprinkle of crunchy granola.
Gluten Free Blueberry Buttermilk Cake
1/4 cup softened butter, I used salted butter
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 & 1/4 cups cultured buttermilk (room temperature)
1/2 cup coconut sugar
2 cups gluten free flour with xanthan gum (I used Bob’s 1 to 1 gluten free flour)
1 & 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup fresh blueberries
- Preheat the oven at 350 degrees.
- Line either a square 8″ x 8″ baking dish or a 9″ round baking dish with parchment paper. If using a round baking dish, I find it easiest to flip the round dish upside down on the parchment paper. Then cut around the dish to form a circle. Then press the paper into the baking dish. There will be enough parchment paper to come up the sides a bit – exactly what you want.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment cream together the butter and coconut sugar until smooth. Add the vanilla and eggs, and mix until smooth.
- Sift together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and baking powder. Add the flour and buttermilk into the bowl of the stand mixer and stir together until the batter is smooth.
- Place the blueberries in a separate bowl. Stir 1/4 teaspoon of water over the berries to lightly coat them. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon of gluten free flour. Toss the berries in the flour to lightly coat. This step prevents the berries from sinking to the bottom of the cake.
- Add the berries to the batter and fold them in by hand using a silicone spatula.
- Spread the batter into the prepared baking dish.
- Bake for 20 minutes on the middle rack in the oven.
- Allow to cool and sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired.
- Served with whipped cream and granola if desired.