Blueberry, Buttermilk, & Rosemary Brown Butter Cake for Tea Time


“I know very well that I am in a minority here. But still, how can you call yourself a true tea-lover if you destroy the flavour of your tea by putting sugar in it? It would be equally reasonable to put pepper or salt. Tea is meant to be bitter, just as beer is meant to be bitter. If you sweeten it, you are no longer tasting the tea, you are merely tasting the sugar; you could make a very similar drink by dissolving sugar in plain hot water. ~George Orwell, “A Nice Cup of Tea,” Evening Standard, 12 January 1946″

I don’t often bake as it is not my favorite sport, but every now and then I find something that intrigues me enough to give it a try as with the mere mention of this combination of ingredients blueberries, rosemary, olive oil and brown butter.  There is an absolutely wonderful blog “local milk” that I just love, just one fabulous thing after another to read and view there, just a comfortable place to be and where I found the recipe.  

I took a look at the amount of rosemary called for and with an abundance of it along my herb pathway and I love to use rosemary when I can.  With blueberries?  Yes, oh yes, I loved the cake and it was wonderful for a late afternoon tea break and good with my cup of coffee this morning…next time I will try to get my icing to look like hers just not sure what went wrong with two simple ingredients.  I look forward to trying out some of the suggested versions with other fruit and herbs

Thank you local milk

IMG_1838Adapted from a Martha Stewart recipe

Blueberry, Buttermilk and Rosemary Brown Butter Cake
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 25 minutes
Yield: 1 6-cup bundt cake
“The top of the cake might prove to be your favorite part, it’s deliciously crunchy against the soft interior. Feel free to vary the fruit and herbs. Try it with peaches or blackberries this time of year, and play with adding zests or essences like rosewater or orange blossom water. You can also make it with whole wheat, but use about 2 more tablespoons of buttermilk if you do. Now make this cake now! And invite friends & family to avoid killing the whole thing yourself.”


1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 stick of butter, browned & chilled until solid but soft
about 2 tablespoons of olive oil

1/2 cup granulated sugar
100 g (1/2 cup) brown sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons buttermilk
3 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
1 cup blueberries

For Glaze
2 tablespoons buttermilk
120 grams (about 1 cup) powdered sugar

Heat oven to 350° F. Grease a 6-cup bundt pan well with butter, making sure to get every nook and cranny. If you’d like to use a 12-cup pan, just double the recipe. Alternately, you can use cooking spray (try to find a natural, propellent free oil-spray or make your own!) If using the latter, use right before filling the tin so the spray doesn’t pool at the bottom of your pan.
Weight the flour out into a small bowl. Add baking powder and salt. Sift the flour mixture into a medium bowl, dumping any salt that doesn’t make it through the sieve in at the end. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream the solid brown butter, olive oil, and the brown & white sugar until very light and fluffy, about 6 minutes, making sure to scrape the bowl down half way through.
When you’re finished creaming the butter and sugar, scrape the bowl yet again, and, with the mixer on low add the eggs one at a time, incorporated the first before adding the second. After the second egg is incorporated add the vanilla. Don’t forget the vanilla! I always forget the vanilla.
With the mixer still on low, add 1/3 of the flour mixture followed by half of the buttermilk, alternating with the next 1/3 of the flour mixture, then the rest of the buttermilk. Turn the mixer off and, using a rubber spatula (the one you’ve been scraping down your bowl with…because you have been scraping down your bowl, right?), mix in the last 1/3 of the flour mixture along with the rosemary by hand to prevent over mixing. Be sure to scrape the bottom! Gently fold in the blueberries.
Spoon the batter into the prepared tin, smooth the top, bang it against the counter 3-4 times to get rid of air bubbles, and bake at 350° F for 30-45 minutes (if doubling the recipe for a 12-cup bundt pan or if using a 6-cup bundt pan with no hole as I have here, increase cooking time to 1 hour – 1 hour 15 minutes and cover with foil after 45 minutes) or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Again, if at any point the top is a deep, golden brown, but then center is still not cooked, cover the top with tin foil and continue to bake until a toothpick comes out clean.
Cool in pan 20 minutes. Run a thin knife around the edge of the cake, and then invert onto a cooling rack to finish cooling. Meanwhile, make your glaze. Sift the powdered sugar into a bowl and then whisk in the buttermilk. Set aside, whisking every so often to prevent drying out while the cake finishes cooling. Once the cake has reached room temperature, spoon the glaze over the top, allowing it to drip down the sides. Let glaze dry. Slice and enjoy with a cup of coffee!

This can easily be adapted for a bigger cake pan. For a 12 cup pan simply double all quantities and increase the bake time to 1 hour – 1 hour 15 minutes and cover the top with foil once it’s deeply golden brown as is noted in the recipe. Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart