Oh, gosh, peeps. There is certainly a bit of a sheet cake thing happening over on the old interweb. And sheet cakes studded with berries are veritably taking over. Now, I am not complaining. No way. I dig a sheet cake more than just about anything (sorry children, dog, husband). And if it is filled with, or topped with, berries, be they strawberry or raspberry or blackberry, all the better. But perhaps I should back up: sheet cakes, for the unfamiliar, are single layer cakes baked in 13x9x2-inch pans and they are (or should be) easy peasy — perfect for picnics and potlucks and after school and for weeknights and even bdays. This one-bowl raspberry buttermilk sheet cake is no exception. Now, the first berry-studded sheet cake I encountered this summer was from Bon Appetit’s Sarah Jampel, and it was (incorrectly) called a strawberry snacking cake. Now, I don’t want to cause any problems, but I’m a bit of a stickler when it comes to describing cakes, and really, a snacking cake is one that is square (or round) and is 8 or 9 inches in diameter. However, this Bon App “snacking cake” is baked in a 13x9x2-inch pan. So, I am going to go ahead and refer to Sarah’s cake as a sheet cake, k? Not one of the snacking variety. But I digress.
The second berry-studded sheet cake I encountered was Smitten Kitchen’s and Deb called her’s a strawberry summer sheet cake (and so I basically rest my case as to what to call a cake in a 13x9x2-inch pan . . . ). And, yes, you’re right, these are the only two I am going to mention here, but just take my word for it that berry sheet cakes are a thing. And guess what? I am jumping on this delicious bandwagon with this raspberry buttermilk sheet cake. Truth be told, I intended to develop a recipe for a peach sheet cake, but the peaches I bought on the particular morning I intended to make the cake were not as flavorful as I was hoping for, so I went with raspberries. And boy am I glad I did, as the color and tart bite of each berry is perfect with the sweet, light and uber moist buttermilk cake on which they nestle (the berries are sprinkled on right before baking, as opposed to being folded into the batter).
The cake is a one-bowl oil-based cake, because oil-based, one-bowl cakes just happen to be my thing, in case you did not know or had not noticed. I like buttermilk for this cake for its tang and for the tender crumb it imparts. But you could substitute milk or yogurt, if you wanted. I loaded on the berries after transferring the batter to the prepared pan, which ensures a berry is enjoyed with every bite. I also sprinkled the cake with Turbinado sugar before baking it (just like you do — or should do — when baking blueberry muffins), as the sugar makes for the nicest of crackly tops, which is particularly lovely since the cake is not frosted or dusted with confectioners’ sugar — the truth is, it just doesn’t need it. It’s that good. And did I mention it comes together in less than 10 minutes? You’re welcome.
One-Bowl Raspberry Buttermilk Sheet Cake
- 1 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 yolks
- 4 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/3 cups buttermilk
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- 1 1/2 tsp table salt
- 2 - 3 cups raspberries
- Turbinado sugar for sprinkling
- Vanilla ice cream or whipped cream for serving
- Preheat the oven to 350-degrees. Grease a 13x9x2-inch pan with cooking spray or softened butter. Line the bottom with parchment paper.
- In a medium-sized bowl, combine the oil and sugar and whisk vigorously to combine. And the eggs, and then the yolks, one at a time, whisking after each. Whisk in the vanilla. Add the buttermilk and whisk a final time.
- Sift the flour, baking powder and salt onto a sheet of parchment paper. Using the paper as a funnel, pour the dry ingredients into the wet in three installments, gently mixing after each with a rubber spatula. Do not over mix. Stop folding when there is still a streak of flour or two.
- Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and decoratively sprinkle the raspberries on top.
- Sprinkle the cake with Turbinado sugar and place in the preheated oven for about 55 minutes, rotating the cake at 30 minutes. The cake can be pulled from the oven when a tester inserted in the center comes out with only a moist crumb or two.
- Serve slices directly from the pan warm or at room temperature, or, wait ten minutes and then invert the cake onto a serving platter. Scoops of vanilla ice cream or dollops of softly whipped cream make for lovely accompaniments.