I made this cake a few weeks ago for a celebration. A celebration of something I’ve wanted and worked towards for a very, very, very long time. My dearest friends, I am writing a cookbook! And I could not be more ecstatic about it!! Adventures in Chicken is set for a fall 2016 publishing date with the wonderful Haughton Mifflin Harcourt. The deepest thanks goes to my literary agent, Holly Smith, and to my Editor, Justin Schwartz for helping bring this to fruition. I’ll be working on this for a good long while, but I’ll still be posting here of course, just perhaps not quite as often at the end of this year and the beginning of the new one. But it will all be for a delicious, savory cookbook that I know you will all love, so I hope you’ll forgive me for any gaps in posts, however long or short they may be. And I also want to thank you all for your readership, kind words, and comments. Without your continued support I wouldn’t even be writing this book.
Now, to the cake! I’ve always loved the flavor of oregano and thought its limitation to savory uses was a bit of a waste, so I decided to incorporate it into my celebratory cake along with some honey, lemon juice, and olive oil. And to cut through the herbal cake, I used a wonderfully sweet blackberry buttercream made from the ripest, freshest blackberries. The result was a cake that was wonderfully fragrant, sweet without being cloyingly so, and moist. The flavor was absolutely unique, unlike any cake I’ve ever tasted, and in the best way possible. Perfect for a very special celebration like this one.
Rosemary Honey Cake With Blackberry Buttercream
This delicious blackberry cake tasted like the best of late summer in a slice. With sweet-tart blackberry jam between the cake layers, and a creamy blackberry cream cheese frosting, this summery corn cake is the best way to enjoy the fruits of the July, August, and September seasons!
- 1 pound ripe blackberries
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons sugar-free pectin
- 1 tablespoon honey
Rosemary Honey Cake
- 3 and 1/2 cups cake flour
- 1/4 cup cornmeal
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 6 eggs
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon vanilla etxract
- 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary finely chopped
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter softened
- 1/4 cup cream cheese softened
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a medium saucepan, bring all ingredients to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium low and continue cooking until the mixture thickens, about 8 to 10 minutes, stirring the mixture and crushing the blackberries with the end of a wooden spoon. Remove from heat and set aside to cool completely.
Rosemary Honey Cake
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl until well blended. Set aside.
In an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together the eggs, sugar, and honey at medium speed until thick, about 1 minute. Add the olive oil, lemon juice, and vanilla extract and mix until combined. Add the flour mixture to the batter in thirds until completely incorporated, then stir in the rosemary. Evenly distribute the batter between 3 well-greased and lightly-floured 8-inch cake pans.
- Place the pans in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the tops of the cakes turn golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Remove the cakes from the pans and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
While the cakes are baking, make the frosting. Beat the butter in the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment at medium high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the cream cheese and beat until smooth and fluffy and fully incorporated into the butter mixture, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl if needed, beating about 2 minutes more.
Reduce speed to low and add the powdered sugar in 4 increments, mixing until incorporated before adding the next bit. Add the vanilla extract, salt, and 2 tablespoons of the blackberry jam and mix until completely smooth.
Measure out two separate 1/3 cups of the icing and place each 1/3 cup in a separate bowl. Add 1 teaspoon of the blackberry jam to one bowl and stir until smooth. And add 1 *tablespoon* of blackberry jam to the *other* bowl and stir until smooth. So you'll now have three shades of frosting, the palest shade in the big mixing bowl, a medium shade in a little bowl, and the deepest shade in the other little bowl.
Layer the cake with the jam between each layer. Frost the entire outside of the cake lightly with the palest shade (from your large mixing bowl). Ice the bottom third of the sides of the cake with the deepest shade, then ice the middle third of the sides of the cake with the medium shade, and lastly, ice the top third of the sides of the cake with the lightest shade. Serve immediately.
Blackberry Buttercream recipe adapted from America's Test Kitchen.