Pound cake is known for being a dense, but tender cake. It actually has an ideal consistency for mix-ins in the batter. Unlike lighter and fluffier cakes, pieces of fruit or chocolate chips are much more likely to remain suspended in the middle of the cake, while in less substantial cakes they will sink down to the bottom before the cake has set in the oven. Pound cake has a good flavor from butter and sugar on its own, but the fact that you can add to it so easily makes versatile, and a great recipe to have on file.
Inspired by the success of my blackberry cranberry sauce recently, I decided to add fresh blackberries into this cake while I knew I could get some that were very juicy and sweet. You can use fresh or frozen, whichever is easier to find. Frozen have the advantage that they are always available, but fresh are less likely to “bleed” into the cake and turn the batter pink. Frozen berries often have some juice frozen to the outside of the berries, making them more likely to dye the cake as they warm up. Toss frozen berries in a bit of flour before folding them into the batter, if you use them instead of fresh.
This cake has a great pound cake texture. It has a very tight, moist crumb that makes the cake easy to slice thinly, and the plain cake has a great butter flavor, a combination of the buttermilk and the butter in the batter. Despite the fact that there is fair amount of sugar in the cake, the cake itself is not too sweet. The berries really stand out, both in color and in flavor on the plain vanilla cake. I think this bundt easily stands alone and needs no glaze or icing. Serve it with ice cream, if you want something on the side, but otherwise just put out thin pieces with cups of coffee and enjoy.
Blackberry Pound Cake
3 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups blackberries, fresh or frozen
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour a 10-inch bundt pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light. Beat in eggs one at a time, followed by vanilla extract.
With a mixer on low speed (or by hand), stir in 1/3 of the flour mixture, followed by half of the buttermilk. Add additional 1/2 of the flour and the rest of the buttermilk. Stir in remaining flour, mixing only until no streaks of flour remain. Gently fold in blackberries with a spatula (if using frozen, coat with 1 tbsp flour before stirring them in to prevent them from bleeding all over the cake).
Spoon into prepared pan and level top with a spatula.
Bake for about 70 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then loosen cake and turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.