I like kiwifruit, but they’re not always at the top of my produce list when I go out shopping. They’re more of an afterthought, something I buy when they look good or if I want something colorful to add to a fruit salad. This is a shame because the berries have a delicious and unique flavor to them. They’re sweet-tart and hard to describe, but if pressed I’d say that they have a hint of mild citrus, ripe berries and sometimes an almost melon note to them. They have a hint of crunch from their seeds, but are soft overall and can easily be scooped with a spoon. And, of course, they have a fantastic green color to them
All these elements help to make kiwi a good choice for the fruit salad I mentioned: color, texture and unique flavor that plays well with other fruits. They also make kiwi a good choice for other fruity dishes, like this simple buttermilk cake. I used both kiwis and raspberries in the cake, so there is a lot of berry flavor in the finished cake and it stands out nicely against the vanilla-buttermilk background. Since there is a good amount of fruit in this cake, I leave it unfrosted and serve it as a coffee cake. It’s also nice with a dusting of powdered sugar.
The cake is sweet and tender. It is moist on its own, but gets a lot of extra moisture from the berries mixed into the batter. Be sure to peel the kiwifruit well before chopping them up, as the tough, hairy skin is not ideal in a cake. Be sure that they are ripe and slightly soft under firm pressure for the best flavor. For the raspberries, you can use fresh or frozen, whatever is more easily available.
Raspberry Kiwi Coffee Cake
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup butter, room tempreature
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups buttermilk
1 cup peeled, diced kiwifruit
1 cup raspberries, fresh or frozen
confections’ sugar, to serve
Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, adding them one at a time, followed by vanilla extract. Alternate additions of the flour mixture and the buttermilk, working in two or three additions and ending with the last of the dry ingredients. Mix only until the batter is smooth and no streaks of flour remain. Fold in diced kiwi and raspberries with a spatula and pour into prepared pan.
Bake for 40-45 minutes, until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
Cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.
Dust with confectioners’ sugar to serve.