Buttermilk Summer Berry Cake

Allow me to introduce you to the Buttermilk Summer Berry Cake. And possibly your new, favorite cake for the summer! This bright and beautiful dessert is the perfect sweetness to serve al fresco on a warm day. And check out the DIY cake topper that I made in honor of a school friend who’ll be moving on to a new school next year. I made this cake for a going away get-together that I hosted for a few lady friends, and wow, it was a big hit! Plus, you really can’t go wrong with berries, buttermilk and cake, right?!?


Thanks to The Little Epicurean for the buttermilk cake recipe (I altered the recipe so that it was plain, not orange). There’s *nothing* like buttermilk in a cake recipe to add a bit of creamy richness.

I also added a cup of blackberries and blueberries to the cake mix, and saved a few more berries for the top of the cake as garnish.


Oh, you know I love to make brown butter frosting! The best part is how my kitchen fills with the smell of melting butter. I want to just bottle up this fragrance! After adding vanilla, heavy whipping cream and powdered sugar, whip until the consistency is light and fluffy.

Brown butter frosting on top

Top the buttermilk cake liberally!

Add berries on top for garnish


Here’s a fancy way to get the berry garnish shining beautifully: give the fruit a bath in simple syrup, which is 1 part sugar and 1 part water, boiled and cooled. Or, you can skip this step and mix your berries, then pile atop the cake.

Thanks to Oh Happy Day for inspiring the cake topper. Since it’s DIY, it took a little time to put together, but their site has clear instructions. I found the embroidery floss at Joann’s.

What I love about this tassled cake topper is it makes the ordinary berry cake extra special, which can otherwise be hard to decorate due to its berry topper. Festive, summery, and delish!


Buttermilk summer berry cake

Photos by: Maria Hedrick Photography

Berry Buttermilk Cake

By TheSweetNerd

July 11, 2018



3 cups flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

2 teaspoons fine sea salt

2 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1 cup unsalted butter, softened and room temperature

4 large eggs

1 cup buttermilk

1 teaspoon of pure vanilla bean paste

1 cup berries for cake (combination of blueberries and blackberries)

Brown Butter Frosting

1/2 cup butter for browning

1/2 cup butter, room temperature

4 cups powdered sugar, sifted

2-3 tablespoon heavy whipping cream

2 teaspoon vanilla extract or paste

Fruit Garnish

3 cups blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries

1/4 cup sugar (optional)

1/4 cup water (optional)



1Cream butter until light and fluffy. Add sugar and aerate until light and fluffy. Add eggs (one at a time until each is incorporated) and vanilla.

2Sift flour, baking powder, and salt.

3Add 1/2 cup buttermilk and mix, then add 1/2 dry mixture (step 2) and mix. Then add last 1/2 cup of each alternatively.

4Add 1 cup blackberries and blueberries inside of mix.

5Prepare a round cake pan (8" or 9") with parchment and then spray. (Spray generously on parchment and sides of pan). Lastly, add a few more berries on top of the cake batter for garnishing.

Brown Butter Frosting

1Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir and swirl so it cooks evenly. The butter will foam and transform from lemon yellow to golden yellow to a light brown. When the butter is done it will have a nutty aroma. Remove the butter from the heat and transfer to a heat safe bowl. Allow the butter to solidify in the refrigerator. Once solid bring to room temperature on the counter.

2In a large bowl cream together the softened brown butter, vanilla and heavy whipping cream. Once combined slowly mix in sifted powdered sugar. Mix until frosting is light and fluffy.

Fruit Garnish

1On the stovetop, bring to a boil 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water until it is clear. Let cool.

2Give the fruit a bath in the simple syrup, and place atop cake. This allows for a shimmery look. Be sure to place them on a paper towel first to remove any excess water drops. If you want to skip this step, feel free and just mix your berries and pile atop the cake. Voila!


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