Posts Tagged ‘Rose Levy Berenbaum’

Meatless Monday: Blackberry Country Cake



BLackberry buttermilk cake recipe

Mildred Pierce and her lady pals knew whipping up a fruit-topped cake was no biggie, but most of us were born a generation or two away from women who baked cakes for afternoon coffee and weeknight desserts.  I learned only recently that there’s no magic to making a berry upside down cake.  All you need are fresh berries and a cake you love.  And this cake, I love.

You already have the recipe for Rose Levy Berenbaum’s Buttermilk Country Cake.  Words cannot express how soft and tender it is.  You should play around with it-lemon or orange zest are bright additions.  Or almond instead of vanilla extract.

Making a blackberry upside down cake, how to make an upside down cake

Yesterday morning, I buttered and floured my pan then filled it with a layer of fresh blackberries.  Then dolloped the batter on top and smoothed it out with a spatula.

blackberry buttermilk with powdered sugar

35 minutes in the oven, 10 minutes total work time.

last bites of blackberry country cake

Last bites.


Vineyard Wedding



Wedding decor, wedding table decor, flowers in mason jrs for weddings

Ranunculus, peonies and wildflowers in Mason jars at the tables

Happy Wednesday, loves.

As much as I already like today I wish I could rewind and go back to Friday night just before the start of the weekend festivities.  My brother married a lady we all love and their day was simply spectacular in that sun-dappled and love-filled California way.  My sister-in-law, Jenn, and wedding stylist Re Jin Lee (of Bailey Doesn’t Bark*) concocted one of the most beautiful events I’ve seen.  The natural setting alone enchanted us with its old oak trees and hanging moss.  Jenn and Re Jin Lee created a look that was rustic but clean, echoing the leafy green surrounds with dark wood and natural fabrics punctuated by lots of white, soft pink and unexpected pops of turquoise and sunshine yellow.

Here are some details for you.


Hanging Mason jar lanterns

Mason jar lanterns swaying in the Spanish Moss

Wedding greeting and guestbook table

Guest book table

The guest book and card catch were displayed alongside a black and white photo of the couple, a rustic wooden ledge, hydrangeas and wildflowers in antique jars and a vintage turquoise pitcher full of yellow pom poms.


Close-up of turquoise pitcher



Escort Cards

The escort cards were little Kraft paper flags planted in moss beds.


Rustic buffet

Cheese plate on a rustic tree stand

Waiters passed bruschetta and devils on horseback during cocktail hour and we nibbled off of this beautiful rustic buffet of charcuterie, cheese and fruit.  Mixing the occasional stump in in among traditional white platters keeps the look clean and elegant.


charcuterie platter

Cheese and charcuterie

Mixed platters showcase plump grapes and blackberries served with ribbons of cured meats.

Wedding decor, rustic wedding, dessert table for wedding

Friends put together a dessert buffet that included traditional Korean sweets, classic European pastries as well as old-fashioned American layer cakes (I had lemon coconut!).  All were plated on friends’ cake plates, 3-tiered serving dishes and in tall apothecary jars and clustered together so the table resembled a cake shop or Wayne Thiebaud’s work.  I couldn’t take my eyes off it.  Later, during dessert, waiters scooped rich gelato and sorbet so that both my brother’s (Italian) and his wife’s (Korean) heritages were represented.


burlap runner, long tables, wedding table decor

Long tables with burlap runners

You know we love a burlap runner.  The huge, dark farm tables looked beautiful out on the grass and marked off a perfect square for dancing.  Each mason jar had a different mix of ranunculus, peonies and wildflowers.


Hydrangea centerpiece

Hydrangea Centerpiece

A simple bouquet of fluffy hydrangeas centered each table.


wedding menu and placesetting

Menu and place setting

All the plates and napkins were white and the runners and menus were the same natural color for a cohesive, elegant look.

Each setting had a yellow pom which may have been my favorite touch.

The “feast” was served family style and included caprese and mixed green salads, followed by Parmesan risotto and a handmade pappardelle green with fresh herbs, then fillet of beef and roast salmon served with grilled zucchini and asparagus from the Lago Giuseppe garden.

I enjoyed the food so much I forgot to take pictures. Sorry!

Lago Giuseppe

The view from my seat.  Fairyland.

wedding cake on rustic wooden slice

Lastly, the cake.  What do you think?  It’s larger than the inspiration shot but we wanted enough to go around.  It was too dark to photograph when we cut it so I don’t have an inside shot of this particular cake.

Wedding cake slice

But here’s a slice from an earlier run-through.  All that’s missing is another inch-thick layer of vanilla buttercream all around.  The cake is Rose Levy Berenbaum’s Buttermilk country cake and the layers are a framboise mascarpone custard alternating with vanilla buttercream and fresh strawberries.  It’s not too sweet and both the cake and buttercream are light and tender with soft vanilla flavor.  Combined with the custard and fresh strawberries, the best I can liken it to is an airy berry shortcake with extra-decadent whipped cream.

Congratulations and much love to the beautiful couple!!



* You know what’s funny?  Lydia and I have both featured Bailey Doesn’t Bark on A & O (here and here), but we had no idea that the artist behind the brand is one of my sister-in-law’s dearest friends!  I thought Jenn had found Re Jin Lee here and she thought we highlighted her friend’s work in part because they are friends.  Nope, we just love Bailey Doesn’t Bark. xo