Blackberry and buttermilk sponge

A few years ago I was given this great British Bake Off recipe book for Christmas.

Image 15-06-2016 at 22.15


That same year we had a GBBO competition at our church do.  I’m not overly competitive but was willing to give it a go so made this following cake as it’s from the book and was therefore topical.  Little did I know that everyone else had done really swanky, fancy decorated numbers and I show up to the party late with my simple offering.

*Note to self, always check if others are doing swanky fancy cakes before entering baking competitions.

However, on the blindfold taste test, I won and have made it several times since telling everyone it’s my prizewinning cake.

If you fancy giving it a try the recipe is below.  Buttermilk isn’t always easy to buy but I have managed to get it from a couple of local supermarkets and it provides a lovely taste to your sponge.  If you can’t get buttermilk I’ve read you can make a buttermilk substitute by adding a tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice to a cup of  room temp full fat milk and leave it for ten minutes.  I’ve never tried this but if you have and it’s worked then comment and let me know. (It’s on the internet so it must be true!)*edit: someone has commented and said it works so I’ll be doing that next time.

150g fresh blackberries

125g softened butter (they say unsalted but I used salted and it seemed fine, apologies to Mary Berry!)

175g caster sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla essence

2 medium eggs at room temp

100ml buttermilk at room temp

200g self raising flour

Demerara sugar for sprinkling

  • heat oven to 180 C
  • clean and dry blackberries
  • beat soft butter until creamy and gradually beat in caster sugar and vanilla essence until mixture is pale and fluffy.  Keep wiping down the sides of the bowl to mix well.
  • Beat the eggs with a fork just to mix then gradually add to the butter mixture scraping down the bowl again.
  • Add a third of the buttermilk and fold in, then fold in a third of the flour and repeat until all buttermilk and flour is folded in.
  • scrape the mixture into a lined tin (20cm round) then scatter the berries on top and gently press down about half way.
  • sprinkle demerara sugar over the top and bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes,check if your skewer or sharp knife comes out clean to see if it’s cooked through.
  • enjoy!
Image 15-06-2016 at 22.15 (1)
Here’s one I made earlier

You can buy the GBBO book at any good book store I’m sure. 🙂




6 thoughts on “Blackberry and buttermilk sponge

  1. I’ve frequently done the vinegar in regular milk trick when I ran out of buttermilk and couldn’t be bothered to go to the store. It works! In the US, we can often buy a buttermilk powder that works really well also. The powder can keep in the fridge for months with spoiling and you just add water to the right amount of powder.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the comment Aimee. I’ll be sure to give that a try next time. I don’t think I’ve heard of buttermilk powder but it will be worth me having a look. There’s a shop in orkney that sells just about any ingredient you need so I might try there.


  2. We have dried buttermilk in the US that works great in my Buttermilk scones recipe! And you always have it on hand 🙂 Hope you can find some.


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