Mistake Cake

A few years back, I was inspired by this post, to make this cake.  Except that I was distracted.  And I made the buttermilk per the recipe’s notes section, and I added it all.  All.  Despite the fact that the recipe called for half.  Luckily, Deb takes amazing process photos, so I could tell by how the batter looked that something was wrong.  So I added some flour, and some more, and some more, until the consistency was just right.  And you know what?  It was amazing. the perfect, crumbly, not too sweet cake with a hint of berry tartness.  A very delicious mistake.

Havenly Mistake Cake blueberry

Since then I’ve deliberately repeated the mistake, and adapted it to fit my slightly crunchier taste–substituting turbinado and some whole wheat flour for the white sugar and flour.  With berries or peaches in the summer, and apples in the fall, every time I make it, it does not disappoint.

Mistake Cake (Adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

Havenly Mistake Cake before baking

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar, divided
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest (optional)
1 large egg
1 cup buttermilk (make your own! mix 1 cup milk w/ one tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice, and let stand 10 minutes at room temp.)
1/2 pint blueberries or 1 cup fruit of your choice

  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Butter and flour a 9-inch round cake pan.
  • Whisk the dry ingredients together and set aside.
  • In a larger bowl, beat butter and 2/3 cup sugar with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until there are no lumps, then beat in vanilla, zest, and egg.
  • At low speed, mix in flour mixture in three batches, alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour, and mixing until just combined.
  • Spoon batter into cake pan, smoothing top. Scatter fruit over top and smoosh it down into the batter a bit. Sprinkle with sugar.
  • Bake until cake is golden and a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.


Here’s a batter photo, just in case!




This week, this charming young man turned four.  Four is such an amazing time: every day he makes new connections, and piece by piece constructs the rules of his world.  Play can be nuanced and full of imagination, or it can be very black and white.  One moment the world is full of mystery and lightness, and the next moment things are incredibly frustrating to figure out…  But he marches on, sometimes timid, but undeterred.

May you always be as full of wonder, awe, trust, and curiosity as you are now.  Happy Birthday little love!


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