Lime Buttermilk Cake

When you’re given only a few hours notice to whip up a cake for morning tea the following day, it pays to have a few essential ingredients to hand. Or to be creative. I have gotten in the habit, since my move to Brisbane, of scouring fridge and pantry for potential cake ingredients and then recipes to suit, rather than finding a recipe and then purchasing the ingredients to suit.
It is a frustrating exercise but one that results in some unexpected surprises. Like this lime and buttermilk cake, for instance. Another classic from Merle Parish, this was a very easy cake to whip up in s few minutes. Having a couple of limes in the fridge, leftover from a Mexican feast dinner the previous weekend, was largely the deciding factor in baking this cake, which may otherwise not have caught my eye.
But I’m so glad it did. Richly buttery with an intense lime hit, this (relatively large) cake was devoured by only 8 people over a short morning tea meeting. I can highly recommend it as a simple and vibrant alternative to the usual morning tea stand-bys. Apparently it also keeps well in an air-tight tin for a few days, but I couldn’t personally vouch for it; it didn’t last long here, obviously!


Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 250g butter
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 200ml buttermilk (or 200ml regular milk with 1 tbs vinegar added)
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • zest of 2 limes
  • 2 tbs lime juice
  • 2 cups self raising flour

Preheat your oven to 170°. If you have the foresight (or enough notice!) take your butter out and leave it on the bench for a good hour before starting to soften. Otherwise, give it a quick hit in the microwave and cream together with the sugar until light and fluffy.Separate the eggs into 2 bowls (place the whites in a large mixing bowl to be whipped up later) and add the egg yolks and lime zest to the butter mix and beat well.

Now fold in the flour and buttermilk until well combined.

Finally using clean and perfectly dry beaters, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form, and then fold gently into the batter with a metal spoon.

Pour the batter into a greased 22cm round tin and smooth over with you spoon or an offset spatula.

Pop it in to bake for 40-50minutes. Check it at the 40 minute mark. It will probably still be quite wet in the centre but it might be worth covering with foil to prevent it browning overly.

Allow to cool in the tin for 5 minutes, before turning out onto a cooling rack. If you want to ice it, a simple lime icing of lime juice and icing sugar is recommended. Naturally, I did not have enough icing sugar. Luckily it made no difference, it was delicious as-is.

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