There are certain ingredients that we all tend to buy for one specific recipe, and then….what to do with the leftovers? It can be a source of frustration or annoyance – no one likes to throw out a half bunch of wilted basil – or you can let those ingredients turn into a course of inspiration.
Some ingredients that fall into this category are unusual spices, half a can of tomato paste (but not anymore! if you don’t know how to store your leftover tomato paste, this tip will be a game changer for you), a cup of heavy cream (that’s how I got to this great berry fool), and fresh herbs (that’s how I got to these chicken breasts and this shrimp and corn salad).
One of the ingredients I buy on occasion for a particular dish, and then find myself wondering what to do with, is buttermilk. It usually comes in a quart sized container, and recipes usually call for a cup of two.
This cake was born of a half container of buttermilk that was nearing its expiration date, and a the remainder of a platoon of grapes that I had over-purchased because they were on crazy sale. I have no idea what prompted me to think about putting grapes in a cake. I remember googling it, to see if I was nuts or if this really was a “thing”, and I got enough encouragement (it doesn’t take much for me) that I plowed ahead.
This is more of a coffeecake cake than a cake cake, if you know what I mean (and clearly you do). And rightly so – now I feel like grapes make perfect sense in a snacky cake to be enjoyed with a cup of tea, but I wouldn’t necessarily want to see them in my birthday cake covered by a thick layer of buttercream.
Maybe someday someone will be googling grape cake, and find this! The karmic internet, she’s a wonder.
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature, plus more for buttering the pan
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¾ cup low-fat buttermilk
- 2 ½ cups red seedless grapes
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 9-inch metal cake pan that is 2-inches deep, and line the bottom with a round of parchment paper. Butter the paper.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt.
- In another medium bowl use an electric mixer to cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl at least once. Beat in the eggs one at a time. On low speed, beat in the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the buttermilk and scraping down the sides of the bowl on occasion. Stir in 1 ½ cups of the grapes. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
- Distribute the rest of the grapes over the batter. Bake until the cake is golden brown on top and springs back when pressed lightly with your finger, about 45 minutes.
- Cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes, then run a knife around the edges of the pan, invert the pan and remove the cake. Peel off the parchment paper and cool the cake upright on a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.
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