A cake made to go with coffee

A gingery soup

I am looking for a recipe for the old La Bou butternut squash soup that contained ginger, not the new one that has a curry flavor. I loved the ginger in that soup, it was one of my favorites. I’m hoping someone has this recipe.

Kacy Curran,

Granite Bay

How to contact the mailbox

If you have recipes in reply to Mailbox reader requests, or questions or comments, write to: Mailbox, c/o Taste, The Sacramento Bee, P.O. Box 15779, Sacramento, CA 95852. You also can email or fax (916)  321-1109. Please include your full name, your city and phone number.

Buttermilk cake with berries

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Serves 6 to 8

Recently, Rich Vernier of Galt was looking for a buttermilk coffee cake recipe featured in The Bee years ago. It was from Mendocino’s Café Beaujolais. We received the recipe and featured it in the Mailbox last month.

Margaret Bloebaum of Nevada City shares this recipe that she thought Vernier might also enjoy. Bloebaum says she likes to use crystallized sugar to top this cake because it doesn’t dissolve into the cake and keeps the top crunchy. She also says that as the cake bakes, it will puff up and engulf the berries. She likes to top it with a dab of sweetened whipped cream.

Note: The prep time does not include the 10- and 15-minute cool times after cake is baked.

1 cup flour

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

½ stick sweet unsalted butter, softened

2/3 cup granulated sugar

1½ tablespoon granulated sugar or crystallized sugar

½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 large egg

½ cup well-shaken buttermilk

1 cup fresh berries (raspberries or blueberries)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees with rack in middle. Butter and sugar a 9-inch round cake pan or springform pan.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Beat butter and 2/3 cup sugar with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in Vanilla. Add egg and beat well.

At low speed, mix in flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour and mixing until just combined.

Spoon batter into cake pan, smoothing top. Scatter berries evenly over top and sprinkle with 1½ tablespoon sugar (granulated or crystallized). Bake until cake is golden and wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes.

Cool in pan 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack and cool to warm, 10 to 15 minutes more. Or if you’re using a springform pan, run a blunt knife around the edge of the pan, release the sides and cool on the bottom for a few minutes. Run a spatula between the bottom of the cake and the bottom of the pan before placing on a rack to cool. Transfer onto a plate.

Related stories from Sacramento Bee