Last Saturday, my fiancé and I drove out to Brighton Beach to celebrate a friend’s recent graduation as a nurse. We baked a batch of these lightened vanilla cake bites with cherry compote because they’re easy to eat and oh-so-adorable! That and I had leftover buttermilk that I did not want to waste. As you can tell, I’m a killing-two-birds-with-one-stone type of gal.
If you know me, you know I love sweets, just not sickeningly sweet desserts. These cake bites simply fit the bill—lightly sweetened, soft and moist. While they baked I bubbled up a batch of cherry compote to give the cake a balance of sweet and tart. The scent of vanilla and red-wine lingering in my kitchen while I made these treats was amaze-balls!
One note for ya: The compote recipe yields one cup, so you will have leftover sweet and tangy cherry sauce (hope that’s not a problem!). I personally used half a cup of compote for the one batch of cake bites. You will probably have enough for two batches of cake bites, which is helpful if you want feed a bigger crowd. Since this was a potluck I brought just enough knowing that there would be plenty of other food there.
The awesome part is that folks could just grab a cake bite when they got tired of swimming or tanning on the beach. Hooray for portable foods! Hooray for beach days! They are the best days—sunny skies, warm sand and that lingering scent of salt in the air. Can you feel it? For me there was no swimming, surfing or heavy lifting needed. All I wanted was a large towel, plenty of sunscreen and big shades. It’s my California birthright. Haha.
What made the day even better was reuniting with Mei-Lin. She was my floor mate way back in my freshmen year at UC Berkeley. We spent the first hour catching up. I told her about my two-year journey in North Carolina to become a dietitian and how I wound up working for a tech startup. She told me about her current dream to work as a therapist for troubled youths, and we both marveled at how time flies by too quickly. You know that fuzzy glow you get after a chance encounter with an old friend? The feeling that the universe is smaller than you think, and that we are all connected? That feeling made my weekend special.
Oh, and these buttermilk cake bites did, too! Happy eating.
Vanilla Cake Bites with Cherry Compote
A batch of lightened vanilla cake bites made with low-fat buttermilk and a little bit of sugar. It's topped with sweet and tangy cherry compote! Recipe makes 16 cake bites.
For the vanilla cake bites
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup butter melted
- 2/3 cup low-fat buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
For the cherry compote
- 3/4 cup red wine
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 5 ounces dried cherries (about 3/4 cup)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large mixing bowl add flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir thoroughly with a wooden spoon.
In a separate bowl add the egg, butter, buttermilk and vanilla. Whisk until combined.
Grease a 16-well mini-muffin pan. Use a “1-tablespoon” measuring spoon to distribute the batter into each well. Bake for 25 minutes, or until a inserted toothpick comes out clean.
While the cake bites are baking, heat the wine and sugar over medium-high heat. Allow the sugar to dissolve before adding the dried cherries.
Simmer dried cherries in the wine until it’s plumps up, about 5-7 minutes.
Allow the cake bites to cool before topping with cherry compote. You can dust them with powdered sugar, if desired.
Recipe NotesCompote recipe yields 1 cup. You will likely have leftovers unless you double the cake bite recipe. Leftover compote can be stored in the fridge for up to one week.
Inspired by Simple Nourished Living.