Lemon Cinnamon Icing… or “When I Confused the Salt and the Sugar”

I may be fast approaching middle-age, and on my way to senility, but I’m still entitled to make the mistakes of a rookie now and again.

I suppose it was going to happen sooner or later. Instead of one tablespoon of salt and two cups of sugar, I accidentally used one tablespoon of sugar and two cups of salt in the blackberry buttermilk cake batter I was making.

As you might have guessed, it did not taste delicious.

I suppose I’m no longer allowed to permit my “inside-head” voice to re-assure me I’m smart enough to tell the difference between salt and sugar based on looks alone.

I suppose I’m also no longer allowed to keep the two in identical canisters, sitting right next to one another, unmarked and usually filled to nearly the exact same levels.

I suppose I’ll have to buy one of those label-makers now… the ones that near-sighted great-gradmas have to use so they can tell the difference between the jar of gumdrops and the jar of buttons.

I suppose it could have been worse.  I could have posted it to Facebook.

See right in the middle of the comments, where Gloria says she has no comment?

I suppose that could have been worse too.

She could have decided she did, in fact, have a comment, and call me at home as I was dumping batter into the garbage can and weeping over my ineptitude.

Click on the link below to listen.


Lesson learned?  Probably not.  I’m going to continue to keep the salt and the sugar right there next to one another, unmarked and unlabeled.  What are the odds of it happening a second time?

But when it does, I’ll be sure to share it with the world.

I’m like that.

Here’s the correct recipe.  The second attempt resulted in a more favorable outcome, though a little later in the evening than I had expected.

Blackberry Buttermilk Cake adapted from Smitten Kitchen, adapted from Gourmet, June 2009

The recipe below is for a single 9 inch cake.  Obviously, I doubled it for the pics above.

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 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
  • 1/2 cup well-shaken buttermilk
  • 1 cup fresh blackberries (about 5 oz)

Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in middle.

Butter and flour a 9-inch round cake pan, or use vegetable spray.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and set aside. In a larger bowl, beat butter and 2/3 cup sugar with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about two minutes, then beat in vanilla and zest, if using. Add egg and beat well.

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 blackberries evenly over top and sprinkle with remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar.

Bake until cake is golden and a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack and cool to warm, 10 to 15 minutes more. Invert onto a plate.

Lemon Cinnamon Icing, Adapted from AllRecipes.com

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Combine the butter, lemon juice, vanilla, confectioner’s sugar and cinnamon and beat until light and fluffy. Add more confectioner’s sugar, or lemon juice to adjust the consistency as needed.

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2 thoughts on “Lemon Cinnamon Icing… or “When I Confused the Salt and the Sugar”

  • March 24, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    Um…. you could just leave them as they are and taste before using…. That’s what I would do. I like to keep a little mystery in the kitchen – and make other people work a bit when they’re looking for the salt. Or the sugar LOL

  • March 28, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    I’m going to take your advice Katie. To be honest, I normally do take a taste, but I’d gotten a little cocky and thought I could tell on sight alone. I definitely won’t make that mistake again. Thanks! 🙂

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