Crispy top with a soft and moist interior, sweet crumb with tart berries inside... every bite is heavenly. This berry cake is undoubtedly the best I've ever had.
My 12-year-old daughter Emily, an aspiring chef, has become a pro at making this cake as we just keep asking her to make it again and again. This simple berry cake recipe is fairly easy to make but it does take some time to bake - over an hour. It's worth the wait though!
The trick to this cake
I've noticed how baked goods have a different texture and taste depending on how they are shaped and baked. For example, my French baguettes taste different from bread made with the same dough but in a shape of a round loaf (boulle). The same is true here.
We tried baking this cake in shallow tart pans and in larger cake pans but the best texture seems to result from baking it in a 6" x 3" round cake pan. An 8" round pan works too but the cake comes out just a touch differently - it's not quite as moist inside and as crispy on the outside at the same time.
This berry cake requires some very basic ingredients such as flour, butter, sugar, salt, vanilla, and eggs. The two ingredients that you may not have in your pantry are almond flour and mixed berries.
Our favorite mixed berries to use in this cake is a triple berry mix that consists of blackberries, blueberries, and strawberries. These mixed berries provide just enough tartness to balance out the sweetness of the triple berry cake itself.
That said, feel free to experiment and try different berry combinations, there are so many options out there.
Making the cake
Preparing the batter for this cake has one peculiar step that really makes this cake shine - browning butter. This adds a nutty fragrance to the cake. This is another trick that makes this berry cake so good and so different from other berry cakes.
Once the batter is done, pour it into a greased and lined cake pan and top with berries. There is no need to mix the berries into the batter as they will add too much color to it.
Baking, provided you used a 6" cake pan, will take anywhere from 75 to 90 minutes.
The timing will depend on whether you used fresh or frozen berries. Naturally, using frozen berries will increase the baking time. Using a larger but shallower pan will decrease the baking time.
Once the cake is ready, take it out of the oven and let it cool on a cooling rack for 20-30 minutes. Run a butter knife around the perimeter then carefully take it out of the pan and place it on a serving plate. Dust with powdered sugar and serve.
This cake is also very, very good chilled overnight in a fridge. That is if you can manage to wait that long.
- 2 cups mixed berries frozen or fresh
- 6 1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter plus more to grease the pan
- 4 egg whites
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup almond flour
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour plus more to dust the pan
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 pinch of salt
- Powdered sugar for topping
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Line the bottom of a 6-inch round cake pan with parchment paper, grease the pan with butter, and then dust it lightly with flour.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the almond flour, the all-purpose flour, and the sugar. Set aside.
- In a smaller bowl, beat the egg whites and a pinch of salt together until they reach stiff peaks. Then, gently fold the whipped egg whites into the flour and sugar mixture. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan, over medium heat, melt and brown the butter. Once the butter is golden brown, slightly frothy, and obtains a nutty aroma, remove it from the heat immediately. Cool the butter for a couple of minutes then stir in the vanilla extract. Gently mix the butter mixture into the previous batter until it is homogeneous.
- Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan.
- If you are using fresh berries, wash and dry them well. If you are using frozen berries, there is no need to wash them.
- Evenly place the fresh or frozen berries on top of the batter in the pan.
- Bake the cake for 75 to 90 minutes. To check the doneness of the cake, insert a toothpick in the center of the cake, there should not be any liquid batter on the toothpick, but it should have some residue. Make sure not to overbake it!
- Once the cake is baked, let it cool for 20-30 minutes and carefully remove it from the baking pan. Transfer the cake onto a serving platter and dust the cake with powdered sugar. Then, serve.