Well, I had hopes to have this post out in time for the 4th of July celebration in the U.S., especially since I am in the U.S. visiting family over the holiday. But things don't always go as planned. Nevertheless this is a great summer cake to highlight all of the fresh berries.
The cake batter is unique because half is poured into the baking dish as the base, berries are layered on top, then an egg and a little milk are added to the remaining batter before pouring over the berries. This clever technique makes for a denser cake base and a lighter sponge topping with warm, soft berries in the middle. It's a really enjoyable combination that keeps drawing me back to making it again and again.
Summer Berry Cake
Adapted from Bill Granger "Everyday"
Notes: The original recipe calls for a mix of peaches and raspberries, which is also wonderful especially when peaches are juicy, sweet, and ripe. Feel free to substitute with the berries and/or stone fruit that look best where you live. This round I tested the recipe in a square 8x8 in baking dish (as pictured) but I would recommend sticking to the larger size suggested below, or a similar size, for best results.
1 1/2 cups (185 gr) light spelt flour (or whole wheat pastry flour)
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder + 1/2 tsp.
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup (113.4 gr) butter, chilled and diced
1/2 cup (115 gr) coconut sugar + 2 Tbsp (or raw cane sugar)
1 1/2 cups (180 gr) mixed berries (fresh or frozen)
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 egg, lightly beaten
3/4 cup (185 ml) almond milk (or milk of your choice)
Preheat oven to 350F (180C). Grease and line the base of an 8x12 in (20x30 cm) baking tray.
In a large mixing bowl add flour, 1 1/2 tsp baking powder, and salt. Rub in the butter with your fingertips, then stir in 1/2 cup sugar. Press half the mixture over the base of the tray. Sprinkle berries evenly on top and the remaining 2 Tbsp sugar over berries.
Add the vanilla extract, extra baking powder, egg, and milk to the remaining cake batter and stir well. There will be some lumps, which is fine. Pour batter evenly over the top of the berries and bake for 1 hour, or until top is lightly brown and set*. Transfer dish to a cooling rack and cool slightly before cutting.
*The original recipe recommends baking for an hour but my cake has always been done well before then. I would recommend to start checking your cake at 30 minutes.