I know, I know: sharing a recipe for a dessert calling for mixed berries isn’t exactly the most seasonal thing I could be doing in September. But hear me out: I am madly in love with this recipe, as is everyone who has tried it – either because I made it for them or because they made it themselves (yes, this recipe has already made the rounds) – and I could not bear to wait until next summer to share it with you. So there you have it.
Also, I believe it goes without saying (and apologies, seasonal police) that you can find berries year-round and you might just be craving something that reminds you of warmer weather come September (and beyond). Moreover, maybe, by some chance, there are still local berries in your market when you read this … or, perhaps you froze some of your berries from this past summer’s haul and are dying to figure out how to use them (umh, the answer is: use them in this cake).
Finally, if all of this is just blasphemy to you, you can use chopped apples or pears (don’t even worry about peeling them) sprinkled with some cinnamon and sugar instead of the berries, if you’re feeling fancy.
Let’s get to the recipe already!
Okay, enough excuses and explaining, let’s get to the recipe and why I love it so. First, it is a snacking cake and that is my favorite kind. Snacking cakes are small and are usually 8x8x2-inche squares and are perfect for a weeknight dessert made on the fly (i.e.: like right when you’re starting to make dinner and realize you’re going to want something sweet after you eat it). This one also happens to be one-bowl, which is also one of my favorite kinds of baked goods – meaning you assemble the whole shebang in a single bowl and thus save yourself from having to do a bunch of dirty dishes etc. (You’re welcome). And, of course, the combo of one-bowl and snacking cake means it is EASY PEASY. My third favorite kind of treat.
In short, the cake comes together extremely quickly and is a breeze to assemble. I like to (generously) sprinkle Turbinado (raw sugar) over the top before baking it, as it adds the loveliest of sparkles to the cake, as well as a delectable crunch. But you do you. The cake is lovely with a dollop of whipped cream or even a drizzle of heavy cream – and, no, I will not be angry if you go the vanilla ice cream route, I promise.
One-Bowl Mixed Berry Snack Cake
- 2/3 cup mild olive oil or vegetable oil
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar packed
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 1 yolk
- 2/3 cups buttermilk or whole milk
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup of your favorite berries
- Turbinado sugar for sprinkling
- Confectioners’ sugar for dusting
- Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream for serving optional
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray an 8x8x2-inch pan with non-stick cooking spray or softened butter. Line with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, sugars, and vanilla. Add the egg, and then the yolk, whisking after each. Add the buttermilk and whisk a final time.
- Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt onto a sheet of parchment, and using the parchment as a funnel, add the dry ingredients to the wet in three installments, folding with a flexible spatula after each, just to incorporate. Do not overmix.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
- Sprinkle the top of the cake with the berries and then with the Turbinado sugar.
- Transfer the cake to the oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, rotating the pan after 20 minutes. The cake is done when a tester inserted into the cake comes out with a few moist crumbs.
- Bring to room temperature before dusting with confectioners’ sugar and serving along with a dollop of freshly whipped cream, or not, or a scoop of vanilla ice cream, or not. The cake will keep wrapped in plastic wrap for three days on the counter - and some claim it gets better with age.
This recipe first appeared in Mainstreet Magazine.
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9 replies on “One-Bowl Mixed Berry Snack Cake”
Can you use frozen berries?
Yes! I use them all the time.
After reading the terrific reviews, I bought and just received your “SNACKING…” cookbook(was here late last night when I got home. Bless Amazon—not Bezos so much)! Yayyy!!! I’m so excited to get started bakin’ w/your recipes!!! Thanks for your quick, delectable looking recipes.
I’m a home baker and have been doing so all my life(now a very young(because I’m immature!)73.
I’ve grappled w/ some of the tough stuff, but love to do simple and satisfying as well. Have a HUMONGOUS cookbook library, but there’s always room for one I’ll use regularly and enjoy, and I know yours will fit into that category! Am also going to send one to a couple of friends and family members!!
Read your bio—how you got to where you are today(own all the BAKED cookbooks and have baked a lot from them over the years)and was impressed with how you got to where you are today. LOVE your very cool, very funny ongoing commentary!!! So, thanks for sharing!!
I’m going to go watch MEET THE PRESS(arghhh…!), then bake something fun to share w/my husband and neighbor in an attempt to feel better(the news…. Need I say more???).
Have a great life and enjoy continued success, ‘ cause with the country and the world it’s in condition we’re all in, we all need goodies = sweetness we can get/create!!!
Warm regards(it’s been a furnace on the West coast, too!)from the L.A. area.
Marcie, I am just completely over the moon reading this comment of yours and am so thrilled that you purchased my book due to the reviews, and did so despite an already large cookbook library! Also love that u have all the Baked books. And also ALSO love that u like simple treats as I do, too – obvs. Anyway, happy baking and thanks for reaching out. XO
Awww, my pleasure, Jessie. Actually put MTP on “pause”, and haven’t yet decided what to bake, because was also looking thru today’s NY Times quickly while watching, and there’s an article about independent experimental art/dancers in Ukraine continuing to hone their craft during the war. We have a beloved young friend there in Lviv, who is 30 and WON’T leave, because her fiancé is 26, and he CANNOT(all men 60 and under must remain). HE is a dancer! So the article in the Times may include allusion to friends of theirs. I want them to be able to read it, so just sent her the link and info.
Will still bake after MTP.
In the meantime, please — with your undoubtedly HUGE audience—see if you can get folks to donate a bit to the charity/issue of their choice benefitting the people of Ukraine.
(Jose Andres org. is on the ground there and Poland helping!).
Take care, Jessie! And again, THANKS SO MUCH!!! ; )
After making the batter I could tell it was too liquid to support the fruit but I went ahead anyway. Sure enough, the berries sank, yielding a bit of a mushy bottom bottom. Which was a shame, because the cake was very tasty. (In fact I’ll make it again, but plain.) It’s a mystery to me how the fruit in your picture remained on top. But thanks for a quick and easy cake mix. 🙂
i am so sorry the cake did not work for you. i just changed the recipe to 1 cup of berries – as i think 1 1/2 is too many. but the recipe has been tested, so i am not sure why your berries sank . . . but i feel awful – hate when people make things that don’t work!!