Uncomplicated Fruit-Topped Yellow Cake

May Day, May Day, come in…

Blueberries in trouble…

Need life-raft to keep them afloat…

Do you copy?

Indeed, this simple cake bears the name of “Uncomplicated Fruit-Topped Yellow Cake.” But I had a slight, uh, complication.

Oh, nothing major. Just a case of sinking blueberries. Not as dire as what happened to the Titanic, that’s for sure. But still, a little annoying.

After all, when the cake is described as “fruit-topped,” you figure the fruit will stay, well, on top.

Not in the case of these berries. But next time, I’ll just be sure to toss them in a little flour before adding them to the batter, even if the original recipe didn’t call for that step. And there will be a next time. Aside for the berries’ losing struggle to stay afloat, this cake was perfect. Tender, moist, like a giant blueberry muffin, actually.

The recipe comes from one of my all-time fave baking books, “The Weekend Baker” (W.W. Norton) by Abigail Johnson Dodge, who studied pastry-making at La Varenne in Paris.

The cake can be made with any manner of fruit, such as raspberries, sliced apricots, plums or — yes — blueberries.

Even if they end up sinking, all it takes is a swift movement of your fork to your mouth to get them in the right place.

Uncomplicated Fruit-Topped Yellow Cake

(Makes one 9-inch cake, or 8 servings)

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon table salt

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup plus 2 teaspoons granulated sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 large eggs, at room temperature

2/3 cup whole milk

For the topping, choose ONE:

1/2 pint berries (blueberries or raspberries), rinsed and well dried (then, tossed in a little flour and set aside),

1 medium ripe plum, peach, apricot or nectarine, pitted and thinly slices,


1 medium ripe pear or apple, peeled, thinly sliced, and tossed with 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg or cinnamon

Position an oven rack on the middle rung. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease the bottom and sides of a 9-by-2-inch round cake pan and line bottom with parchment. Lightly grease and flour parchment, and flour the sides, tapping out the excess.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk until well blended. In a large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer (stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or hand-held mixer) on medium-high heat until smooth. Add 1 cup of the sugar and beat until well combined. Beat in vanilla. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add half of the flour mixture and mix on low speed just until well blended. Add milk and mix just until blended. Add remaining flour mixture and mix just until blended.

Scrape batter into prepared pan and spread evenly. Choose one of the topping options and arrange the fruit on top of the batter. Sprinkle with remaining 2 teaspoons sugar. Bake until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Transfer cake pan to a rack to cool for 15 minutes.

Run a knife around the inside edge of the pan to loosen the cake. Using a thick, dry dish towel to protect your hands, invert a large flat plate on top of the cake pan and, holding both the pan and the plate, invert them together. Lift the pan off the cake. Invert a flat serving plate on the bottom of the cake and flip the cake one more time so that the fruit is on the top. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Storage: Cover cooled cake in plastic wrap and store at room temperature for up to 24 hours.

Adapted from “The Weekend Baker” by Abigail Johnson Dodge

More: Peach Blueberry Cake

More: Blueberry Coffee Cake

Another Recipe from “The Weekend Baker”: 10-Minute Mocha Pots de Creme

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Date: Tuesday, 6. July 2010 5:25
Trackback: Trackback-URL Category: Fruit, General, Recipes (Sweet)

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  1. 1

    Exquisite! This is a wonderful way of using blueberries.



  2. 2

    I can imagine how wonderful this must taste. I make a very similar cake but use strawberries instead of blueberries in mine. Your photos are terrific and have managed to make me hungry. I hope you are having a wonderful day. Blessings…Mary

  3. 3

    This is truly something to die for! Just the perfect cake for me! :)

  4. 4

    I was just thinking of what to do with the luscious blueberries from Central Market. This recipe fits the bill…thanks!

  5. 5

    Beautiful work! Blueberry is an interesting fruit because its colour and flavour are deepened once baked. Lovely summer treat :)

  6. 6

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by steveplunkett. steveplunkett said: RT @CarolynJung: Cake with blueberries — or just about any fruit you like. http://bit.ly/9J6AYa […]

  7. 7

    Titanic Blueberry Cake! It looks fabulous to me. Tis the season!

  8. 8

    Hee hee hee, I love the intro of your post. I kept wondering what the emergency was going to be. I totally wish I could eat that cake off my screen right now!

  9. 9

    I’d like a slice of your complicated heavy fruit bottom cake! ;-)

  10. 10

    This is just the kind of cake I like to make. I’ve had the sinking fruit problem before…it’s a little frustrating as the baker but as the eater, who cares? Your cake looks delicious to me.

  11. 11

    I just bought a pint of berries from the market so I might give this recipe a whirl! :)

  12. 12

    Sunken or not, I love lots of fruit in a cake. This one looks rich and tasty!

  13. 13

    You know how much I love cake with fruit. Right now, I can’t get berries and stone fruit here in Malaysia and I’m so missing it. Oh well…guess I’ll have to eat me more durian and such.

  14. 14

    Wow, perfect cake for the Summer…and I sure would love with any berries or the combination of them ;-)

  15. 15

    It looks and sounds delicious! And I just love berry cakes, even though the fruit does always sink.

  16. 16

    i think your upside-down right-side up backwards cake looks AMAZING. cobbler-ish yet completely cakey, and with so much blueberry love. bravo–a happy accident!

  17. 17

    Lovely! Although your blueberries sank, they still look gorgeous — a luscious layer of delicious fruit on its own.

  18. 18

    Simply gorgeous! And I noticed you’ve made blueberry/peach cake before: so now I don’t have to suggest that :)

  19. 19

    PS Sometimes it helps if you drench with berries w/a bit of flour to avoid them sinking.

  20. 20

    Salivating here…

  21. 21

    oo thanks for the tip with blueberries, I always wonder how to prevent them from sinking. Gorgeous cake!

  22. 22

    I have one baking in the oven right now!

    I only had a square 9″ pan and added more fruit & I did toss it with some flour.

    I’ll let you know how it turns out.

  23. 23

    turned out super good! some of the berries stayed on top so it looked super pretty and then the rest were all over the place. Totally looks like a muffin when cut.

    now I have to not eat it all in one day.

  24. 24

    You gotta do the floured berries next time! But hey, what’s wrong with berries on the bottom? As long as it tastes good!

  25. 25

    Lola Del Rio: Oh yay! Glad you’re lovin’ that blueberry cake. Yeah, I had a hard time restraining myself from eating slice after slice, too. ;)

  26. 26

    Love the fresh summer flavors in this cake. It sounds absolutely delicious. As to the berries on the bottom, like a buried treasure, have to do a bit of digging to get to reap the rewards.

  27. 27

    […] 24 Jul Once I saw this recipe for yellow cake with berries, it was in my belly within 48 hours. The flavors were simple and delicious…a perfect summer treat. Blackberry Cake serves about 8/adapted from this recipe  […]

  28. 28

    Here I have been blogging(see, “www.askwayne.com”) about fruits and vegetables and completely overlooked the “BLUEBERRY”. Making cakes and pies from blueberries(and blackberries) seems to be perfected by you. What a great sounded recipe. Can’t wait to get started. Thanks

  29. 29

    […] More Blueberry Recipes: Uncomplicated Fruit-Topped Yellow Cake […]

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