Fresh blackberries, blueberries, and strawberries are stars of this mixed berry layer cake. The cake is filled with raspberry jam and iced with cream cheese frosting.
Summer brings an abundance of fresh produce. It’s my favorite time of year to experiment adding fruits to cakes and other baked goods.
Soft fruits like strawberries and bananas are often folded into muffins batters (examples: chocolate strawberry muffins and banana raspberry buttermilk muffins). This recipe translates that into a layer cake!
From the outside, this mixed berry layer cake looks like your standard cake. But once you slice into it, you’ll be surprised to find the cake studded with chunks of strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries.
This cake utilizes fresh fruits three ways:
- assorted fruits adorn the top of assembled cake
- strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries are folded into cake batter
- mixed berries are pureed and mixed into batter to provide moisture and flavor
The mixed berry puree gives the baked cake that bluish-purple tint. The resulting cake layers are soft and moist. It is much easier to assemble this cake used chilled cake layers.
Finely grated lemon zest and a touch of lemon juice help to balance out the sweetness of this cake. The lemon also brightens and enhances the flavors of the fruits.
Tips on assembling mixed berry layer cake:
- Bake the cake layers ahead of time. Wrap cooled cake layers tightly in plastic wrap and keep chilled in the fridge for a few hours, or overnight. The chilled cake layers are studier and easier to assemble.
- Use a serrated knife to level cake layers. Serrated blade ensures cake layer will not crumble and fall apart. It is easier to slice chilled cake. Cake is easier to stack (and more stable!) when the layers are even and level.
- The piped frosting border helps to ensure that the jam filling does not spill out during assembling. Use a piping bag fitted with a small round tip, or use a plastic zip-top bag with a corner snipped off.
- A cake turntable (or revolving cake stand) is super helpful when coating and frosting the cake.
- This recipe makes three 6-inch cake rounds, or two 8-inch cake rounds. Baking times will have to be adjusted for 8-inch cake.
This cake keeps well in the fridge for up to two days before serving. Store any leftover cake slices in an airtight container in the fridge. It should be eaten within three days. Allow cake to come to room temperature to soften before eating.
Mixed Berry Layer Cake
Yield: 6-inch cake
- 3 cups fresh mixed berries
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temp
- 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 4 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temp
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup raspberry jam, or jam of choice
- fresh mixed berries, to garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter three 6-inch cake pans and line with parchment paper. Set aside.
Puree half of mixed berry mixture. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment (or using an electric hand mixer), beat butter until smooth. Add sugar and lemon zest and beat until light and fluffy. Scrape down bowl as needed to ensure thorough mixing.
With the mixer running on low speed, add eggs one at a time. Add sour cream, mixed berry puree, and lemon juice. Mix until incorporated. Add flour mixture and mix on low speed until combined. Fold in remaining mixed berries.
Evenly distribute batter among prepared cake pans. Level batter and bake for 40-45 minutes until cakes are golden brown and toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 8 minutes before unmolding. Run offset spatula or butter knife along the perimeter of cake to help loosen. Allow cakes to cool to room temperature on wire rack.
Cream Cheese Frosting:
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or using an electric hand mixer), beat together cream cheese and butter until smooth. Scrape down bowl as needed. Add powdered sugar, salt, and vanilla. Mix on low speed until frosting is smooth.
Fit a decorating bag (piping bag) with a small round tip. Fill the bag with about 1/2 cup of frosting. Set aside.
If necessary, level the tops of cooled cakes. Place one cake layer on a cake stand or cake plate. Spread a thin layer of cream cheese frosting over cake using a small offset spatula. Using the filled piping bag, pipe two concentric circles along the perimeter of the cake round. This will serve as a barrier.
Spread two tablespoons of raspberry jam to fill the frosting boundaries. Place second cake layer on top. Repeat filling cake layer with frosting and jam. Place the final third cake layer on top. This layer will not have jam.
Spread frosting around the cake to create a "crumb coat" layer to seal in any crumbs. Chill cake in the fridge for 15-20 minuets to set frosting. If desired, add additional frosting to coat cake. Keep cake chilled until ready to serve.
Decorate top of the cake with fresh berries. Let chilled cake sit at room temperature for at least 20 minutes before serving to allow cake and frosting to soften.
- I used 1 cup of chopped strawberries, 1 cup blueberries, and 1 cup blackberries.
- Berry cake can be baked ahead of time. Allow to cool to room temperature before covering with plastic wrap. Cake can be stored in the fridge for up to two days. Chilled cake will be easier to assemble and frost.