This Berry Cake is a true showstopper! Soft lemon sponge layered with creamy frosting and totally covered with fresh strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries. Perfect for summer birthdays and celebrations!
You will also love my Strawberry Shortcake Cake
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Berry Cake’s claim to fame? THE Nigella Lawson shared it on her Instagram feed! The Nigella effect soon snowballed and brought new followers as well as recreations of the cake.
Originally I shared this recipe only on my Instagram feed but since it has proven so popular I decided to post it here as well.
Fresh Berry Cake
Covering a cake with a medley of fresh berries will transform it from everyday to a true showstopper!
You can use your favorite cake recipe here – I first made this with my lemon sponge but it would be equally delicious using a vanilla sponge.
It goes without saying that you will need to use the freshest seasonal berries you can find for this berry cake. I used a combination of strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries.
Berry Cake – Let’s Break it Down!
- The cake layers – you need a soft yet sturdy sponge for this recipe. My lemon sponge below is ideal but you can turn it into a vanilla sponge simply by replacing the lemon with vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste.
- Syrup – a simple syrup will keep the layers moist and flavorful. To make it you simply combine lemon juice or water with sugar and heat it until the sugar dissolves. Add a few crushed blueberries to your syrup and to turn it a beautiful bright pink!
- Frosting – I used a cream cheese buttercream flavored with lemon syrup. You can also add a little seedless raspberry jam.
- Fresh berries to cover the cake – since the berries won’t keep fresh for long you will need to cover the cake right before serving. Store in the fridge and consume within one day.
HOW TO DECORATE A CAKE WITH FRESH BERRIES
Cover the entire cake with a generous layer buttercream an smooth it. Slice the strawberries and arrange around the cake.
Fill any gaps with the blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and mint leaves. A few edible flowers will add extra pretty, not that this cake needs it!
For the Cake
- 520 g (4 cups) self raising flour or see notes
- 500 g (2 ¼ cups) caster sugar
- 6 medium eggs
- 226 g (1 cup) softened unsalted butter or Stork baking spread
- 240 ml (1 cup) semi skimmed milk
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 lemons , zest only
- 80 ml (⅓ cup) lemon juice
- 150 g (⅔ cup) granulated sugar
- 230 g (1 cup) softened unsalted butter
- 250 g (heaping 1 cup) full-fat mascarpone cheese or block cream cheese
- 520 g (4 cups) icing sugar confectioner / powdered sugar
- 4 tbsp double cream or as needed
- 1 tbsp lemon syrup (if you have any left)
- Lemon essence or extract , to taste
- 300 g (10 ½ oz) fresh strawberries
- 300 g (10 ½ oz) fresh blueberries
- 200 g (7 oz) fresh raspberries
- 200 g (7 oz) fresh blackberries
- mint leaves
- edible flowers
Make the cake layers
- Preheat the oven to 160°C (325°F). Reduce the temperature by 20 degrees if you are using a fan forced oven. Grease and line four round 20cm (8 inch)cake tins. I use cake release spray for all my cakes, misting the tins lightly.
- Put the flour and sugar into a large mixing bowl and stir to combine.
- Add the eggs, butter, milk, lemon juice and zest.
- Beat together using an electric hand mixer, using a spatula to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl as needed. Mix until the batter is smooth, about a minute.
- Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake tins and level. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the cake is golden, springy to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Carefully turn out onto a wire rack to cool.
Make the Syrup
- Put the lemon juice and sugar in a saucepan and stir over low heat for about five minutes, or until the sugar dissolves. Leave to cool slightly.
- Brush the syrup over the cake layers. You can use any leftover syrup to flavour your frosting or add it to drinks.
Make the Lemon Cream Cheese Buttercream
- Put all the ingredients in a mixing bowl. Start beating with an electric hand mixer on the lowest speed setting until the ingredients combine.
- Increase the speed to maximum and continue to beat until the frosting is light and fluffy, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl halfway through.
- Transfer the frosting to a piping bag fitted with a large star tip.
Assemble the Cake
- Place the bottom cake layer on a stand or plate. Pipe a layer of frosting over it and level with a palette knife. Repeat with the other sponge layers.
- Leave the cake naked to show the filling or smooth buttercream over the entire cake to cover.
Decorate the cake
- Cover the entire cake with buttercream. Slice the strawberries and arrange around the cake. Fill any gaps with the blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and mint leaves. Serve immediately!