You can’t resist them. They are in their prime for just a short time once a year. Plump sweet blackberries, boysenberries, and raspberries. One of each, please, and throw in basket of those beautiful red strawberries.
You and your housemates snack on the bowlful throughout the day and maybe even enjoy them with a scoop of vanilla ice cream after dinner. But invariably, there’s a few left over by nightfall and you know they won’t taste the same tomorrow. Whadaya do with them? Find a couple of ripe stone fruits and make moist Summer Fruit Coffee Cake. This cake is just right for coffee breaks or snacking – crisp edges with tart-sweet fresh fruit. And you can make the cake batter the night before.
In the morning, turn on the oven, scatter the fruit on top of the unbaked cake and bake. Dust with powdered sugar before serving or leave the cake plain. Compliment the berries with ripe stone fruit such as nectarines, peaches, pluots, apricots, cherries, or plums. Pears also work well. So would fresh fig halves (decadent!).
One of the secrets to a supermoist crumb is activating the baking powder and baking soda in the yogurt or sour cream first and then mixing all into the batter. It’s a chemical reaction thing.
Recipe: Summer Fruit Coffee Cake
This easy cake can be baked in an 8 or 9″ square or 7″ x 11″ sided baking dish. The cake batter can be made the night before and sprinkled with fruit right before baking.
- 1 – 1/2 cups berries or stone fruit combination (any berries including blueberries and strawberries; ripe stone fruit)
- 1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons yogurt or sour cream
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg or ground cinnamon (or generous pinch of each), optional
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 large egg
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- powdered sugar for dusting
- Prepare baking pan: lightly oil, butter or spray with a non-stick coating the baking pan (see note above for sizes). Optional step: for ease of removing cake from baking pan, line baking dish with foil or parchment paper; lightly spray with a non-stick coating.
- Prepare fruit: wash fruit and drain well. If using large strawberries, cut into halves or thirds. No need to cut other berries. Cut stone fruit into 3/4″ pieces.
- Make batter: in a small bowl, sprinkle yogurt or sour cream with baking powder and baking soda. Mixture will start to foam; set aside. In a medium-small bowl, mix well flour, salt, and spices (if using).
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together sugar and butter using a hand-held mixer on low speed. Add egg, vanilla extract and yogurt/sour cream mixture, and mix on low speeduntil combined. Stir in flour mixture by hand until just dry ingredients are moistened.
- Spread batter evenly in prepared pan. (At this point, the unbaked cake can be refrigerated overnight in the refrigerator. Cover the pan tightly with plastic wrap. Take off the plastic wrap before adding fruit and baking.)
- Sprinkle batter top with fruit . Fruit can stick out of batter top about 1/4″. Gently push down those fruit pieces that sit up too high.
- Bake in a preheated 350º F oven; place cake on the oven middle rack and bake until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean, 30-35 minutes. Remove cake from oven and place on cooling rack.
- Finish: when cake is cool, dust cake top with powdered sugar if desired before serving. If cake pan was lined with foil or paper, remove cake from pan by lifting the “handles” of the foil or paper.
Makes one cake.