I wanted to bake a blackberry cake with the abundance of freshly picked blackberries I had. I decided on a crumble cake and that’s where this blackberry frangipane cake came to life.
Trying to make something new and a little different than the usual crumble topping, I thought of this.
On a recent dog walk, i was so amazed to see that the blackberries were already ripe and ready to pick, it feels so early for them in late July.
Is there anything more satisfying than eating freshly picked blackberries still warm from the sun?. The sun’s warmth seems to make them juicy and jammy and even more special.
Thinking up the recipe
With my big bag of them and my idea for a blackberry cake, I walked home excited to start baking with them.
I knew i wanted to make a blackberry cake, but i wasn’t sure what kind of cake to do, a layer cake, a crumble topped cake?
Being indecisive I couldn’t make my mind up, so i spent the evening, dreaming of recipe ideas and came up with this.
I know what your thinking! why is she reinventing a crumble cake that is already perfect. When you slice into this cake, and hear the crunch of chewy frangipane top you will thank me.
This cake was one of those recipe idea’s that seem to come to you out of the blue.
One that feels so important that you have to stop what your doing and jump up and run to the kitchen to bake it right away.
Do these ah ha ideas happen to you?
I’m so pleased when these idea’s work out and I am rewarded with a perfect replica of what i had envisioned in my imagination.
Perhaps, this cake exceeded even my own expectations. The sound of the knife slicing through it, the cracks that sprung up all over the top with every slice, indicating the crunchy texture was delightful.
Blackberry picking is so fun
The paths where we take the dog are littered with blackberry bushes, and luckily they all seem to produce fruit at different intervals, meaning i will have a steady crop for the next few weeks.
Thankfully Archie patiently waits for me while i stop and gather them. Looking down at my purple stained fingers afterwards seems to fill me with so much joy.
Foraging fruit from the hedge rows is such a special gift, and on the occasions that I don’t eat them all before I get home I love to bake with them.
We enjoyed a slice with a big spoonful of clotted cream and a cup of tea. A spoonful of whipped cream or mascarpone will work just as well.
This recipe used blackberries but i think it would work with sliced apricots, cherries, blueberries, any fruit that pairs with almond.
The frangipane uses more ground almonds than i would usually add because i wanted to create a more of a crumbly texture.
If you add the frangipane straight on top, the weight of it could cause it to sink into the sponge. Bake the cake a little first before adding it.
There will be some frangipane left from this recipe. So I made some more of these croissants with it. But a Bakewell tart would also be perfect.
Lavender sugar blackberry cake with frangipane top
for sponge layer
- 220 grams golden caster sugar
- 1 tbsp dried lavender
- 220 grams unsalted butter softened
- 4 eggs
- 220 grams self raising flour
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 150g blackberries
for frangipane layer
- 150 grams unsalted butter softened
- 150 grams golden caster sugar
- 200 grams ground almonds
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- handful blackberries
- handful flaked almonds
- icing sugar
- 1 egg
For the cake layer
- Preheat the oven to 160c fan or 180c
- Grease and line a 21cm spring form cake pan with baking paper
- Add the sugar and dried lavender in a food processor and pulse until the lavender has broken up and blended with the sugar
- Add the lavender sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the balloon whisk attachment and add the butter and whip for 2 minutes, then scrape around the sides of the bowl with a spatula and whisk again for a further 3 minutes or until pale, light and fluffy. scrape around the sides of the bowl again ready for the next step. ( alternatively make in a bowl using a hand held electric whisk, if you don't have an electric whisk you can make it by hand with a hand held whisk but this will take more time)
- Add one egg and turn up the speed and whisk for 2 to 4 minutes, turn off mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl and mix again, then add the next egg. Continue this process of whisking for 2 to 4 minutes and scraping the bowl before you add the next egg. once all of the eggs have been added, add the vanilla and mix for 1 minute.
- Remove bowl from stand mixer and sift in the flour and salt and fold in using the spatula.
- dust blackberries with flour and fold in 3/4 of them and pour into the lined baking pan, then press in the rest on the top.
- Put the cake in the oven for 15 minutes, just long enough to slightly bake it making it safe to add the topping, while its in the oven make the frangipane top
For the frangipane
- Whip the butter and sugar together or 4 minutes until pale and fluffy,
- Add the egg and almond extract and whip again, then add the almonds and mix
- carefully remove the cake from the oven, it will be very liquidy still and banging it around too much can cause it to sink. Add spoonfuls of the franipane over the top of the cake and place on the blackberries and flaked almonds, Note – you wont need all off the frangipane for this recipe, save the rest for another recipe. (bostock or almond croissants would be perfect)
- Bake for a further 45/50 minutes. Check if the cake is done by inserting a clean knife into the centre, if it needs longer put back in for 10 more minutes and check again. (I ended up needing to cook it for about 65 minutes, but my oven temperature isn't always reliable so i would rather you check it after 45/50 minutes and go from there)
- let cool in the tin, then dust with icing sugar
- We ate this with a spoon full of clotted cream but whipped cream or mascarpone would also be lovely.
Looking for some more blackberry recipe ideas? here are some i made in the past
And here is the blackberry crumble cake i usually make from good housekeeping.