Whenever I bake something new, my mom and I conduct a tasting session around our kitchen table. We assess the texture, complexity of flavor, and uniqueness of an item, savoring each bite in between sips of coffee. While I have undoubtedly inherited her sweet tooth, my mom has also taught me to appreciate quality and attention-to-detail. Unlike a main meal, eating a baked good is a special experience that someone enjoys for a few minutes out of his or her day. Pastries are not meant to be wolfed down for sustenance, but should provide simple pleasure and sweet satisfaction. This philosophy has shaped my baking style and recipe selection.
I chose to make this cake because I thought it would pair well with an afternoon coffee or tea, providing just the right amount of sweetness and tender, moist crumb. Plump, tart blackberries spot the cake’s golden interior, like little jewels that burst inside your mouth. With its beautiful appearance and fresh, unfussy flavors, this loaf epitomizes what a great baked good should be in my book.
Recipe courtesy of Foodess
Because I used fresh, juicy blackberries, I increased the original baking time by 10 minutes. If you opt for a dried fruit or one with less moisture, adjust the baking time accordingly.
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 /4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt
- 2 tbsp finely grated Meyer lemon zest (from two lemons)
- 1/4 cup fresh Meyer lemon juice
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup fresh blackberries, broken up into small pieces
For the glaze:
- 1/4 cup Meyer lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
- 1/2-3/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted
Yields 12 generous slices.
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan, or line with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk together sour cream, lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla. Set aside.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer equipped with a paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl when necessary.
3. Reduce mixer speed and alternatively beat in ⅓ of flour mixture, followed by ½ of sour cream mixture, and repeat, ending with the last ⅓ of the flour mixture. Be sure to pause the mixer occasionally to scrape down sides of the bowl. Using your hands, gently break up the blackberries into small pieces. Use a spatula to gently fold them into the batter.
4. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and bake for 60-80 minutes, until the top springs back when lightly pressed or a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes in pan, then transfer to a cooling rack. Cool completely before icing.
5. To make the glaze, whisk together lemon juice and powdered sugar until there are no lumps. Adjust the amount of powdered sugar based on desired thickness. Drizzle over cooled cake.