Old Fashioned Blackberry Cake Recipe

A light and fluffy cake packed with berries is the perfect dessert to whip up and enjoy any time of year. It's bright and cheery on a spring day, refreshing on a warm summer evening when served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and completely comforting in the cooler months when served slightly heated up. And one of the best parts about a spongy, berry-filled cake is that it's incredibly easy to make. 

Created by recipe developer Jennine Bryant of The Marshside Pantry, this blackberry cake recipe uses a few simple tricks to make sure the fruit stays perfect all the way through to the finished product. It also uses self-rising flour to cut down on time and mixing. All it takes is a simple list of ingredients, about 30 minutes of baking, and about 15 minutes of cooling to prepare.

"This cake is wonderfully soft and light," Bryant says. "The blackberries contrast the lightness of the sponge with a sweet punch of berry flavor." Trust us — this is one treat you'll be making all year long.

Gather your ingredients to prepare this old fashioned blackberry cake

This recipe uses one stick of unsalted butter, eggs, vanilla extract, and plain yogurt. On the dry ingredients side, you'll need self-rising flour (more on the flour selection later) as well as baking powder. There's also, of course, the namesake blackberries.

This recipe also calls for two types of sugar: caster sugar (a superfine sugar that's also sometimes called superfine or baker's sugar) and sugar nibs. "Sugar nibs add a little more texture to the cake than granulated sugar," Bryant says, "although it's totally possible to sprinkle granulated sugar on top instead of you don't have any sugar nibs."

Mix the ingredients in the correct order

Preheat your oven to 350 F and line an 8x10-inch baking tray with parchment paper so that it's ready for the batter as soon as you're finished mixing.

The first mixing step is to whisk the butter and sugar for two to four minutes. You're looking to combine the two until it's a pale and creamy blend. Creaming the butter with sugar before moving on to the next set of ingredients makes it light and fluffy. Once it's combined, add in the three whole eggs, vanilla extract, and 1 ½ tablespoons of plain yogurt. As you mix everything in, be sure to stop your mixer and scrape the sides down to ensure everything gets the same amount of attention before moving onto the next step with the flour.

"It's quite important to stick to the order in which the ingredients are added," Bryant says. "It's good to cream the sugar and butter together properly first, and to not mix the flour too much. You don't want to overwork the gluten or else it will make the cake more dense."

Add the self-rising flour and baking powder

 Add ¾ cup of self-rising flour and ½ teaspoon of baking powder to a mixing bowl. Combine them by stirring briefly until the flour and baking powder are incorporated.

The choice of flour here is important. This blackberry cake recipe uses self-rising flour rather than all-purpose flour. Self-rising flour is simply a flour that has some baking powder and a bit of salt already mixed in. In this case, you're going to need to add just a touch more baking powder for everything to come out perfect. "Self-rising flour is really handy as it already has baking powder mixed in, so it just makes the whole process a little quicker," Bryant says.

Flour the blackberries before adding them to the cake batter

This step may be quick, but it's crucial if you want your blackberry cake to come out just right. Cover the blackberries with about 1 tablespoon of the self-rising flour. Mix the blackberries and the flour well so that they're evenly coated. You don't want the flour to be clumpy by any means, but you want to make sure the blackberries are well dusted. This dries the outside of the berries off and keeps them from bleeding juice into the rest of the batter and turning the whole thing purple when the berries are eventually added in.

Spread the batter and blackberries, then bake

With the blackberries coated, it's time to grab your batter and the 8x10-inch baking tray lined with parchment paper. Spread a thin layer of the batter on the bottom of the tray — just be sure not to accidentally pour the entire batch of batter in. Add about half of the blackberries to the top of the thin layer, making sure to evenly distribute the berries so that you'll end up with a somewhat equal amount across the cake when everything is said and done. Then, repeat by pouring the rest of the batter over that first layer and adding the blackberries spaced out on top.

Finally, grab your sugar nibs (or granulated sugar if you weren't able to find the sugar nibs), and sprinkle them over the top of the whole uncooked cake. By now, your oven should be finished preheating. Pop the cake in the oven for 30 to 35 minutes. You'll know it's done cooking when it bounces back when you touch it rather than staying indented.

Let the cake cool, then enjoy

As tempting as it might smell, your old fashioned blackberry cake isn't quite done yet. Take the cake out of the oven when it has some spring to it. (You can also check if it's ready using the toothpick test by sticking in a toothpick and seeing if any batter sticks to it when you pull it out.) Then, set the cake out to cool for 15 minutes before cutting it into squares.

It's ready to serve while still warm. Bryant suggests grabbing some more fresh blackberries to go along with the cake, or cream or vanilla ice cream.

If you have some leftovers, the cake is easy enough to store and enjoy later. "It's best to store the cake in a tin and use within a few days due to the fresh fruit baked into it," Bryant says. "Trust me, it won't be around long, though. My family finished this off the day it was made! If you want to reheat it, just pop a slice in the microwave for 15 to 20 seconds until it's nice and warm."

Old Fashioned Blackberry Cake Recipe
5 from 49 ratings
A light and fluffy cake packed with berries is the perfect dessert to whip up and enjoy any time of year, and this old fashioned blackberry cake fits the bill.
Prep Time
Cook Time
blackberry cake recipe
Total time: 35 minutes
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ tablespoons plain yogurt
  • ¾ cup + 1 tablespoon self-rising flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ⅔ cup blackberries
  • 2 tablespoons sugar nibs
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F, and line an 8x10-inch baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Whisk the butter and sugar together until the mixture is pale and creamy.
  3. Add the three eggs, the vanilla extract, and the yogurt to the mixing bowl, and combine nicely, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl part way through to make sure that everything is mixed.
  4. Mix the ½ teaspoon of baking powder into the ¾ cup of self-rising flour. Then, add this to the mixing bowl and mix together until well combined.
  5. Add the final tablespoon of flour to the blackberries, and coat them well. This will stop the blackberries from bleeding into the batter.
  6. Spread a thin layer of batter on the bottom of the cake pan, and then dot half of the blackberries on top. Finish by spreading the rest of the batter over this, and put the rest of the blackberries on the top layer.
  7. Sprinkle the top of the cake with the sugar nibs, and then bake in the oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the sponge springs back to the touch.
  8. Allow the cake to cool for 15 minutes before cutting and serving alongside fresh blackberries, cream, or vanilla ice cream.
Calories per Serving 173
Total Fat 8.8 g
Saturated Fat 5.2 g
Trans Fat 0.3 g
Cholesterol 60.5 mg
Total Carbohydrates 21.4 g
Dietary Fiber 0.7 g
Total Sugars 14.6 g
Sodium 133.5 mg
Protein 2.4 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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