this is probably the best fruit based dessert i have ever made. -at least, it is MY favorite. i made this beautiful and messy layered pound cake for my sister in-law’s shower this past weekend. it was made with the huge mix of berries i had stocked up on from local sources, whether it be from local farm stands or my own back yard. any berry, or fruit for that matter, would work wonderfully here, but i loved the sweet and mellow blueberries playing with the tart, sour raspberries, so a good mix of stuff is best here.
to play up the sweetness and tartness of the berries even more, i used balsamic vinegar to help reduce the berries. it only took a little to give it some real real flavor, and also to help thicken the berry sauce.
i made a sour cream topping that was flavored with the same balsamic reduction. i used the sour cream between the layers as well as a final topping. oh my, was this a great idea or what? it gave the whole thing a “berries ‘n’ cream” feel, without dumbing the fruit down a bit. it may seem like a lot of steps, but it comes together more easily than expected. -especially for a fancy pound cake.
yes, i will probably be making other variations of this, but no time soon. i am still obsessed with the tart blue and black dots that keep falling out of the sky and onto my plate this summer!
the whole idea of this cake was to simply to make a cake packed with summer’s best berries. i wanted the berries in AND on the cake, as much as possible. i wanted that sweet juice to drip into the cake without making it soggy. that’s why i made 2 cakes and layered. the berries IN the cake burst while baking and added lots of moisture to the base, and the berries ON the cake, well the berries on the cake were just ridiculous. for a smaller crowd, sure you could cut the recipe in half. OR you could make the whole thing and share it with friends.
mixed berries layered pound cake
1 1/2 cups sugar or honey
1 1/3 cups butter, softened
4 cups almond flour, packed
1 cup coconut flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
8 eggs at room temp
1 cup milk + 3 tbsp
2 tbsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar (goes in very last)
1/2 cup cleaned berries, will be sprinkled on top
preheat oven to 350f, position racks in center of oven. prep 2 9″ x 9″ cake pans or glass casserole dishes with parchment cut outs in the bottom and nice coating of butter on the sides. if you want a round cake, you may also use 2 8″ x 8″ rounds here.
begin by creaming butter and sugar with electric mixer. once combined and fluffy, add milk, vanilla, and almond extract at a low-speed, until it is all wet and combined. add eggs, a few at a time, and let it slowly mix.
combine all dry ingredients together.
add dry ingredients into wet ingredients. quickly stir in apple cider vinegar.
let them mix for a few minutes until well incorporated, stopping a few times to scrape straggly bits from the bottom and sides of the bowl. pour batter evenly into prepped pans. sprinkle berries evenly on top.
bake for 45 minutes or so. watch them closely, and check with a toothpick to be sure they are cooked in the center.
allow to cool completely. while cooling, make berry filling and sour cream topping.
sour cream topping
16 oz good quality sour cream, very cold
1/4 cup fruity balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup sugar or honey
1 vanilla bean, sliced vertically
method: in small saucepan over medium heat, reduce vinegar and sweetener and vanilla bean, stirring frequently, until it becomes syrupy. remove from heat and allow to cool for just a few minutes. whisk into a large bowl with sour cream until well combined. taste. if it needs a little honey, add a little honey. place into refrigerator until ready for use.
4 cups rinsed and dried berries
2 tbsp sugar or honey
3 tbsp fruity balsamic vinegar
1 tsp arrowroot powder or cornstarch
method: in a large saucepan, combine all ingredients except for the arrowroot powder. cook over medium heat. allow mixture to come to a good bubble. quickly whisk in arrowroot powder. cook for a few more minutes, maybe 5 or so. remove from heat and allow to come to room temp.
to assemble cake
remove cooled cakes from pans. place bottom layer onto a nice plate or serving platter. using a toothpick, poke a few holes into cake so the toppings flow in. spread a few tbsp of sour cream mixture onto bottom layer. now pour about half the berries on top of that. place top layer of cake on, and poke holes into it. repeat by spreading some sour cream onto cake. reserve the rest of the sour cream for serving. pour remaining berries onto cake. wrap sides of cake in tinfoil or plastic wrap to contain filling until ready to serve, and refrigerate for at least an hour so everything stiffens up a bit.
when it comes time to serve, remove wrapping and pour the rest of the sour cream on top.
leftovers do great refrigerated!