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AUBURN UNIVERSITY, Ala.—Blackberries are ripe for the picking. The little white flowers scattered across the ground in April are now blackberries that are ready and waiting to be picked. Cobblers are a quick and easy choice for a seasonal dessert, but the Alabama Cooperative Extension System’s The Auburn Cookbook has a blackberry cake recipe that will also put those berries to good use.
While this recipe calls for canned blackberries, which makes the cake edible year-round, ‘tis the season for using fresh blackberries—whether from a produce stand or picked in the woods.
- Non-stick vegetable cooking spray
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons ground allspice
- 1 cup corn-oil margarine
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 cups sugar
- 3 clean, uncracked eggs
- Two, 16-ounce cans of blackberries, drained
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- ½ cup nonfat buttermilk
Coat two, 9-inch square baking pans with cooking spray. Combine flour, nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice. Stir until well blended. In a large bowl, cream margarine by beating until soft and smooth. Gradually add sugar, beating thoroughly after each addition. Continue beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, to creamed the mixture, beating after each addition until light and fluffy. Put berries through a sieve, and add to creamed mixture. Stir carefully until evenly blended. Add soda to buttermilk and stir well. Add the flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to the creamed mixture by adding 1/3 of the flour and 1/2 of the milk at a time, beginning and ending with flour. Beat at a low speed after each addition until well blended. Divide batter evenly into pans.
Bake at 350°F for 25 to 30 minutes or until done. Cool in pans on wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove from pans and finish cooling on rack. Fill and ice layers with White Caramel Icing (recipe below).
Pro tip: You may bake this cake in a 10-inch tube pan for 45 minutes, or until done, and serve plain. (The cake pictured followed the recipe above and was baked in a bundt pan for 45 minutes.)
White Caramel Icing
- 1 cup evaporated skimmed milk
- 2 ½ cups sugar
- ½ cup corn-oil margarine
- 1 cup finely chopped raisins
- 1 cup finely chopped pecans
Combine milk, sugar and margarine in a heavy saucepan. Stir well. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until sugar partially dissolves and margarine melts. Bring to a boil and cook without stirring until mixture reaches 240°F on a candy thermometer or a small amount forms a soft ball when it is dropped in cold water. Remove from heat; cool to lukewarm. Beat until almost creamy and thick enough to spread. Add raisins and nuts and beat. This recipe will ice two 8-inch round or square layers or a 9×13-inch sheet cake.