I don't know about you, but I'm not a huge fan of making fancy cakes. To be honest, I hate frosting. It's just so sweet-- I feel like my teeth are getting cavities as I eat it. And no matter how much I try to clean as I go, somehow the entire kitchen feels sticky after a go with frosting. I'm constantly in awe of the gorgeous cakes I see on Instagram, but making them just isn't for me. What is for me, though, is loaf cakes. It's hard to argue with their simplicity. One bowl, one pan, and no decorating. In this case, fresh (or frozen!) berries add color, texture and flavor, so there's nothing plain about this cake. Creme fraiche is mixed into the batter, which is loosely adapted from a French yogurt style cake, for a delicate, buttery and incredibly moist crumb. To dress it up just a tad, I brush the warm cake with a lemon glaze for a crystally, crunchy, citrusy crust that is totally optional but as far as cake decorating goes, my kind of doable. Glaze or no glaze, this is an elegant spring cake that's bursting with juicy berries, bright lemon zest, and the delicate tang of creme fraiche. Best of all, it's gorgeous on its own: no slippery piping bags, sugar high or frosting in your hair required.
notes on the triple berry creme fraiche cake:
you can substitute yogurt or sour cream in for the creme fraiche, but the cake won't be quite as tender
fresh or frozen berries can be used— whatever is available!
triple berry creme fraiche cake
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup (4 oz) creme fraiche (can substitute sour cream)
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup neutral oil, such as canola oil
2 cups mixed berries, fresh or frozen (raspberries, blueberries, blackberries)
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tsp lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 8-inch x 4- inch loaf pan, line it with parchment paper and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. In another large bowl, whisk together sugar, creme fraiche, eggs, vanilla and lemon zest until very well blended.
Slowly mix dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, whisk until completely combined, then fold in oil with a rubber spatula until well mixed. Fold in berries, pour batter into prepared pan and smooth top. Bake about 65 minutes, or until top is golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
While cake bakes, prepare lemon glaze. In a small bowl, whisk together confectioners' sugar and lemon juice until no lumps remain and set aside.
When cake is done, let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then invert and place on a cooling rack. While cake is still warm, use a pastry brush to gently brush the cake with the glaze until tops and sides are completely covered. Let cool then enjoy!
the cake keeps for up to 4 days at room temperature in an airtight container