Post by Alison Hein.
Memorial Day is fast approaching, and with it comes the unofficial start of summer. At this time of year, I’m always reminded of summers past. My memories are filled with sessions at sleep away camp, days at the lake near my grandparents’ cabin, and of course, trips to the U-pick farm to pick plump, ripe berries fresh from the field.
Coincidentally, my camera club season runs the same as a school year – starting in September and wrapping up in June. Thinking of summer, thinking of berries, thinking of my camera club, I thought – wouldn’t it be nice to bake a summery cake for one of the last meetings with my fellow shutterbugs?
I decided upon a simple cake, made a bit richer and smoother with a touch of sour cream. For the fresh berries, I selected an assortment of blueberries, strawberries, blackberries and raspberries. Feel free to use whatever types of berries (or other fresh fruit) you like. If using strawberries, chop them into bite-sized pieces. And if you think the cake is scantily supplied with berries, don’t be tempted to add more than two cups or the cake will become too moist.
Sure enough, the cake was a big hit with my camera buddies, and the few pieces I held back became a summery breakfast in bed that my husband and I enjoyed the next morning.
¼ cup white sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 cup light brown sugar
½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
2 cups unbleached white flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup sour cream
2 cups (1 dry pint) mixed berries
Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish and set aside. Mix white sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, cream together the brown sugar and butter. Beat in eggs one at a time. In a separate small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
Mix the milk, cider vinegar, and vanilla together in another small bowl. Add alternately with flour mixture to the egg batter, until well mixed. Fold in sour cream, then mixed berries.
Spread batter evenly in baking dish, and sprinkle cinnamon sugar evenly across top. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool 20 to 30 minutes before slicing. Serve warm or at room temperature. Add a dollop of whipped cream, if you like.