Nothing like a bit of alliteration to get a recipe blog post going, eh? Let me introduce you to these beautiful berry buns… They’re gorgeously fluffy little cakes, topped with tart berry jam and fresh blackberries.
Alright then, confession time. This post is a bit of a cheat and I wasn’t going to write it at all. Nuh-uh.
Y’see, I’d made these cakes on a Friday afternoon, intending to top them with fluffy meringue and make them all pretty. Something maybe a little bit blog worthy… though I wasn’t convinced I was going to write about them, even then. But when they came out of the oven, all higgledy-piggledy on top and cute… well, I didn’t want to cover it up. Not only that, but after tasting one I decided meringue would be overkill.
I still wasn’t going to write a post about them though. The decision to write about them arrived on Sunday, when Mr E3 and I were stood in the kitchen. Waiting for the kettle to boil, we picked up a cake each to help pass the time. As I bit in, I involuntarily made that “mmm-so-good-I-love-this-cake” noise. You know the one! Don’t pretend you don’t. When I saw the husband grinning at me behind his own cake, I knew I had to share them with you.
So why is this a bit of a cheat? Well – you’ve already seen the basis for these cakes before. The recipe is pretty much my Lemon Yogurt Cake. The thing I realised whilst stood in my German kitchen, waiting for a cup of tea, is that someone might not have the confidence to tinker with a cake recipe from its original state. The other thing I wanted to mention was the technique I’ve used here to keep the jam and berries on the cake’s surface.
I rather like cooked jam in a cake. As opposed to carving a hole and tipping a teaspoonful of jam in after they’re baked, heating the jam through with the cake gives a different, thicker texture. It’s like getting the middle from a Raspberry Bun surrounded by fluffy sponge. So good.
Now it’s perfectly possible to get a thick, sugar and/or chunky fruit rich jam to sit in the middle of your cooked cake – but it can be completely hit and miss. There’s nothing more annoying than putting time and effort into a bake, only to find your jam has sunk through and is now coating the base of the paper casing. I’m not a person that wants to miss out on a filling! So the solution here? It’s to partly cook the cakes to start with. Adding the jam and berries midway through cooking allows the cake to start to set and whilst the jam will still sink, it won’t tunnel a little jammy hole through the base of your bun. Neat, huh?
Flavour wise, well – you can do whatever you like with it! I chose a Forest Fruits Mövenpick jam to go with blackberries. Ideally, you want to pick something with a dash of tartness. The sponge cake is sweet in the first place, so adding a bit of flavour contrast is a great idea. Blackcurrant, raspberry, blueberry and sour cherry are all great ideas to combine with complimentary fresh berries.
You’ll likely see this base cake recipe turn up again in a different format before I’m done with it. It’s a great go-to recipe that can be tweaked and altered whilst still giving consistently delicious, soft and moist sponge results. And who can argue with that?
A yogurt cake base gives these berry topped cakes a wonderfully soft and moist finish.
- 125 g Baking Suitable Margarine, Room Temperature
- 125 g Caster Sugar
- 2 medium Eggs, Room Temperature, Beaten
- 1/2 tsp Almond Extract (Optional - Alternatively use Vanilla)
- 155 g Self Raising Flour (or Plain Flour blended with 2 level tsp Baking Powder)
- 75 g Natural Yogurt, Room Temperature
- 10 tsp Forest Fruit Flavoured Jam
- 20 Fresh Blackberries, Washed and Dried
Preheat the oven to 160 C Fan Assisted (325 F) or 180 C Standard (350 F).
Line a muffin tray with 10 paper cases.
Cream together the margarine and sugar until the mixture has lightened in colour and is fluffy.
Beat in the almond extract, followed by the eggs. Add them little by little, along with a spoonful of flour to keep the mixture from splitting, if necessary.
Lightly but thoroughly mix in the remaining flour. Once incorporated, gently mix in the yogurt.
Divide the mixture evenly between the 10 muffin cases, before placing the tray on the middle shelf in the oven.
Bake for around 7 or 8 minutes. Watch for the surface of the cakes losing their sheen and starting to solidify. They'll develop a just-matte finish at the edges, with a light sheen in the centre. At this point, carefully and gently remove the tray from the oven and slide it onto your work surface.
Dot the cakes with a teaspoon of jam each and two blackberries. They should want to just slightly sink into the undercooked cakes, but if not you can lightly press the blackberries down to help them settle.
Return the cakes to the oven and continue to cook until fully done. This will take around 13-15 minutes more. Remove from the oven when the cake is fully cooked: A toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake will come out cleanly.
Allow to cool in the tin for a minutes before carefully lifting the cakes out and leaving to cool on a wire rack.