Easy Berry Cake with shaken whipped cream

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I love this time of year, when fresh seasonal berries make the best desserts. I grow gooseberries, raspberries, blackberries, tart cherries and currants in my yard and I love being able to use them in a dessert. This recipe fits that bill nicely, because it works well with so many summer fruits. You can change the recipe up easily to highlight the fruit you are using. For example, I have added 1/2 tsp of almond extract to the batter when using tart cherries, or some lemon rind when using blueberries. Make it your own and play a little! I recently brought this to our friends’ house for pinochle night. I wanted to make fresh whipped cream, but did not want to bring a mixer with me, so I tried the shaken jar method, where you just shake the cream up in a mason jar and it worked great! Just mix the cream with sugar and vanilla and shake the jar until the whipped cream is the consistency you desire. It was fun too, but be careful… the next time I tried it, my husband shook the jar a little too vigorously and we ended up with sweetened butter. It was great with biscuits! Just another example of a disaster turning out kind of fun! I hope you enjoy this recipe!

Easy Berry Cake
serves 8 people

1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 and 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
6 T unsalted butter, softened to room temp
1 large egg
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 lb washed berries Example: strawberries (hulled and sliced in half), or 2 pints raspberries, blueberries or pitted tart cherries.
2 T sugar for sprinkling the berries before going into the oven.
Slivered toasted almonds if desired

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 in pie plate with butter, and lightly flour it. Remove all excess flour. Beat the butter and 1 cup of sugar on medium speed of a mixer until light and fluffy. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the egg, milk and vanilla. Stop the mixer and add the flour, baking powder and salt. Stir the dry ingredients a little with a fork to loosely mix them up before starting the mixer again. Mix on low until all is incorporated. Pour the batter into your prepared pan and cover the batter completely with the fruit. (If using strawberries, place them cut-side down) Sprinkle the fruit thoroughly with the 2 T of sugar, use a bit more sugar if you are using a tart fruit like the cherries.
If desired add the slivered almonds. (Great with the cherries!) or use pecans with the blueberries.

Topped with strawberries, ready for the oven
Topped with strawberries, ready for the oven

Bake at 350 for 10 minutes, then reduce the oven temp to 325 degrees and bake for one hour, or until it is golden brown and firm to the touch.

Let cool, and serve with shaken whipped cream (recipe below) or vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!

The cake with tart cherries and almonds
The cake with tart cherries and almonds

Shaken whipped cream

In a jar with a lid add ½ cup heavy cream, and 2 T confectioners sugar and 1/4 t vanilla. Shake vigorously until the whipped cream is the stiffness you desire.
Be careful though, it will turn to butter if you are not careful.

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