“When you wake up in the morning, Pooh," said Piglet at last, "what's the first thing you say to yourself?"
"What's for breakfast?" said Pooh. "What do you say, Piglet?"
"I say, I wonder what's going to happen exciting today?" said Piglet.
Pooh nodded thoughtfully. "It's the same thing," he said.”
― A.A. Milne
It's Summer. In my mind that translates to longer days and slower mornings. Second cups of coffee and late breakfasts.
I went berry-picking last weekend and zealously filled my refrigerator with those irresistible green paper baskets of brilliant, blue berries.
Picking fruit is one of my favorite activities and certainly a Summertime must. It's on every Summer bucket list I've ever penned, and I never grow tired of plucking my fruit from its natural home. There is something so satisfying about filling one's car with a bounty of freshly picked fruits and driving home to bake your gatherings into a plethora of deliciously fattening treats. It feels like we are really appreciating nature in a way that can't be done with market-bought berries. Perhaps it's my "live off the land" mentality, but it makes me happy and provides inspiration, so I see no reason to question it.
Perhaps I was a little overly zealous because I have already baked a pie and a dozen turnovers, and I still have half of my berries left.
So, I made a cake and called it breakfast. I'm a huge "cake and coffee" or "cake and tea" fan. There's something comforting about being able to eat cake for breakfast, and this particular cake feels extra special.
This cake begins with the creaming method. You know the drill. Butter and sugar get to know each other well before they are followed by eggs, milk, and flour.
In this recipe we are trading out our dear friend, All Purpose Flour, for something a bit lighter and finer. Something known as cake flour. Let's talk about that for a minute.
What are cake flours, anyways?
First, cake flours have much lower levels of gluten proteins, and this translates to more tender baked goods. Second, these flours are treated with chlorine dioxide, which effects the starch granules. It allows them to soak up more water and swell more easily when introduced to a sugary batter, which in turn produces a strong starch gel. Lastly, cake flours are milled very finely. All these attributes combine to create very light, velvety cakes. Cool, right?
I love using cake flour in this recipe because it gives this cake has an incredibly smooth, pillow-like texture that I absolutely adore.
Our velvety, lemony batter is studded with berries and sprinkled with a crumbly oat topping, giving this cake an utterly irresistible crunch.
I used blackberries and blueberries because that is what I had on hand, but you can use whatever you have lying around. I think raspberries would be really good. Mix it up, play around, and let me know what you try in the comments!
Imagine a coffee cake replacing all its cinnamon goodness with tart, bright berries, and its vanilla cake with a bright, lemony cake that is very reminiscent of a pound cake. This is that cake.
It's one of those gems that is so light and tempting that you'll probably slice off a tiny bit each time you walk through the kitchen, which may lead to eating half of the cake on the first day. Oops.
Pour the coffee and slice yourself a generous serving of cake.
It's a good morning.
Mixed Berry Lemon Breakfast Cake
for the crumble
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled
In a small bowl combine flour, oats, and brown sugar. Use the tips of your fingers to work the butter into the oat mixture, forming a rough crumble. The butter should be in pea-sized pieces. Set aside until ready to use.
for the cake
2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup whole milk
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 cups fresh berries
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a large bowl whisk to combine flour, salt, and baking powder.
Combine lemon zest and sugar, using the tines of a fork to press the zest into the sugar.
Combine milk, vanilla, and lemon juice in a small container. The milk will separate but don't fret, it's perfectly fine.
In the work bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter on medium speed for 1 minute. Add lemon sugar and beat for 1-2 minutes, or until fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and then add egg. Beat until well combined.
With the mixer on medium speed, alternately add additions of the flour and milk mixtures until fully incorporated.
Pour the batter into a greased and floured springform cake pan and top with fresh berries. Press lightly to push the berries into the batter. Top with prepared crumble and bake for 35-45 minutes.
Allow to cool for 20 minutes to an hour before removing from pan and slicing. Serve with a bit of freshly whipped cream and good coffee. Enjoy!