Late Summer Berry Torte

This is the perfect dessert to make when last-minute inspiration strikes, and ripe fruit is waiting to be put to its most delicious use as summer wanes. The thick batter cradles any fruit you like depending on the season, from tart cranberries to juicy stone fruit or fresh berries, showered with just a touch of sugar before baking.

Prep
8 mins
Bake
35 to 55 mins
Total
43 mins
Yield
One cake, about 10 servings
Late Summer Berry Torte

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 8" or 9" square pan, or 9" or 10" round pan.

  2. In a medium bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, baking powder, and salt until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping the bowl after each addition. Stir in the vanilla and additional flavor, if using. Mix in the flour to make a stiff, smooth batter.

  3. Spread the batter in the prepared pan. If using fresh berries, sprinkle them on top. Combine the sugar and cinnamon (if using) and sprinkle over the fruit. Bake the torte for 35 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the top of the cake is light golden brown.

  4. For frozen cranberries or sliced stone fruit, bake the cake batter for 10 minutes (this will set the bottom of the cake so the fruit doesn’t sink and disappear). Remove from the oven and place the fruit on top; sprinkle the top with sugar (or cinnamon sugar). 

  5. Bake the cake for an additional 40 to 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the top of the cake is light golden brown. Remove from the oven and serve warm.

  6. Store any leftovers, covered and refrigerated, for up to five days.

Tips from our Bakers

  • Here's a tasty variation for Thanksgiving: Cranberry Cake. Line a lightly greased 8" round cake pan with parchment or waxed paper; grease the paper. Make the cake batter, and spread it in the pan. Bake the cake in a preheated 350°F oven for 10 minutes. Remove it from the oven, and quickly and carefully top with 2 cups (8 ounces) fresh cranberries. Sprinkle the cranberries with 1/3 cup granulated sugar + 2 tablespoons coarse sparkling sugar; or with 1/2 cup granulated sugar. Bake the cake for an additional 45 minutes, until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven, and serve warm — as is, or topped with ice cream or whipped cream.