We all know it’s important to eat fruits and vegetables. But sometimes, you just need a cake. This recipe is quick and easy, and even a little bit healthier than usual—half whole-wheat flour, reduced sugar, and canola oil instead of butter—but the taste isn’t sacrificed. It is also a great way to get some fruit into your breakfast, if you like eating cake for breakfast, that is.
Even though it is winter, my grocery store is stocked with lovely Florida berries; I am justifying them as “local,” since Alabama touches Florida. And I figure it is closer than Chile. Because of the importance I place on freshness and environmental impact, I have decided to buy produce grown domestically this winter (with the exception of avocados and bananas). Thanks to Country-of-Origin labeling (required by the FDA), I can make more educated choices. While those asparagus look nice, they have been flown in from Peru. I’ll pass.
That said, my Florida berries taste great. (I always test a few before baking to determine how much sugar I need in a recipe.) I recommend using a regular cake pan, rather than a springform pan, because juice can leak out. Try using whatever berries catch your eye. It is kind of a cobbler, kind of a cake; depending on the size of your pan, the berries might go everywhere when you slice into it, or it might hold together nicely. Really, who needs a definition? It tastes sweet and cakey and a little gooey, so I won’t complain, no matter how it comes out.
Makes 1 9- or 10-inch cake
2 cups blueberries, cranberries, raspberries, blackberries (or a combination thereof; fresh or frozen)
½ cup chopped walnuts, pecans, or almonds
¾ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup canola oil (or melted butter)
½ cup whole-wheat flour
½ cup all-purpose flour
Grease a 9- or 10-inch cake pan; add berries and nuts to evenly cover the bottom. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk sugar, eggs, vanilla, and oil until smooth. Add flour and mix, just until a batter is formed and flour is well-incorporated. Pour cake batter evenly over the berries and nuts; it does not need to cover them entirely. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes, until cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Cool in the pan. Refrigerate any leftovers.