A dense fruity cake with an oaty crumble topping. Made with foraged blackberries & tart apples this autumnal cake is a lovely dessert, or great in a packed lunch.
My daughter Kipper and I went blackberrying in our local park with some friends. The girls had a lot of fun hunting for blackberries, although most of the really big, ripe, juicy-looking ones were either a) too high for us to reach, or b) protected by dense patches of nettles. However, after about an hour’s foraging they each had a ziplock-bag-full and we decided to call it a day.
Competitive fruit picking
The girls were madly competitive about who’d picked the most blackberries.
“I’ve got millions!”
“I’ve got billions!”
“I’ve got zillions!”
“I’ve got squirillions!”
Fortunately, we were able to head off a full-scale argument about their respective blackberry-picking prowess by the promise of an ice-cream each when we reached the cafe.
Then all that remained was to figure out what to do with the blackberries! DH is not a fan of crumble, and there wasn’t really enough for a pie, so I plumped for a cake. To make it extra fruity I teamed up our blackberries in the classic pairing of blackberry and apple.
This recipe makes a dense, moist Autumnal cake with a delicious fruity crumbly topping. It is wonderful sliced and served with a cuppa, but is also fantastic served warm as a dessert (ideally with custard, cream or ice-cream.) The blackberry and apple crumble cake is also robust enough to survive well in a packed lunch or picnic. A couple of days after our blackberry-picking trip we took some of the cake with us on a fossil-hunting expedition. This cake was the perfect snack after a long walk and the discovery of a whole beach made of gryphaea fossils.
The crumble topping is not essential, and you can add all the fruit to the cake and skip the crumble if you like. However I think it adds another nutty autumnal element to this delicious teatime treat. Enjoy this cake while you can, before the wild blackberry season ends. You can make this with cultivated blackberries from the shops, but it won’t be quite the same.
Makes one 20cm (8 inch) cake.
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Blackberry & apple crumble cake
- 225 g blackberries (approx. 2¼ cups)
- 1 medium bramley apple
- 100 g margarine or butter (½ cup)
- 100 g light brown sugar (approx. ½ cup)
- 2 eggs
- 200 g plain flour (approx. 1⅔ cups)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- 2-4 tbsp milk, non-dairy milk, juice or water (as required)
For the crumble
- 25 g plain flour (approx. ¼ cup)
- 25 g porridge oats (approx. ¼ cup)
- 25 g margarine or butter (⅛ cup)
- 25 g brown sugar (approx. ⅛ cup)
- 25 g flaked almonds (approx. ⅓ cup)
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Line a 20cm (8 inch) loose-bottomed round cake tin with baking parchment.
- Thoroughly wash the blackberries and pat dry on kitchen paper. Peel and core the apple, then cut the flesh into 1cm (½ inch) dice. Mix the fruit together and set aside.
- Cream the margarine/butter and brown sugar together until fluffy. Beat in the eggs, then gently fold in the flour, baking powder and spice.
- Beat in enough of the milk/juice/water to give a soft dropping consistency. Then stir in about two-thirds of the fruit.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin, level the top, and scatter the remaining fruit over the batter.
- To make the crumble, rub the flour and oats into the margarine/butter, then stir in the sugar and almonds. Scatter the mixture evenly over the cake.
- Bake at 180°C (350°F) for around an hour, until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before removing from the tin and cooling on a wire rack.
- Serve warm or cold.
And if you need more black berry & apple inspiration, try my Welly Boot Crumble, with apples, blackberries & walnuts. Or how about these blackberry & apple cupcakes from Tin and Thyme? Easy blackberry and apple jam from Fab Food 4 All sounds delicious too.
I’m entering this scrummy cake into the following foodie challenges:
Simply Eggcellent at Belleau Kitchen, on the theme of cakes. Shop Local at Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary.
Credit Crunch Munch hosted by Fuss Free Flavours and co-organised by Fab Food 4 All. The apple season link-up hosted by United Cakedom.