not-really-cobbler berry cake

In dessert on December 25, 2013 at 10:13 pm

over thanksgiving weekend, i attempted to recreate a favorite childhood dessert of my FBIL. i’m not sure if i nailed the original, but what i came up with was a big hit.

he called it cobbler, but described it as cake with berries throughout that “totally integrate” with the cake. not really cobbler, but yummy-sounding, right?

this pioneer woman recipe seemed to come close.

problem? the recipe calls for self-rising flour. who has that around? not us.

fortunately, self-rising flour is easy to make at home by adding 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder per cup.

problem? we didn’t have any baking powder! only baking soda. as you might know, you cannot replace one with the other. baking soda requires acid to do its thing, and since the rest of the ingredients were butter and milk, there was clearly nothing to make it rise.

solution? add lemon juice, of course! which also sounded like a lovely flavor to mix with the sweet, fruity, buttery cake. so good, in fact, that i also added some lemon zest. (another solution would have been to use buttermilk, if you had that around)

so, here’s my version of the recipe:

1 cup sugar (plus a little more for sprinkling on top, optional)
1 cup regular ol’ flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
juice and zest of half a lemon
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup milk
1/2 stick butter, melted (use the butter wrapper to grease the dish)
3-4 containers of berries (i used 2 blackberry, 1 raspberry and 1 blueberry and it was a LOT of fruit)

mix sugar, flour, lemon zest and salt in a medium bowl. mix lemon juice, vanilla and milk in another. melt butter in a third and let it cool a little. (sometimes coming right out of the microwave, the butter is hot enough to scald milk = bad)

whisk everything together quickly and pour into a greased ceramic or glass baking dish. i used an oval-shaped one that was about 12 inches long.

pour the berries over the top of the batter and push them in gently. sprinkle with a little more sugar if you’d like. i’m not sure it was necessary.

bake for about 45 minutes at 350 degrees until nice and brown on top. it will still jiggle a little in the middle, but once you take it out and let it cool a little, it will solidify. (also, without any eggs in the recipe, it doesn’t matter if you err on the under-done side.)


did i say it was a big hit? it was a HUGE hit. i think they’ll keep me.

serve warm with whipped cream!


creating new family traditions, one baked good at a time.


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