A couple Saturdays ago we drove out to the future homestead site and spent the morning picking wild blackberries. Well, I spent the morning picking blackberries, and Jeremy spent it taking some amazing shots with his old-timey wet plate camera. But I didn’t mind being alone one bit, I get into a kind of weird zen state when I’m berry picking and I can pick a LOT of berries if I am able to zone out and just kind of get into the rhythm of spotting them in the brush. It can be really tricky, since they’re matte black when they’re ripe and are hard to spot tucked into the shadows—but literally nothing compares to their sweet, floral, tannic flavor, and it’s well-worth every thorn-scratch and bug bite. I had the recipe for this blackberry coffee cake in mind while I was picking them, and couldn’t wait to test it out when I got home.
When we did get home, however, I was pretty exhausted from the heat, so I made this blackberry coffee cake the next day. And I’m glad I did, because I was able to take it to my friend Mona and Jaret’s house afterwards so it could be enjoyed by a group of food-loving folks. (Yay!) I was REALLY pleased with the flavor and consistency of this cake, it came out incredibly moist, lightly lemon-y, and the little bursts of blackberry flavor from the fresh blackberries baked into the cake are pretty fantastic. Plus, the blackberry glaze is the icing on the cake, both literally and figuratively.
The color of the glaze is completely natural, and it just comes from cooking down some blackberries into a wet jam, then straining it to get a syrup, and then mixing the syrup with powdered sugar and milk. It’s super easy and has such a delicious bright flavor to it, and really helps make the coffee cake shine!
And if you’ve never made coffee cake before (or blackberry coffee cake, for that matter), it involves adding the cake batter to the pan in layers, with a sprinkling of spices and brown sugar between each layer. That’s how you get the signature cinnamon swirls and lines in a classic coffee cake. I personally have always loved the flavor combination of blackberries and cinnamon, so that’s why I paired the two together here. And I was very, very happy about it. I think this is going to be a blackberry season classic at the Kosmas-Flores household, and I hope it becomes one at yours, too 🙂
Blackberry Coffee Cake with Blackberry Glaze
Blackberry Coffee Cake
- 3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
- 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup almond meal or almond flour plus extra for dustin the pan
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened
- 1/3 cup olive oil melted coconut oil, or vegetable oil
- 4 eggs room temperature
- 1 1/3 cups sour cream
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 heaping tablespoon grated lemon zest
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 ounces blackberries cut in half
- Baking spray I recommend Baker's Joy for bundt pans in particular
- 3 ounces blackberries
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon water
- 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 3 tablespoons milk
Blackberry Coffee Cake
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a small bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, cinnamon, and cardamom and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, almond meal, salt, and baking soda and set aside.
- Cream together the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment at medium speed until smooth. Add the olive oil and continue mixing until combined. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
- Add the sour cream and mix at low speed until incorporated. Then add the lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla extract and mix at low speed until combined (it's okay if the batter looks a little separated at this point). Add the flour mixture at low speed, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed, until a smooth thick batter forms.
- Spray a 12-cup capacity bundt pan with baking spray and sprinkle with almond meal. Use a spoon to scoop the batter into the bundt pan just enough to make a 1-inch thick layer on the bottom of the pan. Fold the blackberries into the rest of the batter, then fill the bundt pan with 1/3 of the batter. Sprinkle half of the brown sugar mixture over the batter in the pan, then spoon another 1/3 of the batter over the top. Then sprinkle with the remaining brown sugar mixture, and top with the remaining 1/3 of the batter.
- Bake in the oven until the top of the cake is golden, the edges pull away from the sides of the pan slightly, and a toothpick inserted into the deepest part of the bundt comes out clean, about 1 hour. If the top is browning too quickly, cover it with foil and return it to the oven.
- Remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool at room temperature for 10 minutes before unmolding the bundt cake onto a wire rack. Allow the cake to cool completely, then drizzle with the blackberry glaze and serve.
- Bring the blackberries, sugar, and water to a boil over medium heat in a very small saucepan. Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer for 5 minutes, crushing the blackberries with the end of a wooden spoon to help release the juices. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. If you want to speed up the cooling process, you can use an ice bath to help cool the blackberry mixture to room temperature. Strain the mixture through a wire mesh sieve over a bowl. Reserve the liquid and discard the pulp. Makes about 1/4 cup of liquid blackberry concentrate.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar and the liquid blackberry concentrate. Add the milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the desired thickness of the glaze is reached, whisking constantly. If you want it thicker, you can omit a tablespoon. If you want it thinner, you can add a tablespoon.