Apple-Blackberry Cake


I get such nice emails from you. I am always so happy when someone drops me a line to ask a question or share their enthusiasm for one of the recipes I recommended. I recently got an e-mail from the woman who runs The Countess of Nassau County, a blog based in Long Island. “The Countess” had written a very kind review of Lottie + Doof and wanted to share it with me. In it, she calls me out on my love of baked fruit, “the man loves him some baked fruit; in a pie, in a muffin, in a crumble, in a cake, in your Uncle Al’s shoe, any form will do.” I laughed out loud when I read this, mostly because it is true.


I sometimes feel self-conscious of the fact that so many recipes on this site include baked fruit in one form or another, but it really is what I eat. I love that these fruit recipes allow me to cook seasonal desserts and reflect what is at my market. So, rather than try to diversify my dessert repertoire, I am coming to you today with another fruit dessert—another AMAZING fruit dessert. This one combines an incredibly moist cake with slices of apple and blackberries. It is unusually easy to make and so pretty that I almost didn’t know what to do with myself. I was home alone when it came out of the oven and was so frustrated that there was nobody home to share in my excitement. Luckily, I have all of you and so I took out my camera and snapped some pictures.

Make this.


Apple-Blackberry Cake (Martha Stewart Living, September 2009)

  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 ounces unsalted butter, melted, plus more for pan, plus 1 ounce cut into pieces
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 gala apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 8 wedges
  • 1 cup blackberries
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375° F. Butter a 9-inch springform pan, and dust with granulated sugar. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Whisk together melted butter, 3/4 cup brown sugar, the milk, and eggs in another bowl. Whisk into flour mixture.

Spread batter evenly into prepared pan. Arrange apple wedges over batter, and sprinkle with blackberries. Gently press fruit into batter. Combine remaining 2 tablespoons brown sugar and the cinnamon and sprinkle over fruit. Dot with remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Bake until top is dark gold, apples are tender and a cake tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Let cool.


29 comments to “Apple-Blackberry Cake”

  1. I love all your fruit desserts so keep them coming! Apple and Blackberries sounds like a great combination.

  2. Baked fruit desserts are my favorite kind, there can never be enough! I wish I had this right now, warmed, with some vanilla ice cream on top. Ohhh!

  3. All I bake are things that require fruit. Maybe you’ve already tried this, but you should give Deb’s “boy bait” recipe from Smitten Kitchen a go. I mean, yes, it has two sticks of butter, but I quadrupled the fruit (I used 16 oz. blueberries and about 3-4 apricots) and used two 9″ pans, and it was *amazing*. It completely satisfied every baked-fruit need I had, and I’ve probably made it four times since. Boy Bait With Tons of Extra Fruit. Make thee some, ya’ll.

  4. That looks delicious. I just picked up some blueberries today… wonder if they’ll be a good sub for blackberries, since I’ve got all the other ingredients already.

  5. I bet blueberries would still be good but you would be missing some zing, both in taste and appearance. Still worth a try!

  6. Do not be ashamed of the baked fruit! Embrace it, for it is delicious! I would be sad if you stopped posting the recipes. Keep ’em coming!

    Also, AED might try rasberries to go with his/her blueberries if he/she wants that extra kick. The colors would be wonderful, too.

  7. Why fix what’s not broken ? Why change what you and all of your readers love ? Bring on the baked fruit ! Another winner here for sure. Funny thing, when I first saw the top photo, I thought it was a big cookie ! :)

  8. I agree–keep the baked fruit recipes coming!

  9. Just baked this cake for dessert tonight! I don’t have much experience baking, so this was a great recipe to start with. I didn’t have everything that I needed though; the closest cooking vessel I had was a pie dish, and I substituted soy milk and blueberries instead of whole milk and blackberries. It is true– there was some pizazz missing with the blueberries! It also cooked a bit too long which I guess is my own fault.

    But even with that, I still thought it turned out pretty nicely! It was great with just a little bit of whipped cream. I’m in love with baked apples, and I’m look forward to even more baked fruit recipes!

  10. I, too seem to bake (too) many fruit desserts. Have you read Rustic Fruit Desserts. One of my favorites – check it out. BTW do you compulsively hoard local fruit in the freezer, too? ha,ha!

  11. This cake looks absolutely scrumptious!!

  12. Martin Manalansan says:

    August 26th, 2009 at 12:19 pm

    I was wonderinf if a springform pan was necessary and if a bundt pan would suffice. Also, since there are all these nectarines, peaches and other fruits that are in abundance in the past couple of weeks, could these take the place of the apples or will they make the batter too wet??

  13. Hello Martin! There would be problems with a bundt pan because of the small amount of batter. I would not recommend it. You could try this in a regular cake pan, the challenge will be removing it from the pan as the fruits are on top. I think the apple/blackberry combination is pretty unbeatable, but other fruits are worth a try. I am guessing that the cake will be a little wetter with stone fruit. Let me know if you try!

  14. Every time I look at your blog I cannot believe what is in store, and how much my mouth starts watering! This looks amazing!

  15. Hey Tim, just wanted to let you know that blueberries did work (I also followed Emily’s advice as raspberries were on sale this week, too.) And it turned out pretty well. I doubled the recipe and baked it in a 9×13 and the only problem I had was that the berries up against the side of the pan got scorched. My best attempt at photos:

    I baked at 375 for 55 min and it came out perfect. Thanks for the recipe!

  16. I am LOVING your blog! And I totally hold you responsible for my wasting time on line when I should have been working. Though reading about food should never be considered a waste of time. Must cook everything ASAP!!!

  17. Ashley in NC says:

    September 3rd, 2009 at 5:42 am

    Tim, I just found your website and had to make this recipe! It was absolutely delicious and turned out so beautifully. We have been having some fall weather here in NC lately, so the apples and the cinnamon smell throughout my apartment felt so seasonal and wonderful. Thank you so much for the recipe! I will definitely be making this and others again soon!

  18. Delightful! Thanks for sharing this and well-timed for the farmer’s market. This complimented a recipe from Bon Appetit for the skirt steak and horseradish potato salad for a perfect midweek meal with friends! Oh and yes, a scoop of vanilla ice cream. :) Yummy!

  19. Great, Ashley! That is a great recipe and such a perfect bridge between summer and fall.

  20. I made this today for a Labor Day party, and it was a huge hit. Everyone thought it looked beautiful, with its haphazard apples and huge blackberries. Sometimes it’s hard not to tell people how easy these baked fruit cakes are – because they’re novel to most, you want them to keep thinking you’ve done something very special.

  21. Martin Manalansan says:

    September 10th, 2009 at 12:33 pm

    I followed the recipe to the letter and chucked my initial ideas about improvising including using a bundt pan and other fruits. The cake came out wonderfully- almost like the picture. I was a little too exuberant with the brown sugar topping – I added two more tablespoon but it was all fine as the edges had these caramelized edgest. Delicious!! Awesome recipe!!

  22. Thanks for following-up, Martin. I am glad it was successful!

  23. Thanks so much for printing this recipe. I saw in the MSL magazine while waiting in an office, but only had time to jot down the title. Looks delicious and can’t wait to try it!
    Jan in S. Florida, where we pretend it’s Autumn

  24. Karin's Mom says:

    October 24th, 2009 at 5:31 pm

    This email has nothing to do with blackberry apple some kind of wonderful. I have a mission for you. I need an uppity Christmas cookie.
    I await your response,
    Karin’s mom

  25. stephanylynnpark says:

    October 26th, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    After a week of exhausted studies, we abandoned our textbooks, to-do lists, and test preparations. We took refuge in the kitchen, where peace came to us in the form of this recipe. Thanks.

  26. I got to use my new ikea springform on this one! Did everything just as the recipe says, minus the granulated sugar. I DID however add some thick drizzle that I use from my pumpkin cookies and it was PHENOMENAL with the cake!

    1.5 c powdered sugar, 1 tsp vanilla, 2 tbsp whole milk, 1/4 c melted butter. Stays together well in a double boiler while drizzling. Delightful! Thank you!

  27. ex-Montrealer says:

    February 17th, 2012 at 11:55 am

    Hi, Tim:
    I’m just getting around to trying this mouthwatering-looking cake this coming week. (Yeah, that was an awkward sentence, wasn’t it?)

    Can you tell me whether this cake could be made the day before serving? Or is it better to bake and serve it the same day? It would be a great help to me to be able to make this the day before; I’m preparing a “dessert buffet,” and I’ll be busy! Thanks, as always. These are more drool-worthy photos here, Tim. Keep up the excellent work!

  28. Ex- I really hate to say this, but I can’t remember. I think it will be fine, especially if you make it the night before. I don’t remember there being any problems with the leftovers. Some of these older recipes are getting foggy…sorry!

  29. ex-Montrealer says:

    February 18th, 2012 at 9:27 pm

    Thanks, Tim; that’s a great help.
    And let’s not talk about “foggy” memories; mine is the worst! :>)

What do you think?