Berry Crisp Cake

[photographs: Maria Del Mar Sacasa]

Once baked, the berries sink into the cake and burst, becoming a built-in layer of fresh jam, while the crumble melts and crisps into a cookie-like crust that provides wonderful textural contrast. Serve it warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or at room temperature with a cup of steaming coffee in the morning.

About the author: María del Mar Sacasa is a recipe developer, food stylist, and author of the food blog High Heels & Frijoles. Behind her girly façade lurks a truck driver's appetite. Read about her cravings and suffer through her occasional rants on Twitter @HHandFrijoles and Pinterest.

Every recipe we publish is tested, tasted, and Serious Eats-approved by our staff. Never miss a recipe again by following @SeriousRecipes on Twitter!

Berry Crisp Cake

About This Recipe

Yield:serves 12 to 16
Active time:30 minutes
Total time:2 hours 15 minutes
Special equipment:Electric mixer or stand mixer, 13- by 9-inch baking dish
This recipe appears in: Let Them Eat: Berry Crisp Cake


  • For the Crisp Topping:
  • 1/2 cup (about 3 1/2 ounces) packed light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup (about 1 2/3 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
  • 2/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup sliced toasted almonds
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • For the Cake:
  • Baking spray
  • 2 1/2 cups (about 12 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup sweet white wine, such as riesling or moscato
  • 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups (about 12 1/4 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • For the Fruit Layer:
  • 20 ounces fresh mixed berries, such as blackberries and raspberries
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt


  1. 1

    For the Crisp Topping: In medium bowl, combine brown sugar and flour. Add butter, and with fingertips, rub together and toss until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in oats, almonds, and salt. Refrigerate until needed.

  2. 2

    For the Cake: Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Coat 13- by 9-inch baking pan with baking spray.

  3. 3

    In medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In small bowl, whisk together wine, mascarpone, and vanilla until blended.

  4. 4

    Beat sugar, butter, and lemon zest on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with wine mixture, scraping down sides and bottom of bowl with rubber spatula as needed. Scrape batter into prepared pan.

  5. 5

    For the Fruit Layer and Assembly: In large bowl, toss together berries, sugar, lemon juice and salt. Distribute berry mixture in even layer on top of cake batter. Sprinkle berries with reserved crisp topping.

  6. 6

    Bake until cake tester inserted in center of cake comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Transfer cake to cooling rack and cool to room temperature, about 1 hour.


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