A cake for all seasons

I have deliberately specified frozen berries for this cake so it can be made any day of the year.

At serving time I like to pile the cake high with fresh aromatic berries, which of course you cannot do in midwinter. But even without the decorative berries on top, this light and lovely cake brings a touch of summer to the bleak bitterness of winter days.

Minus the berries the cake will still look special and very pretty scattered with tiny camellia flowers and leaves. Other edible flowers and foliage will also add a touch of glamour.

This is a perfectly balanced cake or pudding. Its moist dampness is sweet enough to offset the tangy sharpness of the fruit piled on top.

In the busy days leading up to Christmas and the holidays this is such a useful recipe to have on hand. It’s easy, quick to assemble and never fails.

If you have used frozen raspberries in the cake you do not have to decorate with fresh raspberries. Several varieties of berries are often available so you could use a mixture or try succulent fresh strawberries, blackberries or any other deliciously piquant fresh berry.


Summer berry cake

SERVES 12-16

190g self-raising flour

¾ tsp baking soda

100g brown sugar

220g frozen berries of your choice. I used raspberries.

3 large eggs, size 7

2/3 cup Greek yoghurt

2 Tbsp lemon juice

2 Tbsp Cointreau, other citrus-flavoured liqueur or lemon juice

½ cup light olive oil (light describes the flavour not the calories)


Preheat the oven to 190°C. Line the base of a 22cm ring tin with baking paper and lightly oil the sides.

Sift the flour and baking soda into a bowl. Stir in the sugar, rubbing in any lumps with your fingertips. Add the berries to the bowl and stir carefully but thoroughly to ensure all the berries have a light coating of flour and sugar.

Make a well in the centre and set aside. In another bowl beat the eggs together for 2-3 minutes until thick and frothy. Add the Greek yoghurt, lemon juice, Cointreau and olive oil and beat gently until well mixed.

Pour into the well in the flour mixture and using a large metal spoon gently stir the mixture together until well combined. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin, level the surface and bake for 40-45 minutes (cover with baking paper if the top is browning too quickly after about 30 minutes) until golden brown or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Leave in the tin to cool. Remove from the tin, wrap well and refrigerate until about 30 minutes before serving.

Place the cake on a serving platter. Arrange the berries, halving some if you wish, on top of the cake.

To serve, cut into slices and top with cream, ice cream or Greek yoghurt.