Mini Mixed-Berry Cakes

I recently got an email from a reader wondering when I was going to post the recipe for the Mini Mixed Berry Cakes I mentioned in the Summer Sips & Sweets Party I wrote about...oh...weeeeeks ago.

I had my lovely intern quickly send her the recipe, but figured it was also high time I post it here.

This is a great recipe to have on hand for summer. It's quick and one-bowl-ish, and works well with just about any kind of fruit--perfect these days when the fruit is plentiful and possibly even excessive like it is in my home. (I get carried away with the pretty colors.)

The original recipe actually comes from Bon Appetit magazine, where they made it in regular muffin tins studded with ripe apricots. I skipped the apricots because while I love dried apricots and apricot jam, as a fruit it does little to excite me. Too sweet with a blah-di-blah texture.

I prefer my summer fruits bright and tart and juicy--all the better to dip in sugar or douse with cream.

So I swapped in berries!

A big ol' mix of them--blueberries and raspberries and strawberries cut into perfect little wedges. Heaped into a subtle, lemon-scented batter and topped with a sprinkle of crunchy sugar, they are just the thing to serve at a summer picnic or to bring over to a friend's bbq.

And when the too-much fruit you bought is starting to ripen quicker than you can eat it, you can make up a big batch to share with friends at work.

(Because tiny cakes are always way more exciting than a basket of past-their-prime berries.)

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Mini Mixed Berry Cakes
Adapted from the Little Apricot Cakes in Bon Appetit Magazine

Ingredients
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup granulated white sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
Zest & juice of 1 large lemon
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup whole milk
1 1/2 cups mixed berries (if using strawberries, quarter and hull)
3 tablespoons turbinado sugar (such as "Sugar in the Raw")


Preparation

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 6-well giant muffin pan (or use a standard 12-cup muffin pan). Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
In the base of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg, lemon zest and juice, and vanilla extract, and beat until combined.

Lower the speed of the mixer, and gently sift in the flour, baking powder, and salt, followed by the milk. Let mix until ingredients are completely incorporated.

Fill each muffin cup about 1/3 full, then top with a few generous spoonfuls of the mixed berries. Sprinkle with raw sugar.

Bake until cakes are golden brown, about 20–25 minutes. Cool cakes in pan about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before serving.




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