I have to admit, I bake cakes a lot. But who can resist one like this? This tender poppy seed buttermilk cake is layered with sweet berries and a smooth, whipped creme fraiche cream.
Any fruit could be substituted for the berries, and even jam would be delicious. This cake is kind of like a sophisticated homage to strawberry shortcake. Everyone always loves cake, cream, and fruit.
In addition to baking with creme fraiche, you can easily use it to accent any dessert, as shown. To learn how to make your own creme fraiche, click here.
This cake makes a four layer 9″ cake, but I made individual portions here with a ring mold. A good tip- chilling your cake before cutting or assembling it makes it sturdier and easier to work with.
How to make this high altitude recipe:
Berry Creme Fraiche Cake (adapted from A Passion for Desserts by Emily Luchetti)
Poppy Seed Cake:
8 oz (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup poppy seeds
Preheat your oven to 350 F. Grease two 9″ cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla.
In another bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and poppy seeds. Add the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk until just combined. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the mixer bowl and mix on low for 10 seconds.
Portion the batter into the two prepared pans and bake for 20-25 minutes until lightly golden brown along the edges and the center springs back when lightly touched. Let cool in the pans for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely. If time allows, wrap the cakes and place in the refrigerator to chill, for easier cutting and assembling.
Use a serrated knife to cut each cake in half horizontally, making a total of four layers.
1 pint blueberries
1/4 cup sugar
1 pint mixed berries- strawberries, blackberries, or raspberries
In a small sauce pot over medium low heat, combine the blueberries and sugar. Cook until the sugar dissolves and the berries burst and create some juice, about 5 minutes. Let cool to room temperature. Fold in the remaining mixed berries.
Creme Fraiche Cream:
1 cup creme fraiche
2/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine the creme fraiche, heavy cream, confectioner’s sugar, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer. Whip on high speed until the cream has stiff peaks and holds its shape.
Place one of the cake layers on a cake stand and top with one quarter of the creme fraiche cream. Top with one quarter of the berry filling. Place a second cake layer on top and repeat like the first layer. Continue with the third and fourth layers, ending with the berries on top of the cake. If not serving with an hour, refrigerate the cake.