Snacking Cakes' Berry Cream Cheese Cake-Famous Fridays
Sure, I love a fancy layer cake, but 9 times out of 10 it’s the simple, homey, one-layer kinds that steal my heart. You know, the treats you bake for casual get-togethers, serve with a Sunday brunch or make on a random weeknight just because the fancy strikes you and you know it would add tremendous joy to your house if there was cake to be had! Welcome to my world (lol) and the first Famous Fridays of June 2021 where we celebrate this beloved treat with Yossy Arefi’s Snacking Cakes: Simple Treats for Anytime Cravings and her lovely and easy recipe for Berry Cream Cheese Cake. Pull out your bowl and spoon and let’s kick off the weekend with a cake-baking party, shall we?!! (FYI, any of these cakes would make a great Father’s Day dessert!!!)
Whether you are an experienced or novice baker, you are going to love, love , love this book. I know I do! It’s so handy to have around, especially in the summer when get-togethers just sort of “happen” and you want to whip up a simple but yummy dessert quickly and easily.
All of the recipes (with the exception of a frosting or two) come together in one bowl by hand (no electric mixer needed) with only the most basic of fridge and pantry ingredients. And Yossy gives you tips to make these already, unfussy recipes even less fussy by giving you tons of flexible suggestions. Say the recipe calls for an 8-inch square pan, but you only have a 9-inch round one—no problem. Or maybe you want to make her Black and Blueberry Ricotta cake but don’t have any berries—Yossy tells you how to sub in stone fruit or even chocolate instead. Plus, there are gorgeous glossy photos of cakes, cakes and more cakes!!!!
It was tough to choose one to share today because I’ve made so many of them already, but since berries are so in season right now, this Berry Cream Cheese Cake seemed to be a no-brainer.
The batter literally comes together in 5 minutes and then you fold little cubes of cream cheese into it—
And top with a generous amount of fresh berries— blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, any combo you like. Plus a generous dousing of crunchy turbinado sugar!!!
The cake bakes up golden brown and moist, striking just the right balance between fluffy and dense with the slight tang of the berries offsetting the richness of the cream cheese. It’s sweet but not overly so and would be just as welcome at brunch as it would for a simple after-dinner treat!
Don’t count on having leftovers!!
All right my friends, pick up a copy of Snacking Cakes—I know it’s a book you’ll turn to again and again. And Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there!! Have a wonderful, delicious and safe weekend!!xoxo
Snacking Cakes’ Berry Cream Cheese Cake-Famous Fridays
Makes an 8-inch square cake
Prep Time: 12 minutes; Bake Time: 30-45 minutes
¾ cup dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
¾ cup sour cream
½ cup unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
1 ½ cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ cup brick cream cheese, cold
Generous cup of fresh berries (I used raspberries), divided
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar
1. Make sure oven rack is centered and preheat to 350ºF. Spray with nonstick spray (or butter) an 8-inch square pan and line the pan with an overhanging piece of parchment paper. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, whisk the brown sugar and eggs together until pale and foamy, about 1 minute. Add the sour cream, melted butter, vanilla and salt and whisk until smooth and emulsified.
3. Add in the flour, baking powder and soda and whisk until well-combined and smooth.
4. Cut the cream cheese into smallish, teaspoon-sized pieces and scatter them across the batter. Then add about ½ cup of the berries and gently fold those and the cream cheese bits into the batter. Scrape the whole thing into the prepared pan and tap the pan gently on the counter to release any air bubbles. Smooth the top with a spatula. Scatter the remaining berries evenly across the top and sprinkle the turbinado sugar all across the top.
5. Bake the cake for 30-45 minutes, until it is puffed and golden and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean (mine was much closer to the 45 minute mark). Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for at least 20 minutes, then use the parchment overhang to lift the cake out of the pan and let it finish cooling completely on the wire rack. Cut into squares and serve. The cake will last 3-4 days, well-wrapped, in the fridge. You could also bake this in a 9-inch round cake pan for 35-45 minutes or a loaf pan for 50-60 minutes.
Note: Recipe adapted from Snacking Cakes by Yossy Arefi. I increased the amount of berries and the turbinado sugar.