Tuesday, June 24

Blackberry Oatmeal Cake + Latte + Drizzle = Vancouver

a piece of blackberry oatmeal cake

When Jeff and I planned our trip to Vancouver, BC Canada a few years ago, we scheduled it for July -- the month with the lowest probability of rain. We were assured of beautiful weather -- I didn't even pack an umbrella (not that I had one to pack).

When we landed in Vancouver, it was raining.

It continued to rain for three days straight. So we skipped a few attractions like Butchart Gardens and spent our time in beautiful museums, quaint book stores, and charming cafes instead.

blackberry oatmeal cake

One drizzly afternoon we enjoyed a memorably good fresh blackberry and oatmeal cake with a couple of cafe lattes. There is something about a cake with fresh berries, a hot latte, and a light rain that makes for a perfect lazy afternoon.

Vancouver, like Oregon and Washington State, boasts some of the continent's best berries. We savored fresh tart loganberries, a succulent boysenberry tart, and even gooseberry ice cream.

farmers' market blackberries

So when Jennifer of the Domestic Goddess (the founder of Sugar High Friday) announced that this month's SHF theme was Mmm ... Canada, I knew I had to make a blackberry-oatmeal cake. Since I didn't have time to fly to Vancouver for blackberries, I settled on these plump locally grown ones from the farmers' market. I wasn't disappointed.

Each bite is a sensory pleasure: the crunchy oatmeal-cashew topping gives way to a soft, moist cake punctuated with bursts of warm, juicy sweet-tart blackberries. As soon as I tasted it, I felt magically transported to Vancouver. The only thing missing was the rain.

another piece of blackberry oatmeal cake

Fresh Blackberry, Oatmeal, and Cashew Cake

Print recipe only here.

I lowered the fat and cholesterol in this cake by using less canola oil than usual, low-fat buttermilk, and egg whites only. Of course, full-fat versions work as well.

1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 egg whites
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup low-fat buttermilk
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup fresh blackberries (cut in half if very large)
1/4 cup chopped cashews

3 tablespoons chopped cashews
3 tablespoon rolled oats

Place rack in center of oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Butter or coat with cooking spray an 8 inch square pan.

In a medium bowl, sift the flours. Add baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

In a separate large bowl, beat the sugars and egg whites at medium speed until light. Beat in the vanilla, buttermilk, and oil. Reduce speed to low and add dry ingredients, including the oats. Beat until just incorporated and the flour is dissolved. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the blackberries and cashews until well blended.

Pour the batter into the pan and gently shake it to even it out. Sprinkle the chopped cashews and oats evenly over the top of the cake and lightly coat with cooking spray.

Bake for 45 - 55 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown and a cake tester inserted deep into the center comes out clean. Transfer the cake to a rack and cool for 10 minutes before unmolding onto the rack to cool at room temperature.

Unmold the cake, and place on a rack. Allow to set for at least 15 minutes before slicing.

Other fruit-filled baked goods you might like:

Fresh Apricot and Cherry Cobbler with Buttermilk Biscuit Crust

Fresh Cherry and Peach Upside-Down Cake

Fresh Apricot Muffins

Fresh Strawberry, Almond, and Coconut Muffins

More berry good recipes I found:

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Proud Italian Cook said...

This cake looks wonderful, in fact I'm printing the recipe! We lived in Oregon for 2 yrs. years ago, but I still remember all the berries there. Blackberries grew wild all over the place. We use to pick them and make cobblers all the time. Another popular berry there was, Marionberries, have you ever had a chance to try those?

glamah16 said...

Great dish. Healthy and love the use of Blackberries.I can totally see having a nice slice with some hot tea in Vnacouver.

Manggy said...

I've never been to Canada, but even with the rain, your description of Vancouver is really quite romantic :) I love berries, and that love triples in cake! Your low-fat version looks just as good as any full-fat cake I've seen.
P.S. You don't have an umbrella?! Haha :)

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

The kind of cake I like... Relly beautiful, attractive and delicious! I particularly love blackberries!



Jen said...

::waves hello from Canada!::

This looks like a fantastic recipe and I can not wait to try it.

PS - I have tagged you in my blog.

Wendy said...

Oooh, there are millions of wild blackberries here in the autumn. Bookmarking this now. :)

J said...

This recipe is so fantastic! I'll go buy some expensive berries and try it!!:)

Anonymous said...

Delicious and healthy, a wonderful combination.

Chibog in Chief said...

what a lip smacking good oatmeal cake!! would do everything to taste a slice of this :-)

Asha said...

Cashews!! YUM!!!

Aparna Balasubramanian said...

That cake is tempting, Susan. I'm going to make this, even though I don't get berries here. I'll get around that!
In fact, it evening here and raining. I'm drinking coffee but no cake:(

vb said...

Wow, great cake! Yes, the PNW has great berries. If you find yourself in the Victoria area again and it's raining, try the Victoria Butterfly Gardens. It's close to Butchart Gardens. Tropical paradise setting indoors.

Patricia Scarpin said...

It's raining here, Susan (not to mention gray and cold), so send the bars over and we have a deal. ;)

NĂºria said...

Your pictures make me salivate!!! It's not the time for blackberries here yet and I'm not a baking woman but I liked the story and the pastelitos!!! Wouldn't mind to have one even if there's no rain

Eve Fox said...

You make me wish it was raining right now!

Lysy said...

Can't wait for blackberry picking season now! What a beautiful and healthy-looking cake. Yum.

cindy said...

yeah we do get more than our share of rain here in the pacific northwest! but when i moved here and saw all the blackberry bushes (they grow EVERYWHERE...even where you don't want them!) i was very excited. i just love blackberries! saving this recipe for when they get ripe! it looks scrumptious!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

marie-Oh, yes, I had marionberries in Portland and they were fabulous! I'm so glad you like the recipe.

coco-It makes for a great afternoon.

manggy-I have one now. :)

rosa-Me too! Thanks!

jen-I hope you like it. And you'll be able to use actual Canadian berries.

wendy-Are you serious? That may even be better than foliage. Maybe. ;)

jyothsna-Ooh, thanks a bunch!

linda-Thank you.

dhanggit-And it's easy to make too.

asha-Aren't they wonderful?

aparna-Well you gotta have some cake with your coffee.

vb-Oh, I find butterfly gardens to be such magical places. Thanks for the advice!

patricia-You put the coffee on, ok? ;)

nuria-They're good even when it's sunny.

eve-Oh, good!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

lysy-I know how you feel!

cinderelly-All those succulent berries really do help offset the rain. Ofcourse this is coming from someone who didn't even own an umbrella. ;)

Arundathi said...

omg - that looks amazing. bookmarking this and can't wait for the weekend to make it! :-) thanks!

Anonymous said...

Susan, this cake looks lovely! Berries is my weakness, I just love them:) And blackberries? Yum! In Azerbaijan they only grow organically and people buy them in big buckets, very inexpensive. I am going to send this recipe to my family there too since they have the luxury to enjoy the berries in buckets:) In the meantime, I am printing the recipe for myself too. It is a keeper! Thank you!

Anonymous said...

This looks so good. I'm totally into berries and other crumbly-topped goodies right now. And this recipe can be made GF very easily! Yippee! Nice "other fruit-filled baked goodies" to link to as well. Wonderful photos, too!

In good health,

Deborah said...

That photo of the berries has my mouth watering - actually, all of them do!! What a wonderful cake to remember your time in Canada by.

grace said...

that's what i call a slice of perfection. it looks properly crunchy and sweet and cakey and still sounds healthy enough to make eating a huge slab acceptable. :)

Tim Appleton (Applehead) said...

My wife will make this, too...

Ivy said...

I feel jealous as I can't get any raspberries or blackberries but your cake is really healthy and looks delicious.

Anonymous said...

Oooh! This is the perfect dessert for Canada. We lived in Vancouver for about 10 mos (relocated there & then relocated again). There was a real sense of celebration when the berries were in season. Too bad there was so much rain when you went - good excuse to go back. ;)

xoxox Amy

Ivy said...

Susan, I have an award for you.

Anonymous said...

This sounds like the perfect summer dessert! Thanks for posting it

Domestic Goddess said...

Looks gorgeous and sounds absolutely delicious! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe and for joining in on Mmm...Canada!

La Cuisine d'Helene said...

About the rain, I think we had so much rain this year it was not even funny. I missed sunny East a lot this year. Now about the cake, Wow, love it. Beautiful! Were did you get this lovely recipe?

Anonymous said...

Stunning! You really take beautiful pictures. That's a great recipe. I can smell the cake from here. :-)

Swati said...

Susan, this looks so very impressive..I love the way you play around with the ingredients..Berries look very nice and the whole recipe looks so interesting!!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Rain or shine, this one is for me!! You've taken the fat out just like I would. It's gorgeous Susan! Totally perfect!

Pam said...

Wow. These look absolutely amazing. This is a perfect combination of all things I love.

ames said...

That looks wonderfully tasty! That's one of the things I miss most about my old homestate of Washington, the fruit! Berries are by far my favorite, especially huckleberries. I might try this out with some of my mulberries though ;)

Christine said...

What a lovely recipe. Our blackberries ripen in August and I've saved this to make when they do. Great photos!

Heather said...

oooh yum. i love the addition of cashews. blackberries are totally amazing :) your Vancouver weekend sounds great!

Cakelaw said...

This looks delicious - I like baked goods containing oats, as it gives them a bit of "oomph".

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

Mmmm.... I can taste that from here!

Prudy said...

Lovely cake. I'd eat it for breakfast-snack-dessert till the dish was clean.

Nora B. said...

My kind of cake, and thanks for the "less-guilty" version. It just means I will have two slices instead of one ;-)

Unknown said...

Awesome recipe. I'm going to try it this weekend.

You might like this blog. I found it the other day, and it has some pretty cool recipes. It's in Italian, but the recipes transcend language barriers :)


Lore said...

That blackberry photo is STUNNING! I would normally eat them as is but your cake slices are too inviting :)
It's fun finding out more about Canadian food!

Becca said...

I shared this recipe with my husband and he decided that it would make a wonderful weekend breakfast meal. So off he went, with recipe in hand and purchased all the requisite ingredients. He will put them together and we will make this in the morning tomorrow when it is cooler. It is a scorching 82 here in Portland and it isn't even 11 a.m. yet! Did you know that Bob's Red Mill Whole Wheat flour is ever so much cheaper than any other flour in our local market! It has been awhile since we have purchased any and sticker shock! Thank goodness Bob's Red Mill is in our neck of the woods, we might have to pay him a visit! Have you ever checked him out? http://www.bobsredmill.com/

Anonymous said...

That's it....I'm making this cake.

What's not to love??

Anonymous said...

What a GORGEOUS cake!! I think I have to make this, it just looks delicious - you've done us Canadians proud :)

raragirl said...

Glad to have made your acquaintance susan, Iam from Indonesia and liked to gather the food recipe and than try something on.your blog were very good complete with various food recipes...may you be successful(www.raragirlblog.blogspot.com)

Heather said...

Thanks for the link!!

Meeta K. Wolff said...

Oh yes this is a grand looking cake. cashews and berries could not resist - not that i am going to try.

eatme_delicious said...

Ooo this cake looks good. I love crisp toppings. And yes it sure does rain a lot in Vancouver, but recently we've had some disgustingly hot days where it feels like hot air is blowing at you! Glad you had a good time here anyway though. :)

Mansi said...

ok, this one is a serious entry for my healthy cooking event!!
and it looks perfect!! cashews and fruits! i bet this tastes like low-fat heaven!

Anonymous said...

wow..yes, this cake looks real yummie. :)

Anonymous said...

Wow Susan, this cake was delicious! I made it with raspberries and blueberries and it turned out great, except for one thing : I could never unmold it, even if it was baked in a anti-adhesive pan liberally coated with butter. Part of the reason why it happened is that the berries sink to the bottom and form a layer were there is less cake mix, thus leading to structural defects that greatly impair the unmoldability of the cake without breaking it. (raspberries are mushier than blackberries when cooked I suppose) So I would suggest your numerous readers to line the bottom of their baking pan with parchment paper to avoid that problem. That being said, everybody loved the cake; it's a great summer dessert!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

this looks great!
I have a question though... if I want to use a whole egg instead of the eggwhites... how many eggs should I use? one?

Susan from Food Blogga said...

anonymous-Yes, one egg would work.

Xiaolu said...

Hi Susan,

Your photos make me wish I were in my kitchen right now! I want to make this soon but only have frozen blueberries on hand. I know those are pretty different. Do you think I could substitute with those or do you have any other suggestions if I can't find blackberries? Thanks!


Susan from Food Blogga said...

xiaolu-You could use frozen berries. Just don't defrost them first as they'll be too watery. Blackberries are definitely more tart than blueberries, but would still be delicious. Raspberries are more tart if you'd like to try those. Thanks for your kind words, and good luck!