This summery berry spoon cake is the perfect dessert to close out these summer months. An incredibly easy and delicious dish, with all of the brightness and lightness summer has to offer.

My original recipe for this cake was made with only strawberries. However, as summer progressed and blueberries, marionberries and blackberries were in season, I wanted to have something that paid tribute to all of these wonderful berries together.

Spoon cakes have a long history in the South. Spoon bread, spoon cake’s best friend, has a cornmeal base and even has its own festival in Kentucky! While this recipe doesn’t call for cornmeal, it is very much a product of my Southern background. My mother’s family is from Louisiana and Arkansas, so our Southern culinary roots run deep. My mom used to make spoon cake for us when we were little, and it made all our tummies very happy.

Spoon cake is an extremely easy dessert to make and does not require any special equipment. Just bring your bowls and wooden spoons to the party, and you are good to go. You can use any mix of summer berries you want, and could even throw some peaches in it to really celebrate late-summer fruit. By the way, this fruit is macerated in brown sugar, creating an unmatched depth of flavor. 

I typically bring this dessert to a party, as it is a great dessert to make and serve in individual ramekins. Maybe you even make them with different toppings — make a couple with blueberries, some with mixed berries, some with peaches — to give your guests options. Serve these warm with a dollop of whipped cream or your favorite vanilla ice cream, or be bold and serve them on their own. I promise you they are delicious enough for the task.

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Summer berry spoon cake

Total time: 30 minutes

Makes: 8 servings

INGREDIENTS

  • ⅔ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • ⅓ cup quartered and hulled strawberries
  • ⅓ cup blueberries
  • ⅓ cup blackberries or marionberries
  • Juice and zest of half a lemon
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup salted butter, melted
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped fine
  • Additional butter for greasing the baking dish

STEPS:

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees and grease eight 6-ounce ramekins or an 8-inch baking dish with additional butter.
  2. In a small bowl, mix berries with ⅓ cup brown sugar and lemon juice. Mash berries and brown sugar together, and set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, mix together melted butter, remaining brown sugar and buttermilk.
  5. Pour flour mixture into wet ingredients and mix until smooth.
  6. Fold chopped thyme and lemon zest into the cake batter.
  7. Evenly distribute cake batter between prepared ramekins. If you are using one baking dish, pour batter into the baking dish and spread batter evenly into the corners.
  8. Spoon berries and all of the juice over top of the batter.
  9. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes — or when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  10. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving warm, with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
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