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Red, White and Blue Berry Yogurt Cake

Red, White and Blue Berry Cake
For fans of blueberries, raspberries and other summer berries, it is hard to resist putting them into anything and everything you bake when they’re in season. So why try? Berries make a great addition to a cake, adding sweetness and a splash of color to anything you include them in. I incorporated lots of fresh blueberries and raspberries into this Red, White and Blue Berry Yogurt Cake. The berries add a lot of flavor to just about every bite of this vanilla cake and they also make for a beautiful presentation.

The cake is a moist, tender cake that is a cross between a coffee cake and a pound cake in texture. It has a tight, but tender, crumb and is made with plain yogurt that makes it very moist. I use thick, greek-style yogurt for this recipe, but if you don’t have that, you can thicken some plain yogurt by straining it through a cheesecloth for an hour before use to remove excess liquid or you can use sour cream. A nonfat or lowfat yogurt will work, but you’ll get a slightly richer result if you use full-fat yogurt.

I used fresh berries in this cake because they’re in season and they’re less likely to “bleed” than frozen berries. The trick to getting the berries to remain suspended in the batter is twofold: toss about 1 tsp of extra flour over the berries before folding them in and only fold them into half of the batter, pouring the half of the batter without berries into the pan first. You can use frozen berries for the cake (use them frozen and toss them in 2 tsp flour to minimize “bleeding”), but you’ll still need fresh berries to garnish the top. The icing here is a very simple cream cheese icing that adds a nice sweetness to the cake and gives it a really clean look – and makes sure those fresh berries topping the cake really stick in place!

It is easy to add a splash of food coloring to a batch of cake or cookies to get a red, white and blue effect for a holiday, and that does deliver a beautifully colored result. That said, it is nice to know that you can get a festive cake for the 4th of July (or another patriotic holiday) without needing to add any food coloring. This cake fits the bill perfectly, as the combination of white cake with white frosting really make the red and blue berries pop out and make the cake look very festive. Of course, you can make this cake any day of the year, but it’s nice to have this type of cake in the back of your mind when you’re looking for a festive, but easy to make, cake for a picnic, barbecue or other summer celebration.

Red, White and Blue Berry Yogurt Cake

Red, White and Blue Berry Yogurt Cake
2 cups cake flour (8 ounces)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 large egg
1 large egg white
1 cup (nonfat) plain greek-style yogurt
1/2 vanilla bean or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 oz fresh blueberries
4 oz fresh raspberries
cream cheese frosting (recipe below)
fresh berries, for garnish

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 10-inch tube pan.
Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and the sugar until light. Beat in egg and egg white. If using a vanilla bean, scrap the seeds into the mixing bowl, otherwise stir in 2 tsp vanilla extract.
Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, alternating with the yogurt in two or three additions and mixing at low speed until everything is just combined and no streaks of dry ingredients remain.
Pour about 2/3 of the batter into the prepared pan, then fold the raspberries and blueberries into the remaining batter carefully. Spread berry batter evenly over the plain batter in the cake pan.
Bake for 40-45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean and the cake springs back when lightly pressed.
Cool cake completely in the pan and turn it out onto a serving plate before frosting.
Spread a thin, even layer of cream cheese frosting over the cake and garnish with fresh berries before serving.

Serves 12

Cream Cheese Frosting
3-oz cream cheese, room temperature
2 tbsp butter, room temperature
1 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 – 1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar

Cream together cream cheese, buttermilk, milk and vanilla until smooth. Gradually blend in confectioners’ sugar until frosting is thick and creamy.

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  • Maureen
    June 24, 2011

    What a yummy looking cake. Your berries didn’t bleed much at all. My experience is that blueberries leak less when they’re fresh but they do leak a bit.

    I’ll have to try your recipe and see if I can make it look as good as yours.

  • Sara
    June 24, 2011

    Looks wonderful! Great way for me to change it up from the frenzy of berry pavlovas that usually mark the beginning of fresh berry season for me 🙂

    Do you think I could do this in a loaf pan or a regular cake pan? I don’t own tube or bundt/angel food pans….

  • Stephanie W. (stephyw)
    June 25, 2011

    This cake looks fantastic. I recently used yogurt in a cake recipe, which made it fabulously moist and tender. Loved the texture, and will have to check this out.

  • Nina
    June 25, 2011

    Gorgeous summer cake and perfect for 4th of July! Have not baked with greek yogurt before….can’t wait to give this a try!

  • pilla
    June 25, 2011

    Such a cute cake! Looks amazing!

  • Nicole
    June 25, 2011

    Sara – I think that it will work in a loaf pan (you might need to leave out a bit of the batter if it gets too full), just keep an eye on the baking time so it doesn’t get overdone. I haven’t tried it in a loaf pan, though, so post back with your results if you try it!

  • Kat
    June 25, 2011

    Sara and Nicole: I just baked this in a loaf pan, and it worked quite well (the batter just fit with the cake rising up to the top of the pan). It took about 55 minutes in my oven.

    Also, I used strawberries instead of raspberries (because that’s what I had on hand), and while I imagine it has a slightly different tone, it is still delicious!

    Thanks for the recipe!

  • Linda
    June 25, 2011

    Any problem with just using 2 whole eggs? Why just one egg & one white? I see that done quite often & wonder why. I usually just don’t make those recipes b/c I won’t use a leftover yolk or white, but this looks so yummy & I have all the ingredients!!

  • A Tablespoon of Liz
    June 25, 2011

    This loos beautiful! It would be great for the Fourth Of July! I’ll have to keep this recipe in mind…

  • Salomé
    June 26, 2011

    Your post is in Mis Favoritas de la semana, you can see it at
    I hope you to like it!

  • irmina
    June 26, 2011

    Un saludo.

  • Nicole
    June 26, 2011

    Linda – In this case, it is to keep the cake looking whiter for the “red, white and blue” effect.

    You might also find this post on storing leftover egg yolks and egg whites to he helpful: http://bakingbites.com/2008/03/how-to-store-leftover-egg-yolks-and-leftover-egg-whites/

    Kat – Thanks for the feedback! Glad it worked out!

  • Sara
    June 26, 2011

    Thanks for the feedback, can’t wait to try it in a loaf pan!

  • Valerie
    June 28, 2011

    Perfectly beautiful and delicious!! I have this on my list to make for sure!

  • Jenny
    June 30, 2011

    I’m making this on Monday for 4th of July! Can’t wait! Will it make much of a difference if I toss in two whole eggs in there anyways? And will the frosting recipe make enough to cover the sides? I was thinking of baking this in a 9 inch springform pan and frosting everything. Thanks!

  • Nicole
    July 1, 2011

    Jenny – I recommend using one egg and one egg white, although you could give it a try with two whole eggs if you really want to give it a shot. The frosting does not make enough to cover the sides of the cake. You’ll need to double the frosting recipe and you will probably want to add some more confectioners’ sugar to make it stiffer and easier to frost the sides with, as it is very creamy as written.

  • Jenny
    July 4, 2011

    I just make this recipe but the batter is NOT enough for a 9 inch springform pan. I used 1.5x the original recipe to make enough batter to get a nice layer going before baking. The batter is also very thick and does not pour nicely. I’m not sure if that was just the way I made it or what but I used all of the ingredients listed.

  • Brad Rees
    July 7, 2011

    I’m a huge fan of your blog and look forward to reading it every day. I live in Ottawa and it’s 30 degrees and needed a cake to bring to a backyard event. So whipped cream was out. I remembered seeing this recipe and thought it was perfect. I had to double it for my bundt pan and just drizzled the icing. Apparently the event was for a city councellor and the mayor attended. Both tried the cake and the mayor said at least twice it was great. Thanks!

  • Tracie
    July 13, 2011

    I made this for a 4th of July party and it was a big hit. Really delicious without being too heavy, which is important in Texas where it is over 100 degrees!

  • cassie
    July 3, 2012

    could you use sour cream instead of yogurt?

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