Sunday, November 12, 2006

Mulberry & Cinnamon Cake

While summer will never be a favourite season of mine, I do appreciate the increased variety of produce that the warmer weather brings.

Point in fact - the first glimpse of Mulberries.

mulberries© by haalo

The spread of Saturday farmers' markets through the suburbs has seen more unusual produce appearing before the public. I've not ever bought mulberries before but when one of my favourite stall-holders had these lovelies on offer, I couldn't resist. Just picked and ready to eat.

mulberries© by haalo

The main problem with mulberries is that they are awfully delicate and have a short shelf life - within a day or two you'd be throwing them away.

Time was of an essence to put these to their best use so I opted to adapt a rustic Italian cake by Ursula Ferrigno. It's pure simplicity - an all in one type of cake. There's no need to be creaming butter or whisking eggs. It's wonderfully crumbly and moist, with a delightful cinnamon scent that permeates each mouthful.

Mulberry and Cinnamon Cake© by Haalo

Mulberry and Cinnamon Cake
[Makes 1x8in/20cm cake]

140 grams softened unsalted butter, cut into small dice
140 grams caster sugar
140 grams ground almonds
140 grams self-raising flour
1 egg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
225 grams Mulberry (or your favourite berry)
icing sugar, to dust

Butter and flour and line the base of a square loose bottomed tin (you can also use a 23cm/9inch spring-form tin).

Prepare the Mulberries:
Rinse well under cold water then remove the stems. Dry on paper towels before placing in a small bowl. Sprinkle over with a spoonful of caster sugar, toss gently and set aside while you make the cake.

Make the cake batter:
Place the butter, sugar, almonds, flour, egg, cinnamon and vanilla into the bowl of a start mixer. Beat until smooth and well combined - about 3 to 5 minutes. Remember to stop and brush down the bowl midway to get a thorough mix.

Spread half the mixture into the base of the prepared tin - flatten it with the spatula.

Sprinkle over with the prepared mulberries, pushing them slightly into the batter.
Dot the cake with spoonfuls of the remaining batter - smooth over with a flat spatula - you want it to cover the berries.

Put the tin on a baking tray and cook in a preheated 180°C/350°F oven for about 1 hour until golden and springy and cooked through when tested with a skewer. Check along the way to ensure it's not browning too quickly - if it is, cover with foil.

Let it cool in the tin - this is a crumbly cake especially when warm so it's important that it's left in the tin under cold enough to handle.

Sprinkle over with a light dusting of icing sugar before unmoulding.

Mulberry and Cinnamon Cake© by Haalo

The cake itself is cinnamon coloured inside - it has a large moist crumb, the crust has a slight crunch and the berries are a welcome treat, being sweet and succulent. A dollop of whipped pure cream would make a perfect accompaniment along with a good cup of coffee.


  1. Thankyou WP - they sound like they are lovely memories - what would you normally do with the mulberries - did you also have the white mulberries?

  2. What a lovely glimpse into summer, on a cold and frosty day in North America! I've never cooked with mulberries, but grab a handful whenever I pass a loaded tree ... have to beat the birds, though!

  3. Haalo, we used to eat them fresh or making cordial from them. :) We used to have the small red varieties, not the white ones though.

  4. Thanks Alanna - it's a constant battle between birds, fruitbats and possums as to who will be eating the fruit first!

    Hi WP - Oh Mulberry Cordial that sounds really good, might have to try that next time if I can find some more berries.

  5. I LOVE mulberries!! We used to have a tree back home in India. I remember I used to stain all my nice clothes eating them :D

  6. Lovely memories Nabeela - for me, it was a nectarine tree - I just loved biting into the sun warmed fruit.

  7. Mmmm! Haven't spotted any mulberries in the shops here in Sydney yet. Can't wait til they make an appearance. I usually just eat them by the handful, but maybe this time I'll try cooking with them!

  8. this cake looks absolutely divine. very impressive!

  9. Thanks Y - hopefully they'll soon hit the stores in Sydney. Baking them makes a change from the normal blueberries and raspberries.

    Thanks Anna - it's a really moist cake and keeps wonderfully well, that is if you can force yourself not to eat it in one sitting.

  10. omg!!
    I was away from the computer for a couple of days and you have made all these delicious things, Haalo! Yum!!

    I love cinnamon (have a bunch of cinammon recipes on my blog) and used to eat a lot of mulberries when I was a child. My mom didn't like it so much - my clothes would get stained a lot. :D

  11. Thank you Patricia and a Happy Birthday to you! Cinnamon is just fantastic with such a beautiful aroma.

  12. I love dried mulberries but have never come across any fresh ones. Can i ask which market you were at?

  13. Hi Cin - it was Collingwood Farmers Market at the Children's Farm - it's on the second Saturday of every month. The stall selling them also turns up at the Boorondara Farmers Market (which is this saturday). Hope that helps.

  14. hey, I was actually there at the collingwood market! I mnust've missed the mulberries but will definitely be keeping my eyes peeled next month!

  15. I've never had mulberries or even seen them that I know of. Great post. Your photos are just wonderful.

  16. Hi Cin - there were back at Boorondara on Saturday with mulberries in tow! They are a smallish stall from Coldstream - they also have beautiful small garlic. Oh, they also had raspberries this week along with their usual strawberries!

    Thanks so much Kalyn - the mulberries are quite photogenic and a bit different from the norm. I don't often seen them myself so I took advantage of the opportunity.

  17. I'd love to find mulberries here... That cake looks wonderful!



  18. I just had to leave a comment as I made this gorgeous cake last night! I'm lucky enough to have access to a mulberry tree in the UK which is just dripping with beautiful, sweet ripe fruit at the moment.
    I tried this cake last night whilst still warm, and it was delicious - perfect as a pudding with cream or custard.
    I've now tried another piece cold after lunch, and it is still just beautiful. It's sweet, scented, has a fabulous and satisfyingly moist texture, and that's even before the fruit bursts in your mouth letting go of all its sweet juices.
    Just perfect!
    Thank you so much for posting the recipe, it will be enjoyed for many more mulberry seasons to come!! Alison x

  19. This is lovely, I can smell it from here! I just picked a bunch of mulberries off my tree yesterday. Today I developed a recipe I call Vanilla Bean Mulberry Cake, it was delicious! I have linked to your post to give my readers more options for their mulberries. Hope you will stop by :)

  20. Hi, I'd love to make this tonight with mulberries we picked at a park today here in England. I don't have ground almonds though, can I use plain flour in place of it?

    1. Hi - you can replace the ground almonds but it will not have the same texture. You'd probably have to decrease the amount of butter as almond flour is more dense and tends to absorb liquids.

  21. Thanks! I waited until I could get ground almonds and made it last night. It is awesome!!!!! When I run out of mulberries I'm going to use it for all kind of other berries! Thank you so much for this recipe!

  22. Oh,my. This cake is just fabulous. I will make it as many times as I can while the mulberries are 'on' then dream about next season!


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