This lightly sweetened sheet cake is the perfect dessert to serve all year long, since it uses either fresh or frozen berries. It’s easy to make and great for a crowd. Vegan friendly and gluten, dairy, and egg free with refined sugar free option.
We dropped my mom off at the airport yesterday to catch her flight back to North Carolina. She’d been here almost a whole month, although the brevity of it seemed more like a week. Each of us gave her a hug as we said our teary goodbyes and then watched as she zig-zagged her way through the airport security line. We’ve always stood around and waited until she clears the check point. She’d then look back, blow us a kiss, and give a big wave before disappearing down the long corridor to the terminals. Yesterday was no different. Our prolonged goodbye has become somewhat of an unspoken tradition. But, it gives us a few more minutes with her, which is worth it, even if it is from a distance.
My mom and I don’t have the perfect relationship. She can be stubborn and opinionated and I can be moody and insensitive. We get frustrated with each other…often! But, I do love her more than anything and there’s nothing I wouldn’t do for her. I bet she’d say the same about me.
I came home to what all of a sudden seemed like an empty house and began baking. If you’re ever feeling low, baking is a sure-fire way to lift your spirits, especially if it’s cake. I mean, besides being distracted by the effort it takes to concentrate on a recipe and measure ingredients accurately, it’s hard not to feel at least a little happy around sugar, berries, and vanilla. And if that doesn’t do anything for you, just wait 40–50 minutes for the cake to finish baking and then dig in. It’s the preferred celebratory dessert for a reason!
Although I love a pretty layered cake to serve on special occasions, sometimes a lack of both time and energy calls for the more practical, and definitely more simple to make, sheet cake. The thing I love about this cake is that it still has that “wow” factor without the need for frosting or fancy piping. Berries are like makeup for food. The blackberries are the eyeliner, blueberries the eye shadow, and the raspberries that pop of color on the lips.
This cake is delicious and a great way to make the most of berry season. The patriotic color combo also makes it a festive treat for Memorial Day and 4th of July, although it really is the perfect dessert to serve all summer long. Feel free to use just one berry instead of the combo and make a blueberry or blackberry cake.
It’s lightly sweetened and vegan friendly, with gluten and refined sugar free options. I hope you give it a try and enjoy it as much as we did! 🙂
- 1⅓ cup milk of choice (I used almond milk)
- 1½ teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour (For gluten-free use: 1¾ cups Gluten Free 1-to-1 All Purpose Baking Flour + ¾ cup blanched almond flour)
- 1 cup pure cane sugar or *coconut sugar (can use an additional ¼–1/3 cup sugar if you like it sweeter)
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- zest of 1-2 lemons, optional
- ⅓ cup oil of choice (I use avocado oil or vegetable oil)
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2½–3 cups fresh or frozen berries of choice (I used a combo of blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries)
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Lightly grease or line a 13x9 pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- Combine milk with vinegar in a small glass dish. Let milk sour while preparing the rest of the ingredients.
- In a large mixing bowl, blend together flour(s), sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and lemon zest.
- Mix in sour milk, oil, and vanilla extract until batter is smooth. Pour into prepared pan.
- Evenly top the batter with mixed fruit and place into preheated oven. Bake for 45–60, or until center of cake is set and a toothpick inserted comes out almost clean (time may vary depending on your oven and if you used fresh or frozen berries.) Let cool before slicing. Delicious served with **whipped cream and additional berries. (see notes for coconut whipped cream recipe)
**Coconut whipped cream: Chill 1 can of coconut cream (I used Thai Kitchen brand.) Remove hardened cold cream and place into a mixing bowl; discard liquid in can. Add 1–2 teaspoons sweetener of choice (I use maple syrup or honey) plus ½ teaspoon vanilla and beat together with a mixer until fluffy. Keep chilled until ready to serve.