Blackberries are one of the fruits that bring back lots of childhood memories for me. Each summer when the wild blackberry bushes would produce fruit along the fences at the edges of our farm I’d go out and pick whatever I wanted. The same went for our mulberry tree, too! These days you can find blackberries in the supermarket more than just a few weeks out of the year, but for me these juicy little berries hold the promise of long days and warm nights filled with the sounds of crickets and frogs. Regardless of when you make this blackberry poke cake, one thing is certain: you’ll be obsessed with the simple and sweet flavors of this Southern style cake.
If you’re making this recipe without access to fresh blackberries you can use frozen. Just make sure you thaw and drain them first.
To start making this cake you’ll need to make your cake batter. This one is a simple vanilla cake with a firm texture- perfect for drowning it in blackberry goodness. Sprinkle some blackberries on the bottom of the cake pan before pouring in the batter for an extra “hit” of blackberry flavor in each bite.
Once you’ve made a lot of holes in your cake with the handle of a wooden spoon, you’re going to pour a mixture of melted blackberry jam or preserves and boysenberry syrup over the whole cake. Boysenberry is a good choice here since this fruit is a hybrid of raspberry, European blackberry, American dewberry, and loganberry. If you can’t find this in your grocery you can add a few tablespoons of water and a few extra spoonfuls of your preserves together before microwaving them to create more homemade blackberry syrup.
Once this has cooled spread on some Cool Whip or fresh whipped cream on top. I like to take a rubber spatula and make some back and forth motions in the cream. Then when you cut the cake this design gives an attractive appearance.
Top your cake with the remaining berries before cutting and voila! You’ve got a tasty, sweet, fresh cake that’s ideal for any summer get together or BBQ. But, don’t just take my word for it!
Blackberry Poke Cake
Makes 15-20 slices
2h 20m prep time
31m cook time
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 1/2 cups whole buttermilk
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 (6 oz) container fresh blackberries, rinsed and divided
- 1 cup blackberry preserves
- 1 1/2 cups boysenberry or blackberry syrup
- 1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip (or use 4 cups sweetened whipped cream)
- Preheat oven to 350˚F. In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl combine butter, buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla. Pour half wet mixture into dry ingredients. Mix well. Pour remaining wet mixture in and mix until just combined.
- Sprinkle half the blackberries over the bottom of a greased 9”x13” baking pan. Pour in cake batter on top. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean (avoiding any berries).
- Allow to cake cool for 10 minutes. While cake is cooling microwave preserves until runny. Mix with syrup. Poke about 80-90 holes in cake using a wooden spoon. Pour syrup mixture over the top while cake is still warm. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
- Spread whipped cream or Cool Whip on top of cake and level with a spoon. Dot with remaining blackberries and cut into 15-20 squares.
Recipe adapted from Taste of the South.