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Butter Cake with Berry Salsa

Butter Cake with Berry Salsa

By Liz
June 07, 2014
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When the heat of the summer is finally here in Minnesota, it’s perfect weather for outdoor entertaining. Dessert is a must, but it needs to be light and simple. This Butter Cake with Mixed Berry Salsa is a great dessert to serve after a fun afternoon or in the evening at a casual gathering of friends. The fruit makes it light, and the addition of basil and candied ginger creates a sensational flavor profile that will raise some eyebrows – in a good way!


This recipe is also easy to make ahead. The salsa can be made and kept in the fridge for up to 4 hours; the cake can be made the day ahead.


If you are making everything the day of the party, start with the salsa so it has time for the flavors to mingle and meld. The first step is chopping the strawberries. I like to slice off the tops rather than digging out the stems, which is also a perfectly fine option. Rinse them well in a colander before you begin cutting and after the tops are off – I find dirt hides under the stem, so I like to give them a second washing to get off any grit.


Slice Tops Off Strawberries


Then, chop them into small pieces, similar to the size of tomatoes in a chunky salsa. Next, rinse the basil and pull the leaves off the stems. (Our bunnies love the discarded stems of basil!)


Chop Basil


To chop the basil leaves, I like to bunch them up so they’re easier to cut. Watch your fingers!


Chop Basil Leaves


Add the basil to a small bowl or, as I’ve done, into the 4-cup measure I used to measure the 2 cups of chopped berries.


Add Chopped Basil to Bowl


Add the other salsa ingredients, too, including the powdered sugar to sweeten the berries a bit.


Add Powdered Sugar


Add the other berries and zest the tablespoon of lime peel – I used two limes to get that amount of zest. I approximated the amount as I zested it right into the measuring cup! The recipe calls for 1/2 cup each of blueberries and raspberries, but the raspberries in my store didn’t look that great, so I went with a full cup of blueberries.


Next, I juiced the two limes, which produced 3 tablespoons of fresh-squeezed juice. This really makes the flavors fresh and bright.


Zest Lime


The last ingredient is crystallized ginger, which comes in jars or bags of chunks like this. Look for it in the baking aisle, by the nuts and dried fruits.


Crystalized Ginger Chunks


It is a little sticky to cut into small pieces. You can toss the pieces or dip the knife into a little powdered sugar to help with the stickiness.


Chop Ginger


When the ginger pieces are about pea-size or smaller, add them to the salsa and stir it all together!


Add Ginger and Stir


Cover the salsa and pop it into the fridge while you make the cake.

Begin the cake by buttering the bottom only of a loaf pan.


Butter Loaf Pan


Next, flour the pan by sprinkling a couple tablespoons of flour on the bottom and tapping out the excess.


Sprinkle Flour


Next, make the batter. It begins as many cakes do, by mixing the softened butter with sugar.


Soften Butter and Sugar


After 3-5 minutes, including a few stops to scrape down the sides with a spatula, the butter and sugar will be nice and creamy. Then, add the fresh eggs and almond extract. Continue to mix until well mixed and creamy.


Mix Ingredients


Next, with the mixer speed on low, add the flour, baking soda and salt.


Mix in Flour


When the dry ingredients are just mixed in, add the half and half. I used the fat-free version, which makes a delicious, fine-grained cake.


Add Half and Half


The batter is done and ready to spread into the prepared pan. Smooth the top and pop it into the oven to bake for about an hour.


Smooth Batter in Pan


he cake is done when a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.


Cake Tester


After 10 minutes, run a butter knife around the edges and flip the pan over onto a cooling rack. Then, right away, gently lift the cake with both hands and turn it right-side-up to cool completely.


Invert Cake on Rack


Beautiful! Loaf cakes like mine sometimes “crack” on top. This is common with cakes like this one. The cake will be just fine to serve with the fruit salsa.


Finished Cake on Rack


When the cake is cool, you can slice and serve it. Add whipped cream if you like – I found it was a nice balance to the sweet-tart fruit.


Cake Slice with Fruit Salsa


There’s nothing like slices of light buttery cake topped with fruit and a dollop of whipped cream as you enjoy a beautiful Minnesota summer night. If it’s too hot or the mosquitoes are moving in, dessert can always be a good reason to move inside! Fast!


Try this Butter Cake with Mixed Berry Salsa recipe for your family or for a dinner party – I’d love to know what you thought of the ginger and basil accents in the fruit salsa.


Original publish:  June 4, 2012.  Liz was paid to write for the Land O'Lakes Recipe Buzz® Blog.


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