Cream Cheese-Swirled Cherry and Mixed Berries Cake
This post may contain affiliate links.
Baking berries into cake and getting big juicy surprise bites of fruit is so much fun.
And swirls of cream cheese are an added bonus.
I adore this cake base because it produces a soft, moist, tender cake and the batter is fast and easy to make.
The cake reminds me of the Entenmann’s cream cheese coffeecakes I used to buy in college when cooking was a foreign concept.
It comes together with a whisk, and is as easy as making muffin batter. A bowl of dry ingredients, a bowl of wet ingredients, fold wet into dry, and pour in a pan. So easy.
I had a little bit of cream cheese staring back at me from the bottom of an almost-used container, which I swirled into the cake batter.
I didn’t go too crazy with swirling because I wanted bigger patches of cream cheese, rather than small streaks. Cream cheese seems to disappear while baking so I kept the swirls on the thicker side.
If you don’t have cream cheese on hand, just omit it. The cake will still be wonderful without it and you can instead glaze it with one of the glazes suggested in the recipe.
The cake is soft, springy, and fluffy, without being airy. It’s got just the right amount of density and is so moist.
There’s sour cream (or Greek yogurt) in the batter, along with buttermilk, and a bit of oil, all of which do wonders for cakes.
Plus the cream cheese swirls and abundance of berries just add to the soft and supple factor.
I used a frozen cherry and berry blend with blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries. I always bake with frozen and save my fresh berries for eating. Use whatever combination of cherries and berries, fresh or frozen, that you have.
If you’re using fresh fruit, the baking time will likely be much less, by as much as 20 minutes or so. When I used this cake base with fresh peaches, my baking time was a solid 10 minutes less.
With all cakes and baking in general, watch your cake and not the clock. Bake until it’s done. Simple as that.
The creaminess and tanginess of the cream cheese complements the juicy fruit wonderfully well, and you can’t ever go wrong with adding a little cream cheese.
This cake base has yet to let me down.
So much so, that I keep making more cakes with it. Stay tuned.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour + 1 tablespoon for tossing with berries
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar + 1 tablespoon for mixing with cream cheese
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- pinch salt, optional and to taste
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1/3 cup sour cream (thick, full-fat Greek yogurt may be substituted)
- 3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups frozen cherries and berries – blueberries, blackberries, raspberries (don’t unthaw, add them to the batter frozen; see below in item 6 about using fresh)
- 1/4 cup cream cheese, softened (light is okay)
- confectioners’ sugar, optional for dusting or see glaze suggestions below
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-inch square pan with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray; set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together 1 cup flour, 3/4 cup sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, optional salt; set aside.
- In a separate small bowl, whisk together the next 5 wet ingredients (through vanilla).
- Add the wet mixture to the dry, mixing lightly with a spoon or folding with a spatula until just combined. Lumps will be present and this is okay. Don’t overmix or try to stir them smooth; set aside.
- In a small bowl, toss the fruit with 1 tablespoon flour. The flour helps to prevent the fruit from sinking while baking.
- Gently and briefly fold the fruit into batter. I used a frozen fruit blend with cherries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries. If using frozen, add the fruit frozen and do not thaw because frozen fruit runs and bleeds less than if thawed. If using fresh fruit, baking time will be significantly (possibly drastically) less because the fruit is much warmer and won’t chill down the batter overall, nor will it release any where near the water into the batter that frozen fruit does.
- Turn batter out into prepared pan; set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the cream cheese with 1 tablespoon sugar until smooth.
- Dollop the cream cheese mixture haphazardly over the cake batter. With a toothpick, gently and lightly swirl the cream cheese. I don’t do much swirling because I like to see bigger, noticeable patches of cream cheese rather than thin streaks in my cake; personal preference.
- Bake until done. I hesitate to give a baking range because you must watch your cake, not the clock. Bake until center is slightly domed and set, golden and rosy in color, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter. I estimate 50 to 55 minutes is a good range if using frozen fruit. At any time your cake is beginning to look a bit too golden brown before you suspect the center will set up, tent it with a sheet of foil laid across the top. I baked for 52 minutes total, and at the 45 minute mark, I tented with foil. Baking times will range dramatically based on if baking with fresh or frozen berries; ranging from 30 to 60 minutes depending on the temperature of the berries going into the batter and how much water they release.
- Place pan on a wire rack and allow cake to cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing and serving. Optionally, dust with confectioners’ sugar or a simple glaze. This vanilla cream cheese glaze, this buttery vanilla glaze, this browned butter glaze, or this lemon glaze are all excellent, quick, and easy options.
- Cake will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 5 days.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 305Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 34mgSodium: 186mgCarbohydrates: 51gFiber: 2gSugar: 38gProtein: 4g
Strawberries and Cream Coffee Cake with Vanilla Cream Cheese Glaze – The best coffee cake I’ve ever had or made. Use your favorite fresh, frozen, or seasonal fruit this incredibly moist and soft cake batter
Blueberry and Jam Buttermilk Coffee Cake with Buttery Vanilla Glaze – One of the best coffee cakes or cakes I’ve ever made. Highly recommended – tied with the one above
Blueberry and Cream Cheese Muffin Top Bread – Tastes like one big muffin top. Ridiculously soft and moist
The Best Vegan Blueberry Muffins – The best blueberry muffins I’ve ever had, healthy, vegan or otherwise
Do you have a favorite cake that never lets you down? Fan of berries? Cherries?
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.