Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Fruit Patchwork Sheet Cake

This Fall or holiday sheet cake sports a lovely patchwork pattern for the autumn season or for a last minute Thanksgiving dessert. 

I made this version with fresh blackberries, fresh cranberries and canned apricot halves. To save time, I used canned apricot halves instead of peeling fresh ones. However, use any type of fruit or berry you wish.

That's the best part of this cake. It can adapt the flavors of any season. Feel free to substitute fresh blueberries, strawberries, gooseberries, small pears, apples, cherries. Whatever you prefer, is in season in the markets or what you have on hand. 

This dessert provides something for everyone. Guests can pick their favorite flavor to eat and the cake itself looks beautiful on any table.

Fruit Patchwork Sheet Cake
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Bake Time: 40 minutes 
Yield: Serves 8-10
  • 2 pounds of mixed fruit. I used fresh12 oz blackberries, 1+1/2 cups fresh cranberries and 1 15 oz. can of apricot halves. 
  • 1 cup or 2 stick unsalted butter, room temperature 1 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs 
  • 3/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Rinse the fresh fruit and pat dry. Drain the canned apricot halves and discard or save the juice for future use.
Grease a 10" X 14" sheet cake pan.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt.
In a mixing bowl, using the medium-high speed, cream together the butter, sugar and vanilla. Add the eggs and mix thoroughly.
Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly add the dry ingredients until incorporated completely.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
The cake batter will be the consistency of cookie dough. Spread the cake batter out on the greased sheet cake pan. To make this easier and to distribute the batter evenly into the pan, wet the back of a rubber spatula with water to smooth out the batter. Wet your hands as well if you are using them to help even out the mixture.
Starting at the shorter end of the pan, use a ruler to measure out the space across, dividing the section into 4 equal squares, 2+1/2 inches square each. 
Mark the squares by dragging a toothpick through the top of the batter. Repeat underneath to create another row of the same size squares below this first one. Repeat until the entire pan of cake batter has been scored into squares.
Working with one type of fruit at a time, place each type in its own square. Gently push the fruit into the batter. 
Alternate the types of fruit. For example, Blackberries, cranberries, apricot halves, blackberries on the first row. Continue below with cranberries, apricot halves, blackberries and cranberries in the row underneath and so on.
When all the squares have been filled, place the cake in the oven.
Bake for 40 minutes until the cake becomes golden brown.
Remove from the oven and let cool completely before cutting and serving.

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