Blackberry Tea Cakes


I attended a tea party recently– the best kind of tea party, with tiered servers and tiny sandwiches and itty-bitty desserts of all kinds– so of course I had to bring something of my own to contribute. The more elaborate dishes were already taken care of, so I thought it would be nice to have a plateful of relatively simple tea cakes on the table.

I immediately thought of friands and financiers– two traditional French cakes made with almond meal that I’ve always wanted to try– but the guest list included some nut allergies, so those were out. Still, I figured that I could use brown butter (another traditional component of French cakes) for flavor and a high sugar content to get a touch of chewiness, and with a little searching found a recipe that I thought might work as a base.

This cake recipe uses brown butter and honey to add some depth of flavor to the batter, and the batter itself is thick enough to support the addition of a single blackberry in the center without letting it sink to the bottom and disappear. The tiny cakes baked up beautifully golden, releasing easily from the pans (which were still well-greased for security), with nice crisp edges and soft centers. They’re delicious with tea, as well!

Blackberry Tea Cakes (adapted from Food52)

Makes 36

  • cup butter

  • cup granulated sugar

  • large eggs

  • tablespoons honey
  • teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups cake flour
 (or use all-purpose flour and replace 3 tbs. with cornstarch)
  • teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 pint blackberries

1. Melt butter in a small saucepan and bring to a rapid simmer. Continue to cook, swirling occasionally, until the large bubbles die down and the milk solids begin to turn golden brown. You don’t have to start watching it carefully until the boiling action stops– that’s all the water getting boiled out– but then you should swirl the pan a lot to keep things from burning. When the milk solids turn the color of honey, turn off the heat and immediately pour all of the butter (scraping the solids off the bottom of the pan) into a bowl. Chill until the consistency of soft candle wax.


2. While butter is chilling, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

3. Cream the butter and granulated sugar together until fluffy. Add eggs, honey, and vanilla and beat until smooth.

4. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to the liquid ingredients and beat into a thick batter.


5. Use butter or baking spray to grease the wells of a mini-muffin pan. Scoop batter into muffin pans to fill about 2/3 full, and place a blackberry in the center of each well.

6. Bake 10-15 minutes until the cakes are puffed and the edges are a crisp golden brown. Cool in pans for about 5 minutes and then remove to a rack to cool the rest of the way.



3 thoughts on “Blackberry Tea Cakes

  1. Pingback: Lemon-Blueberry Tart | It's All Frosting...

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