Basil Berry Cake

I’m a sucker for a delicious berry dessert. You already know this if you’ve been reading it for a while. A good strawberry cheesecake is one of my specialties, as is the multi-tiered fresh fruit cake.

As a bonus, Monday is Memorial Day, and we’ve already experienced a few 90-degree days in New Jersey and New York City. It’s almost summertime. Yay! Desserts with berries are almost mandatory at this point.

Until now, this berry cake recipe has been my favorite tribute to the fruit. This is because it contains basil (you read that correctly). Let this basil berry cake recipe serve as an introduction to the delicious flavors of basil and fresh berries for those who have yet to discover them.

Basil leaves, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries, which are all pulverized into the sugar, give this cake a fresh, summery flavor. Herb gardens in full bloom, summertime barbeques, and cool drinks by the pool are all conjured up in my mind when I hear this song.

If you’re looking for a light (or not so light) dessert to accompany a summer meal, this berry cake is the answer. It has a citrusy flavor thanks to the lemon zest and the freshness of the basil and other fruits. To top it off, the cake is glazed with apricot jam, which gives it a beautiful sheen.

(Side note: If you’re not a fan of fresh berries, I won’t judge you––weirdo.)


  • 12 basil leaves
  • 3/4 cup of granulated sugar
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup of softened butter
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 1 cup of all purpose flour
  • 2 cups of mixed berries, cut into smaller chunks
  • ¼ cup of apricot jam


  1. Set oven to 350°F. A 9-inch springform pan should be sprayed with cooking spray and floured. Using a circle of parchment paper, line the pan’s bottom and sides.
  2. Blend together the sugar, basil leaves, and lemon zest. Using a food processor, combine basil and lemon zest with the sugar until there are no visible parts of the leaves remaining.
  3. With the exception of 1 tablespoon, combine the remaining sugar, butter, baking powder, and salt in a mixing basin. To achieve a silky finish, add all the ingredients.
  4. Add the eggs individually. Add vanilla to the mixture and mix it up well.
  5. Slowly add the flour, being careful not to overwork the dough. In the end, you’ll have a thick, smooth batter. The batter will be relatively thin, so make sure to spread it out evenly in your prepared pan. Simply scatter the berries on top of the cake and lightly push them into the batter to hold them in place. Sprinkle the cake with the rest of the powdered sugar.
  6. When a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean, the cake is done baking. Wait for it to cool before slicing.
  7. Warm the apricot jam in the microwave in a small pot while the cake is cooling. Apply the warm jam to the top of the cake. Serve with whipped cream and fresh berries, or warm or room temperature.

Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on twitter