Berry Crème Fraiche Cake


Since we’ve entered the prime summer months, I wanted to share this cool and refreshing cake with you. It’s not overly sweet, and the crème fraiche adds a perfect little tang. Crème fraiche is a version of sour cream, often homemade by combining cream and butter milk and letting it sit at room temperature for 48 hours. It pairs well with the fresh berries to make this wonderful summer cake.

Poppy Seed Cake

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 8 oz.(16 Tbsp.) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup poppy seeds


Crème Fraiche Filling

1 pint blueberries
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. sugar
2 cups (16 oz.) crème fraiche
2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1 pint fresh raspberries
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottom and sides of two 9-inch cake pans. Line bottoms with parchment paper.

To Make Cake

In medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt, and baking powder.

Beat butter with sugar until light and fluffy (one minute on medium-high speed with a stand mixer or three minutes with a handheld mixer). On medium speed, add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Periodically scrape sides of bowl.

Stir together buttermilk and vanilla. On low speed, add half the buttermilk. Mix until incorporated then scrape sides of bowl. Add half the dry ingredients. Mix until combined then scrap sides of bowl. Add remaining buttermilk and dry ingredients in same manner. Stir in poppy seeds.

Divide batter between two pans and evenly spread in pans. Bake cakes on middle oven rack until a skewer inserted in middle comes out clean (15 to 20 minutes).

Cool cakes in pans for ten minutes. Unmold cakes by running a small knife around inside edges of pans. Invert cakes out onto a rack to continue to cool completely. Carefully remove parchment paper.

Using a serrated knife, carefully cut each cake in half horizontally, making four layers.

To Make Filling

Cook blueberries and 1/4 cup sugar in small saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring often, until sugar dissolves and berries pop open and become juicy (about five minutes). Let cool to room temperature.

Whip cream fraiche, cream and remaining two tablespoons sugar until stiff enough to hold shape, but still smooth.

To Assemble Cake

Place one cake layer on serving platter. Spread one quarter of crème fraiche filling on top of cake. Top with one quarter of blueberry sauce and one quarter of fresh raspberries. Place a second cake layer on top, and spread crème fraiche, blueberry sauce, and raspberries on top in the same fashion. Repeat with third and fourth layers, ending with berries on top.

This cake is best served the same day, but will hold in the refrigerator for a few days.

Michelle Hicks is a graduate of The Culinary Institute of Montana at FVCC and works as an instructional assistant for the program. For more information about the program, visit