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Dec 20, 2023

French Berry Cake | Gâteau aux Baies

Fill this delicious French Berry Cake with raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, or a combination of all of these fresh berries. 

French Berry Cake Slices.

This Berry Cake, or Gâteau aux Baies, is an easy cake to make, and the resulting dessert is so simple yet elegant (the little black dress of desserts)! With a hint of lemon in the cake along with the fresh berries, it's perfect for an afternoon snack, family dessert, or for a holiday dinner party. 

We even had leftovers for breakfast. 

This cake recipe is flexible in that you can use any seasonal berries that are available, and when berries are out of season, you can use frozen. For the berries, I used fresh blackberries because the ones that were available were so big, fresh, and juicy. I'm looking forward to trying a combination of raspberries and blackberries next time. 

The crumb/interior of this cake is super tender and moist and the edges are sweet, thin, and a tiny bit crispy. It's pretty magical. 

Whole French Berry Cake on a cake stand.

This cake recipe includes a good helping of crème fraîche, a French-style cultured cream. The ingredient adds so much richness and tenderness to the cake without making it heavy and dense. If you can't find it, you can substitute full fat sour cream or full fat plain yogurt, but do your best to find the crème fraîche. 

To me, crème fraîche is most similar in flavor to sour cream, but it has a higher fat content (45 percent vs. 18 percent butterfat: Source: Southern Living) and a more cultured milk flavor. In a pinch, full fat yogurt, Greek yogurt, and even full fat buttermilk will work too in baking recipes like this one. For toppings, custards, gratins, sauces, and dressings, the best substitute is sour cream. 

I've been able to find crème fraîche at my local grocery stores in the dairy section next to the sour cream. It usually comes in a shallow tub, similar to mascarpone. If you have a Trader Joe's, they carry it too. 

French Berry Cake slice with whipped cream on the side.

Additional Ingredients in this Gâteau:

Besides the berries and the crème fraîche, you will also need cake flour, baking powder, fine sea salt, unsalted butter, granulated sugar, light brown sugar, and eggs. 

In addition, you'll need a good amount of lemon zest, either the zest from one large lemon or two small lemons. You can also add a little bit of lemon oil to enhance the flavor. 

Additionally, the cake recipe includes limoncello, an Italian liqueur made from the zest of lemons. I love making it myself and have even posted a recipe (plus, I have a very prolific lemon tree). You can also easily buy it in a spirits store. 

If you do buy or make a bottle, you can also use it to make margaritas, limoncello and toasted meringue cake, limoncello, gin, and thyme cocktails, Italian seafood salad, and triple citrus mousse cake. Plus, the liqueur makes a great gift. 

You could also easily substitute triple sec, orange liqueur, or Cointreau for the limoncello. 

French Berry Cake on a cake stand topped with powdered sugar.

Serving Suggestions: 

This cake can be served warm after it has had a chance to sit for about 30 minutes. It's also great the same day at room temperature. 

I loved serving it with a dollop of sweetened whipped cream on the side along with more berries soaked in Chambord or creme de cassis. Lefovers of either one would be great to have on hand for a kir royale on Christmas morning (or any Sunday brunch). 

Equipment You May Need: 

Nine-inch springform pan: This pan is great for easily depanning the cake without having to flip it over. Plus, it supports a taller one-layer cake. A cheese cake pan with a removable bottom will also work. 

To mix the batter, you will need a stand mixer or a hand mixer because you'll need to use an electric mixer for beating the butter and the sugars together unless you are a master at creaming butter and sugar by hand. 

French Berry Cake Slice on a white square plate with whipped cream in the background.

I'm still amazed at how much the blackberries lightened in color after baking! 

P.S. In the book, there's an apricot or peach variation! 

If You Love This Cake, You May Also Enjoy These Fruited Cakes: 

Dundee Cake

French Apple Cake

Blueberry Lemon Ricotta Tea Cake

Plum Cake

Grape Snack Cake

Apricot, Almond, and Olive Oil Cake

Ginger Pear Cake

The Cake Slice Bakers Logo.

Each month The Cake Slice Bakers are offered a selection of cakes from the current book we are baking through. This year it is Gâteau: The Surprising Simplicity of French Cakes by Aleksandra Crapanzano. We each choose one cake to bake, and then on the 20th we all post about our cakes. There are a few rules that we follow, but the most important ones are to have fun and enjoy baking & eating cakes!

Follow our Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest pages where you can find all of our cakes, as well as inspiration for many other cakes. You can also click on the links below to take you to each of our cakes. If you have a blog and are interested in joining The Cake Slice Bakers and baking along with us, please send an email to thecakeslicebakers at gmail dot com for more details.

The Cake Slice Bakers also have a Facebook group called The Cake Slice Bakers and Friends. This group is perfect for those who do not have a blog but want to join in the fun and bake through this book.

Gateau book cover.

This is our last cake from Gâteau: The Surprising Simplicity of French Cakes, which we have enjoyed baking through. Stay tuned as we will be announcing the next cake-centric book we will be baking through in 2023 soon!

Our last bake for the year is free choice, and our choices for December 2023 were ~

Raspberry Clafoutis
Berry Cake
Walnut Espresso Cake
Chocolate Orange Marble Cake
Kings of the Epiphany Galette

P.S. Be sure to check out The London Cookbook, also by Aleksandra Crapanzano, with recipes from some of the best restaurants in London. My friend Sally of Bewitching Kitchen wrote a great review of the book, which "made" me buy it. 

French Berry Cake slice on a square white cake.

French Berry Cake | Gâteau aux Baies Recipe

French Berry Cake | Gâteau aux Baies Recipe
Yield: 12 servings
Author: Karen's Kitchen Stories
Prep time: 30 MinCook time: 1 HourTotal time: 1 H & 30 M
Fill this delicious French Berry Cake with raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, or a combination of all of these fresh berries.


  • 250 grams (2 cups) cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 170 grams (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 200 grams (1 cup) granulated sugar
  • 112 grams (1 cup less 1 tablespoon) light brown sugar
  • 3 large room temperature eggs
  • 1 tablespoon limoncello
  • Zest of one large or two small lemons
  • 210 grams (3/4 cup plus one tablespoon) crème fraîche, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups raspberries, blackberries, or a combination. If the blackberries are larger, up the volume to 2 cups.


  1. Heat your oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9 inch springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, or with a hand mixer, combine the butter and sugars and beat on medium high until pale and fluffy. With the mixer on medium low, add the eggs, one at a time, and mix them in thoroughly. Mix in the limoncello and lemon zest.
  4. With a rubber spatula, fold in half of the flour mixture, then all of the crème fraîche, and finally the rest of the flour mixture. You can finish by briefly mixing everything on low with the stand mixer if necessary.
  5. Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan and dot with half of the berries. Pour in the rest of the batter and dot with the rest of the berries.
  6. Bake the cake for 55 to 65 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. For me, it was 60 minutes.
  7. Cool the cake in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes. Depan the cake and place it on a plate or cake stand. Serve warm or at room temperature.
  8. This cake can be stored at room temperature for a day or refrigerated for up to three days. Serve plain or with whipped cream, ice cream, and/or more berries.

Nutrition Facts



Fat (grams)

17 g

Sat. Fat (grams)

9 g

Carbs (grams)

44 g

Fiber (grams)

2 g

Net carbs

43 g

Sugar (grams)

28 g

Protein (grams)

5 g

Cholesterol (grams)

87 mg
crème fraîche, berries
dessert, cake
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