berry cheese

Berry Cream Cheese Cake

Photo by Joseph De Leo, Food Styling by Bill Clark

This berry and cream cheese combination is inspired by the genius cream cheese–studded muffins at Sister Pie, a bakery started by Lisa Ludwinski in Detroit. The dark brown sugar gives this cake a little molasses edge, which cuts the sweetness of the berries and the richness of the cream cheese. I like a combination of blueberries and raspberries, but you can add blackberries, too, or cranberries when the weather is cooler. Strawberries get a little too soft when they are folded into this batter.

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    • ¾ cup (150g) dark brown sugar
    • 2 large eggs
    • ¾ cup (165g) sour cream
    • ½ cup (113g) unsalted butter, melted
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1 ½ cups (190g) all-purpose flour
    • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
    • ½ teaspoon baking soda
    • ¼ cup (70g) cream cheese, cold
    • 1 cup (160g) mixed fresh berries
    • 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar


    1. Position a rack in the center of your oven and preheat the oven to 350.F. Butter or coat an 8-inch square baking pan with nonstick spray. Line the pan with a strip of parchment paper that hangs over two of the edges.
    2. In a large bowl, whisk the brown sugar and eggs until pale and foamy, about 1 minute. Add the sour cream, butter, vanilla, and salt. Whisk until smooth and emulsified.
    3. Add the flour, baking powder, and baking soda to the bowl. Whisk until well-combined and smooth.
    4. Use your fingers to break up the cream cheese into teaspoon-size pieces and scatter them over the top of the batter. Fold in the cream cheese and ½ cup (80g) of the berries.
    5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, tap the pan gently on the counter to release any air bubbles, and smooth the top of the batter with an offset spatula. Scatter the remaining berries over the top and sprinkle with the turbinado sugar.
    6. Bake the cake until puffed and golden, and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 30 to 45 minutes. Set the cake on a rack to cool for about 15 minutes. Then use the parchment paper to lift the cake out of the pan and set it on the rack to cool completely. Serve warm or at room temperature. (Store the cake, wrapped tightly, in the fridge, for up to three days.)
  1. Flavor Variations
    1. Cranberry cream cheese cake: Substitute 1 cup (100g) fresh or frozen whole cranberries for the mixed berries. Fold half into the batter and sprinkle half on top.
    2. Apricot and berry cream cheese cake: Substitute a combination of 1 cup sliced apricots (170g) and 1/2 cup (80g) berries for the mixed berries. Make sure to save a few slices of apricots for the top.
  2. Use Another Pan
    1. Loaf: Fold 1 1/4 cups (200g) berries into the batter and sprinkle 1/4 cup (40g) over the top. Bake the cake in a 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pan until puffed and golden, and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes.
    2. Round: Bake in a 9-inch round pan until puffed and golden, and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 35 to 45 minutes.

Excerpted from Snacking Cakes: Simple Treats for Anytime Cravings by Yossy Arefi copyright © 2020. Photographs by Yossy Arefi copyright © 2020. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House.

Buy the full book from Amazon or Bookshop.

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I found the basic recipe easy to assemble (I’m not a fan of desserts while I like to cook entrees and sides) and easy to eat especially with heavy cream on top. I would recommend the recipe to anyone wishing to make a basic cake with any added ingredients such as berries, prunes, apricots, etc. Because I didn’t have any brown sugar I used a 1/4 molasses with 1/2 cup of sugar and it was quite good. I made it a 2nd time and used all molasses instead of sugar and layered the batter with the cream cheese between the 2 layers. Much better cream cheese presentation but the all molasses wasn’t ideal. So next time I’d go back to the brown sugar if you have it or the 1/4 cup molasses & 1/2 cup sugar.

SWEETLEAF FROM HYDE PARK NY. You can use coconut flour, but moisture content is different. May have to adjust liquids (sour cream or cream cheese) or bake longer. The texture will change.

This was such a quick easy cake to make..also moist and delicious. I didn’t have enough berries so used what I had of blueberries and strawberries plus one banana cut in small pieces. Didn’t have enough to put any fruit on top. Didn’t have brown sugar so used white. Will make time by following the recipe exactly..but it was great anyway.

Delicious cake. Even my 4 year-old daughter loved it! I used frozen raspberries. The baking time however was somewhat longer in my oven, more like 55 minutes At 180C to get the center firm and a cake tester to come out clean

This was not bad, but not out of the ordinary. I used almond extract instead of vanilla; and blueberries.

Can I use coconut flour instead of white flour?

This is very good. Super moist and not too sweet. I used frozen blueberries and baked for 45 min. The center is just a tad wet, so maybe bake 5 more minutes if using frozen berries

Can I use frozen mixed berries in berries cream cheese cake?

The dark brown sugar gives this cake a little molasses edge, which cuts the sweetness of the berries and the richness of the cream cheese.

Cheese Berry

Stout – Milk / Sweet

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Cheese Berry by Woodstone is a Stout – Milk / Sweet which has a rating of 3.8 out of 5, with 241 ratings and reviews on Untappd.