loaves & such

Berry Crisp Cake (with Fresh Berries)

This berry crisp cake takes one of the best simple desserts – berry crisp – and turns it into a gorgeous and delicious cake. It’s light, loaded with juicy berries, and is the perfect summer dessert.

Berry Crisp Cake

What’s not to love about turning a favorite dessert (oh hey, berry crisp) into a cake? This berry crisp cake has a light and moist vanilla cake base packed with berries, a smooth and silky ermine frosting (not hard to make, I promsie) and crispy brown sugar oat crumble. It has all the simple nostalgia of a berry crisp, but it’s elevated enough to be a summer showstopper for a special occasion.

Christina Tosi of Milk Bar fame has an approach to cakes that’s made me rethink any cake I make. She’s a big fan of having textural differences in cake – a little crunch here, crumble there, etc. While I do love a classic soft cake with soft frosting, her ethos has definitely made me try to think more outside the box.

And that’s the space this berry crisp cake plays in. The cake itself is light and moist and bursting with berries. The frosting is luxuriously smooth, and the brown sugar oat crumble on top gives a much-needed crunch that harkens back to the classic berry crisp.

This post is all about berry crisp cake.

Why You’ll Love This Berry Crisp Cake

You Can Easily Double This Recipe

This cake serves 8-10 people, but if you have a big soiree do not fret. You can double the recipe and put in a 9×13 sheet pan, or bake it in two round cake pans and assemble as a two layer cake. Just double up on frosting and the brown sugar oat crumbles, and keep an eye on the cake in the oven as it may bake for less or more time.

Ingredient List

What is Ermine Frosting? Can I use whipped cream instead?

Ermine frosting, often called “boiled milk frosting,” is a smooth, fluffy frosting that’s perfect for people who love less-sweet and less-butter-flavored frosting than traditional buttercream. It’s super fun to make, but it does take a bit more time than, making whipped cream or just a store-bought frosting. To me, it’s always worth it to make the ermine frosting, but homemade whipped cream or chantilly cream (sweetened whipped cream) will work in a pinch for this recipe, too.

How do I make ermine frosting?

Ermine frosting is one of my favorite things to make in the kitchen because it’s SO cool seeing the ingredients transform into something special. I have full directions for ermine frosting below, but this is the high-level view. First, we whisk milk, sugar and flour together on the stovetop until it goes from liquidy to the consistency of pudding. We then mix it in a stand mixer until it cools down, then slowly add in the butter. To finish, we whip it at high speed and the frosting goes from looking like a small bowl of pudding to a huge bowl-full of fluffy, creamy frosting. It is MAGIC.

How to Make Berry Cake

Step 1: Make the cake! We cream together butter and sugar, then slowly add in eggs, then oil followed by sour cream. We then alternate adding in the milk/vanilla extract/lemon juice and dry ingredients before adding in the berries.

Step 2: Make the ermine frosting. Ermine frosting is SO fun to make. It really feels like magic.

Step 3: Make the brown sugar oat crumble. This is super easy – you’ll just mix together the ingredients, sprinkle it on a baking sheet and bake until it’s nice and brown.

Step 4: Assemble the cake. Swoop the frosting to your heart’s content, generously add the brown sugar oat crumble, fresh berries and a drizzle of honey on top. And give yourself a pat on the back for your dang beautiful cake.

Tips for the Best Berry Crisp Cake

More Great Recipes

If you make this berry crisp cake, please leave a rating and review below. Follow along and for new recipes on Instagram or TikTok at @loaves.and.such! Happy baking, my buds.

Berry Crisp Cake (with Fresh Berries)

Recipe rating: 5.0 from 1 votes
Recipe by Maddie | loaves & such


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This berry crisp cake takes one of the best simple desserts – berry crisp – and turns it into a gorgeous and delicious cake. It’s light, loaded with juicy berries, and is the perfect summer dessert.

Ermine frosting recipe from King Arthur Baking

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  • For the Cake
  • 2 cups (240 grams) all-purpose flour

  • 2 tsp. baking powder

  • 1 tsp. kosher salt or another coarse salt

  • 1/4 cup whole milk, at room temperature

  • 3 tsp. vanilla extract

  • 2 TBS. lemon juice (about half a lemon, but still measure 😉 )

  • 6 TBS. (85 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature

  • 1 1/4 cups (250 grams) granulated sugar

  • 2 eggs, at room temperature

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil

  • 1/4 cup sour cream, at room temperature

  • 2 cups berries (raspberries, blueberries, blackberries)

  • For the Ermine Frosting
  • 3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated sugar

  • 1/4 cup (30 grams) all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup whole milk

  • 12 TBS. (170 grams) unsalted butter, softened

  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract

  • For the Brown Sugar Oat Crumble
  • 1/4 cup (30 grams) all-purpose flour

  • 1/4 cup old fashioned oats

  • 1/4 cup (53 grams) brown sugar

  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt or another coarse salt

  • 3 TBS. (42 grams) melted butter

  • Extra berries to top

  • Honey to top


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper, greasing any exposed parts of the pan.
  • First, we’ll prep our dry and wet ingredients. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt and set aside. In a cup, mix together the milk, vanilla extract and lemon juice and set aside.
  • Now we’re ready to make the batter. Add the butter and sugar to a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Cream together on medium speed for 2-3 minutes until lighter in color.

    Turn the mixer to medium-low and mix in the eggs one at a time. Slowly stream in the oil and then add in the sour cream. Stir until fully incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as you go.
  • Now we’ll alternate adding the dry ingredients and milk mixture. Turn the mixer on low and add one-third of the dry ingredients. Let the mixer fully incorporate the dry ingredients into the batter, then add in half of the milk mixture and let mix until it’s incorporated. Then add another one-third of the dry ingredients, mix, add the rest of the milk mixture, mix. Finish with the last one-third of the dry ingredients, stopping when there are just a few streaks of flour left.

    Toss the berries quickly in 2 tsps flour, which will help them suspend in the batter. Then fold the berries into the batter, avoiding adding any leftover flour from the berries.
  • Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 45-55 minutes, until the top is deep golden brown and a knife in the center comes out clean.
  • While the cake is baking, make the ermine frosting. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar and flour, then whisk in the milk. Cook the mixture over medium heat, whisking constantly, until it’s thickened to a pudding-like consistency, about 3 to 6 minutes.

    Pour the mixture to a stand mixer fitted with the beater attachment. Beat at medium-high speed for 10-15 minutes, until it’s below 80°F (if you don’t have a thermometer, it should feel fairly cool or room temperature to the touch).

    Turn the mixer to low and, with the mixer running, add the butter a few tablespoons at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

    Mix in the vanilla. Then turn the mixer to high until the frosting is light and fluffy, 4-6 minutes. If your frosting looks curdled, greasy, or soupy/loose, check out King Arthur for some quick troubleshooting.
  • While the cake cools, make the oat crumble. In a small bowl, mix together the flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Stir in the melted butter. Spread on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool.
  • Once the cake and brown sugar oat crumble are cooled, you’re ready to assemble the cake! Spread the frosting on top (this is easiest if the frosting is room temperature). Then add on the crumble (you may have some left over to top ice cream or something else delicious). Pop more berries on top of the cake, and drizzle honey to make the whole cake glisten.

    Serve at room temperature. You can store the cake in the fridge for 5-7 days.


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