Lemon Layer Cake with Blackberries!

Summer in Washington State means blackberries are literally growing everywhere! Our grand children came to visit a few weeks ago and we picked oodles of berries everyday with the idea we would make jam. That never happened, but we ate berries fresh by the bowlful and blended them with ice cream to make blackberry shakes.By far my favorite way to use the abundance of juicy, summer berries is atop this gorgeous Lemon Layer Cake with Blackberries!
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Lemon Layer Cake with Blackberries #lemoncake #blackberrycake #layercake #glutenfree option

The Cake: Two Layers or Three….it’s up to you

This simple cake is naturally flavored with fresh lemon juice and zest then frosted with lemon buttercream, and topped with luscious blackberries dusted with powdered sugar. You can make this cake two layers, or three. If you make a double layer you’ll need to use two 9 inch non stick cake pans, to make it triple layer you’ll need three 8″ non stick cake tins.

Lemon Layer Cake with Blackberries #lemoncake #blackberrycake #layercake #glutenfree option

How to “Zest” a Lemon:

To “zest” citrus you will need a microplane. The key here is to scrape the skin of the lemon until the white is exposed and then move to a new area. The white part of the skin is bitter, so you don’t want to go too deep.

TO MAKE THIS CAKE GLUTEN FREE:

If you are fine eating gluten, have at it! But if you are one of my gluten free followers, I have a wonderful suggestion to make this cake gluten free but just as good: Jovial Gluten Free Pastry Flour. Not all gluten free flours are created equal, the grains in this flour are soaked for easy digestion and the texture is the best I have found for GF baking!

Lemon Layer Cake with Blackberries #lemoncake #blackberrycake #layercake #glutenfree option

The Recipe: Lemon Layer Cake with Blackberries!

Tips and what you need: all ingredients should be room temperature. You will need a microplane to zest the lemons,  two 9″ inch non stick cake pans or three 8″ non stick cake tins depending on how many layers you want. You will also need a stand mixer or hand mixer. I love my Kitchen Aid Mixer! When it comes to vanilla I always prefer using vanilla paste. If you want to make this cake gluten free I recommend Jovial Gluten Free Pastry Flour.

Lemon Layer Cake with Blackberries!
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
45 mins
 

A beautifully light lemon cake with lemon buttercream frosting topped with fresh blackberries! You can use three 8" cakes pans or two 9" cakes pans depending on how many layers you want.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: #layer cake, blackberries, gluten free, lemon cake
Servings: 12 servings
Author: Linda Spiker
Ingredients
The Cake:
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour (or the gluten free flour of your choice, see above for my suggestion)
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon  fine sea salt
  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks) room temp plus 1 tablespoon for preparing pans
  • 1/4 cup  coconut oil or baking oil of your choice
  • 1 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons  vanilla paste or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6  eggs, room temp
  • 1 1/3 cups cultured buttermilk, room temp
  • zest of two lemons
  • 1 pint fresh blackberries
  • Garnish with mint leaves or thyme even crushed pistachios if desired (basically anything green)
The Frosting:
  • 1/2 cup   butter room temp
  • 3 tablespoons  fresh lemon juice
  • tiny pinch of sea salt
  • 4-5 cups cups powdered sugar
Instructions
Cake Prep:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place oven rack in center position

Prep pans:
  1. To prevent the cake from sticking you can use non stick pans, then use a paper towel to wipe sides and bottom of pans with soft butter. Dust each pan lightly with flour, OR fold a large piece of parchment paper in half twice. Use bottom of cake pan and pencil to trace a circle on parchment, then cut folded paper so you end up with two or three circles (depending on if you are making two layers or three). Place parchment circles into the bottom of pans and spray with organic non stick spray. This is my favorite method. Set aside

Make Batter:
  1. Combine flour, baking powder and salt, set aside

  2. Place butter, coconut oil, sugar and vanilla in mixer and mix until well combined

  3. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well between additions

  4. Alternate adding flour mixture with buttermilk until well combined, mix for one more minute

  5. Add lemon zest and mix until incorporated (to zest lemons scrape with a microplane just until white is exposed, then move to a new area until all the yellow is gone)

  6. Pour equal amounts of batter into prepared pans, tap pans firmly on counter to take out any bubbles

  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean

  8. Allow cakes to cool, gently remove from pans from oven discarding parchment (if using) and then frost. You can make this cake "naked" by frosting the top of each layer, or "semi naked" by frosting each layer and then spread some frosting around the sides

The Frosting
  1. Place softened butter, lemon juice, sea salt and 4 cups powdered sugar into a bowl and mix. If frosting is not quite thick enough add more sugar (up to a cup, I usually end up using almost 5 cups total). If it's too thick add just a little more juice. When frosting is desired consistency, frost cooled cake.

  2. Right before serving: top cake with blackberries and use a screen colander or sifter to dust with powdered sugar. Add mint leaves, thyme sprigs or crushed pistachios as a garnish if desired

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Peach Cherry Smoothie Bowl

Summer is almost over but thanks to frozen fruit, we can make it last a whole lot longer! Here’s your quick, easy, healthy breakfast ‘go to’ for summer and beyond: The Peach Cherry Smoothie Bowl! So much pretty in one little bowl.
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Peach Cherry Smoothie Bowls #peachsmoothiebowl #cherrysmoothiebowl #smoothiebowl #dairyfree #glutenfree

That Color!

You will be so distracted by the soft pink color of this smoothie bowl that you’ll almost forget it’s packed with protein, antioxidants, omega 3’s and fiber. If you’d like to add even more brain boosting healthy fats, adding a quality MCT oil is a great idea.

Peach Cherry Smoothie Bowls #peachsmoothiebowl #cherrysmoothiebowl #smoothiebowl #dairyfree #glutenfree

The Flavor!

That soft color is matched by a very soft flavor. Slightly sweet, with a little cherry tang and of course some texture provided by that shredded coconut, black chia and crunchy granola. If berry smoothies are more your jam, click!

Peach Cherry Smoothie Bowls #peachsmoothiebowl #cherrysmoothiebowl #smoothiebowl #dairyfree #glutenfree

The Toppings:

Sprinkle with Black chia seeds, shredded coconut and your favorite granola for a smoothie that holds you over until lunch! Of course you can add whatever you have ob hand as well, that’s the beauty of the smoothie bowl.

Peach Cherry Smoothie Bowls #peachsmoothiebowl #cherrysmoothiebowl #smoothiebowl #dairyfree #glutenfree

The Recipe: Peach Cherry Smoothie Bowl

What you need:  a good quality blender. I love my Blentec! And if you’d like, add quality MCT oil to this recipe (tasteless, odorless and incredibly good for you) Can’t find black chia seeds? <—Click!

Peach Cherry Smoothie Bowl
Prep Time
5 mins
 

A delicious, healthy, light breakfast!

Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: easy breakfast recipe, smoothie bowl
Servings: 2 servings
Author: Linda Spiker
Ingredients
  • 2 cups your favorite milk (almond, coconut, cashew or whole cow's milk, all work great!)
  • 2 cups frozen peaches
  • 1 cup frozen cherries
Toppings:
  • Shredded coconut
  • 2/3 granola of your choice (I use gluten free)
  • 1 tablespoon black chia seeds
  • 3-4 fresh ripe cherries, cut in half and pits removed
Instructions
  1. Place your choice of milk, fruit, and dates in blender and blend until smooth

  2. Pour into bowls and sprinkle with toppings. Enjoy!

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Spicy Salmon with Plum Salsa

If any recipe screams summer, it’s this Spicy Salmon with Plum Salsa. It has all the flavor, all the color, and all the fun you expect from a fabulous summer meal! Plus it’s Paleo and Whole30 compliant.
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Spicy Salmon with Plum Salsa #wildcaughtsalmon #plumsalsa #paleo #whole30

Let’s Talk Fish Y’all!

1. It’s best not to buy fish wrapped in plastic. You should be able to smell the fish you are buying. I always buy mine from a fishmonger I trust. If he is handling it, cutting it etc… he will know if it’s not fresh.

2. Always buy fish the day you plan on making it, that way if your meal gets pushed back a day or two you can still use it.

3. When selecting fish always point to the piece you want. In stores the freshest fish is placed in the front of the window, closest to you, and the fish from the day before is placed in the back, closest to the fishmonger. So when you are looking at the fish closest to you and ask for it, he pulls it from the back. It doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with that fish from the day before, it’s just not the freshest…and you want the freshest.

4. I always recommend eating wild caught salmon. It’s just plain better for you, the fish and the environment!

Spicy Salmon with Plum Salsa #wildcaughtsalmon #plumsalsa #paleo #whole30

The Plum Salsa:

Plums are stone fruits. ‘Stone fruits’ have a thick flesh that surrounds a large single pit…think cherries, plums, nectarines, peaches, apricots etc. Stone fruits are known to be high in cancer fighting properties such as phenols, vitamin B17 and vitamin C. So take advantage of their healthful properties while they are in season and eat them as is, or add them to oatmeal, cereal and salads, and in this case salsa! In this salsa I use red plums, yellow bell pepper, onion, lime juice, cilantro (or parsley) and jalapeño.

Spicy Salmon with Plum Salsa #wildcaughtsalmon #plumsalsa #paleo #whole30

Learn to Work with Hot Peppers:

This salsa gets it’s heat from jalapeño chili. If you aren’t sure how to safely work with hot peppers, well, do yourself a favor and learn by clicking here:

Spicy Salmon with Plum Salsa #wildcaughtsalmon #plumsalsa #paleo #whole30

The Spicy Salmon:

This wild caught salmon is brushed with olive oil and spices: cumin, paprika, coriander, garlic and cayenne pepper and then broiled to perfection in minutes! So easy, delicious, and loaded with protein and healthy fats! You can serve the salmon with the salsa alone, or on a bed of cauliflower rice, traditional rice or quinoa. Need more Healthy Salmon Recipes? <—click!

Spicy Salmon with Plum Salsa #wildcaughtsalmon #plumsalsa #paleo #whole30

The Recipe: Spicy Salmon with Plum Salsa

Tips and what you need: a good knife and if you aren’t sure how to safely work with hot peppers, click here!

5 from 9 votes
Spicy Salmon with Plum Salsa
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
 

This salmon is brushed with olive oil and spices pepper, then broiled to perfection in minutes! You can serve the salmon with the salsa alone, or on a bed of cauliflower rice, traditional rice or quinoa.

Course: dinner
Keyword: #easy dinner, Paleo, plum salsa, salmon, whole30
Servings: 4 servings
Ingredients
Salsa:
  • 1 cup red plums, diced (1/4")
  • 1/4 cup sweet white onion, diced small
  • 1/4 cup yellow bell pepper, diced small
  • 1-3 teaspoons jalapeno chili pepper, minced (use as much as you wish!)
  • juice of half a lime
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro or parsley, chopped Note: some people have an aversion to cilantro, if that's you, use parsley!
  • sea salt
For Salmon:
  • 1 1/2 pounds salmon filets, center cut (4 filets, 6oz each)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (if you are sensitive to heat use 1/4t)
  • sea salt and pepper, to taste
Optional: serve over cauliflower rice, rice, or quinoa if desired
Instructions
For Salsa:
  1. Prep all ingredients and toss together, set aside. Note: use as much or as little jalapeno as you wish. 1 teaspoon will be mild, 2 teaspoons will be medium, 3 will be somewhat hot

For Salmon:
  1. Preheat broiler and place oven rack in center. While broiler heats prep oil and spices

  2. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil and spices.

  3. Place salmon on broiler pan (to keep clean up easy, line the inside of broiler pan with foil or parchment paper) Brush salmon with spice/olive oil mixture.

  4. When oven is ready, set broiler pan into oven and cook salmon for 5-6 minutes, then turn down heat to 425 and cook 2 more minutes. Remove salmon and allow to rest for 3 minutes

  5. Top salmon with plum salsa. Serve over cauliflower rice or white rice

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Blackberry Aged Cheese Skewers

‘Tis the season for backyard BBQs, tailgate parties and picnics! We love summer and the social gatherings that come with it. These Blackberry Cheese Skewers are a no fuss appetizer or incredibly easy low carb dessert that everyone loves…trust me, they will be the first thing to go at your next shindig.
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Blackberry and Aged Cheese Skewers #ketoappetizer #ketodessert #simpelappetizer #cheeseandfruit

Let’s Talk Cheese Please:

This beautiful board is simple, elegant, and delicious. We choose juicy blackberries sandwiched between aged gouda and either a raw aged cheddar or Spanish Manchego cheese for our skewers. Aged gouda tastes like a blend of cheese and caramel. Seriously, my favorite cheese on the planet! Aged cheddar is nice and sharp which is wonderful when combined with sweet blackberries. Manchego is a semi hard cheese made from sheep’s milk and can be found in almost any grocery store that carries speciality cheeses. NOTE: many aged cheeses taste amazing with berries. If you can’t find the three I suggest, feel free to try others. Fruits and cheese is always a winner!

Blackberry and Aged Cheese Skewers #ketoappetizer #ketodessert #simpelappetizer #cheeseandfruit

Low Carb too!

This beautiful combination of fruit and cheese can be served as a simple appetizer or low carb/keto dessert. When we were in France recently we ate cheese and fruit for dessert every night. It’s a thing! And a really good thing. Give it a try after dinner instead of a traditional American sweet dessert, you may just be surprised at how much you love it!

Need more appetizer board ideas? Take a look at my No Fuss Appetizer Platter and my Mediterranean Appetizer Platter.

Blackberry and Aged Cheese Skewers #ketoappetizer #ketodessert #simpelappetizer #cheeseandfruit

The Recipe: Blackberry and Aged Cheese Skewers

What you need: skewers. We like these bamboo skewers with the knotted end. Gouda cheese can crumble so using a really thin skewer makes crumbling less likely. As always, you need a good knife!

5 from 9 votes
Blackberry Aged Cheese Skewers
Prep Time
10 mins
 

A simple, delicious, low carb appetizer or dessert! NOTE: many aged cheeses taste amazing with berries. If you can't find the two I suggest, feel free to try others. Fruits and cheese is always a winner!

Course: Appetizer, Dessert
Keyword: cheese and fruit, easy appetizer recipe, easy dessert recipe
Servings: 20 skewers
Ingredients
  • 1 pint blackberries (about 20 blackberries)
  • 10 ounces aged gouda, cut into triangles (I use gouda aged three to five years)
  • 10 ounces aged cheddar or Manchego cheese, cut into cubes
Optional: Serve with crackers and style with flowers and herbs
Instructions
  1. Cut cheeses, slide onto skewers with blackberries placed in between. Voila!

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Heirloom Tomato Burrata Toast with Poached Eggs!

You know that famous scene in Sex and The City where Carrie Bradshaw stands in front of the store window, gazing lovingly at a pair of Manolo Blahnik shoes and breathlessly says “Hello Lover…” well that’s me every time I make Heirloom Tomato Burrata Toast with Poached Eggs.
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Heirloom Tomato Burrata Toast with Poached Eggs! #heirloomtomatoes #burratatoast #poachedeggs #glutenfree option

Oh So Good, Oh So Pretty!

Seriously, colorful tomatoes, warm toasted bread, creamy burrata, perfectly poached eggs, a hint of fresh basil and a drizzle of Balsamic Glaze pretty much fulfills all my breakfast dreams. And remember, heirloom tomatoes have a short season, July through August. So don’t wait, they won’t be here long!

Heirloom Tomato Burrata Toast with Poached Eggs! #heirloomtomatoes #burratatoast #poachedeggs #glutenfree option

About That Yolk…

Let’s talk about poached eggs. They can be stunningly beautiful, or a hot mess, it’s all in the technique. I will explain it all in the recipe, but it certainly helps to watch a video. So click.

Heirloom Tomato Burrata Toast with Poached Eggs! #heirloomtomatoes #burratatoast #poachedeggs #glutenfree option

If You Prefer No Egg…

Well that’s just fine, because this burrata toast is absolutely delicious even without the egg! It’s sort of like a Caprese Salad Toast.

Heirloom Tomato Burrata Toast with Poached Eggs! #heirloomtomatoes #burratatoast #poachedeggs #glutenfree option

Want To Make This Recipe Gluten Free?

I got you. And I have a recommendation: New Grains Gluten Free Breads. They ship. I order enough to get free shipping and keep them in the freezer, removing slices as I need them!

The Recipe: Heirloom Tomato Burrata Toast and Poached Eggs

What you need: a toaster, a small pot, a good knife and of course a wonderful balsamic glaze!

Heirloom Tomato Burrata Toast with Poached Eggs
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
6 mins
 

A simple, beautiful breakfast made in about 11 minutes

Course: Breakfast, lunch, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: breakfast, burrata toast, poached eggs
Servings: 2 servings
Author: Linda Spiker
Ingredients
  • 1  tablespoon  white vinegar
  • 4 fresh eggs (old eggs fall apart while poaching, but are great for boiling!)
  • 4 pieces artisan bread, toasted
  • 4 oz burrata cheese
  • 3 heirloom tomatoes of various colors, cut into large pieces
  • 4 basil leaves, chopped
  • Balsamic Glaze
Instructions
  1. Watch video posted above to learn to poach eggs

  2. Set a small pot of water to boil. Water should be 3" deep. Add 1 tablespoon white vinegar to water, bring to a rolling boil.

  3. While waiting for water to boil, cut tomatoes and chop basil

  4. Grab two small bowls and carefully crack two eggs into each bowl, set aside

  5. When water boils, pop toast into the toaster

  6. Then grab a spoon in one hand and one of the egg bowls in the other hand, swirl boiling water smoothly and quickly until a vortex forms and pour those eggs right in the centerCook for 2 1/2 -3 minutes for runny yolk, a little longer for a firmer yolk

  7. Remove eggs from water with a slotted spoon and set on a paper towel

  8. Repeat with next bowl of eggs

  9. Butter toast, place burrata on top, add tomatoes, basil and drizzle with balsamic glaze

  10. Top with eggs and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper

  11. Enjoy!

Want More Delicious Breakfast Ideas?

Of course you do! Click for pancakes, waffles, fritters, smoothie bowls or breakfast hash!

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STANDARD FTC DISCLOSURE and Privacy Policy: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Please note that I only endorse products that are in alignment with The Organic Kitchen’s ideals and that I believe would be of value to my readers.The Organic Kitchen is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. View The Organic Kitchen’s Privacy Policy

xo