Scottish bramble cake

Scottish bramble cake

Torta di more alla scozzese

The Italian Baker

I simply LOVE Scotland! On a summer trip I visited the charming town of Pitlochry in the Southern Highlands, where I had the chance to try this delicious cake. No matter where I go I have to visit the local bakery and try new things, but there is an unspoken law among bakers that you never ask for a recipe unless it is given to you as a gift. I wasn’t offered this recipe and so I came up with my own version. Here it is: a tribute to one of the most wonderful places I have ever seen, and a place I will surely visit again. Aye!


Quantity Ingredient
230g butter, plus extra for greasing
250g blackberries
80ml vin santo or other sweet dessert wine
115g caster sugar
2 eggs
450g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
80ml buttermilk
icing sugar, for dusting
fresh berries, to decorate (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Butter the insides of a deep, 18 cm springform cake tin.
  2. Wash the blackberries and pat them dry using kitchen paper, taking care not to damage or break them. Put into a bowl, stir in the Vin Santo, cover and leave to infuse for 15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in the bowl of a stand mixer (or using a mixing bowl and electric hand-held beaters) beat the butter and sugar together until pale and creamy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
  4. Sift the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda into a separate bowl and combine. Beat the dry ingredients into the creamed butter and sugar and, once incorporated, turn the mixer down to a low speed and pour in the buttermilk. Finally, using a spatula, gently fold in the blackberries and Vin Santo, trying not to break them too much.
  5. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 30–35 minutes until golden and cooked, and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Invert on to a wire rack to cool, then dust with icing sugar and decorate with fresh berries, if you like. Serve with a luscious dollop of clotted cream, or mascarpone if you are in Italy…
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