Beauty Berry Lemon Cake
120 Min

Beauty Berry Lemon Cake

Beauty berries are blooming here in Texas in late summer, and you can see them in hedges, parks and out in the wild forested areas of Texas, where they are native. I discovered them a few years ago at a friend’s ranch in Hempstead, where, interspersed with tall yaupon and pine trees, giant beauty berry plants filled with dozens of tall stunning purple blooms were all over. It’s a sight to behold and bear witness to the reverence and incredible beauty of nature. 

For a long time, beauty berries were considered inedible due to their slightly bitter flavor, but emerging wisdom is implying that they are not only edible but may be good for our heath. There is active research going on to determine the ability of beauty berries to treat memory conditions and possess anti-cancer properties. The berries itself have a slightly bitter but lemony flavor that is wonderful when cooked in jams and purees. They can be tossed raw into salads or can top off a rice or quinoa pilaf for a beautiful finish. Here is a recipe for a small lemon cake with cherries, topped off with whipped cream and beauty berries. The turmeric in the batter does not affect the taste but gives the cake a golden hue and the cherries at the bottom of the pan add another layer of flavor to the cake. 

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Cook Time

120 Minutes



Step 1
Preheat the oven to 325F. Grease a 4-4 X 8–9-inch loaf pan or a 6-inch round pan and spread the pitted cherries on the bottom.
Step 2
In the bowl of stand mixer using a paddle on a medium setting, combine the butter with sugar and whip until almost white and fluffy. This will take roughly 5 to 7 minutes.
Step 3
Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, dried turmeric, cardamom, black pepper, baking powder and sea salt. Separately, whisk together the eggs with lemon zest, yogurt and vanilla.
Step 4
Once the butter and sugar mixture is ready, add the dry ingredients alternating with the egg mixture until they are all combined. Don’t overmix. Pour the butter into the prepared pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the cake is done. Let it cool for a few minutes then flip it over, so the cherries are on top. Let the cake cool until it is no longer warm to touch.
Step 5
In the chilled bowl of a stand mixer now using a whip, mix the heavy cream until it gets thicker. Add the powdered sugar and cardamom and continue whipping until the cream is almost stiff.
Step 6
Cover the cake with the whipped cream and top off with beauty berries. Slice and serve.

Cake Batter:

4 ounces unsalted butter, softened

1 cup sugar


1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon dried turmeric

1 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon sea salt


1 extra-large egg or 2 small farm eggs

1 cup Greek yogurt or sour cream

2 teaspoon vanilla

Zest of 2 lemons


2 cups of pitted cherries 


Whipped Topping:

1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream

1/4 cup powdered sugar

Pinch ground cardamom


1 cup beauty berries

Notes & Variations

  • Leave out the cherries or instead, use blackberries or a stone fruit like peaches or plums.
  • The cake can be made a day or two before but bring it to room temp before adding the whipped cream. It makes for a moister cake when it is not chilled.
120 Min

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Enjoying the fruits of Texas ~ Beauty Berries & Peaches!

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