This easy partridgeberry cake is chock-full of tart partridgeberries, orange zest and rosemary. Finished with a simple icing sugar glaze, it makes for a delicious treat with your favourite cup of tea or coffee!
It’s not partridgeberry season just yet here in Newfoundland. However, lucky me, my mother had some stashed away in her freezer from last season.
I hit my mother up for some partridgeberries to make this cake. But, you know what? She almost didn’t give them to me!
I know, right?
They are precious and can only be harvested for a small period of time in Newfoundland. They are not something that one would typically purchase in the grocery store among other berries.
I knew she had some in her freezer so I asked for some one day while visiting.
Mom went to the freezer, grabbed the bag of gems and then literally held them close to her chest while having a devious little look on her face.
Mom said, “Okay, I’ll give you some, if I get to enjoy some of whatever it is you’re making.”
So, mom is working her angle. Smart mom.
I quickly responded, “You’ve got a deal!”
Not a bad trade off, if you ask me.
And fruity cakes? I kinda love them (just like this blueberry cake), so I knew I had to make one out of those delicious bright partridgeberries.
What are Partridgeberries? What Do Partridgeberries Taste Like?
Partridgeberries are quite similar to cranberries in taste (though smaller). They are super tart and firm and quite tasty. In other parts of the world, partridgeberries are known as “lingonberries.”
Because of their tartness and density, I wouldn’t recommend eating partridgeberries on their own. Every time I’ve enjoyed them, they have been cooked and in something, like jams or this delicious partridgeberry cake. They add such a lovely pop of colour to things and pair beautifully with orange.
Can I Make this Cake Without Partridgeberries?
You can certainly substitute with cranberries if you like; they’ll have a similar taste.
Obviously, it won’t be a “partridgeberry” cake, but a cranberry cake.
How to Keep Berries from Sinking in Cakes
Ever bake something and all those berries just sink to the bottom of the pan?
There’s an easy solution to that! Toss them with a little flour before adding to the batter and they’ll stay suspended!
How to Make Partridgeberry Cake
Full details are in the recipe card below, but here are the basics:
Before you get going with your mixer, dust partridgeberries with a little flour and set aside.
Then, combine flour with baking powder, baking soda, salt, orange zest and rosemary and also set aside.
Preheat your oven at this point, too, so it’s ready when you are! Then:
- In the bowl of a stand mixer (or use a mixing bowl with a hand mixer), blend together cream cheese, butter and sugar until smooth, combined and fluffy.
- Blend in orange extract.
- Add eggs, one at a time, blending until just combined. Don’t overmix.
- Blend in flour mixture (made of flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, orange zest and rosemary).
- Add flour-dusted partridgeberries.
- Fold those partridgeberries in with a spatula. This is gentler than the stand mixer and helps prevent them from breaking up too much in the batter.
- Scoop the batter into a well greased pan and tap, tap, tap on a hard surface to make sure all batter settles and any excess air bubbles are removed (of course, there still will be some).
- Bake until a wooden skewer comes out clean of wet batter when inserted. Ovens vary, so check on at the 45 to 50 minute mark.
- Whip up the icing sugar glaze and drizzle over the cooled cake.
Super Simple Icing Sugar Glaze
The orange infused icing sugar glaze makes for a pretty cake, but is totally optional. Some tips to keep in mind:
Depending on the style of your cake pan, and how sweet you want things, you may use less (or more) of the icing sugar glaze than what is called for in the recipe. Just adjust the quantity to what suits you.
Tip on Icing Sugar Glaze: Less is always more when it comes to adding liquid to icing sugar. A little liquid goes a long way. It’s easier to add than to take away.
If you add too much liquid, the icing sugar glaze will be thinner. Not a big deal, but it just won’t “pop” as much. Just stir the orange juice and orange extract into the icing sugar. Like, really work it.
You may be thinking it won’t liquefy, but it will! It’ll be nice and thick and perfect for glazing.
Allow the cake to fully cool before glazing. If not, it will absorb right into the cake.
Does this Partridgeberry Cake Freeze Well?
Yes, it does!
It’s better to freeze an unglazed cake (as the glaze doesn’t look as pretty after freezing and thawing). However, you can still freeze the cake if it’s glazed. No biggie, just something to keep in mind.
Wrap the cooled cake in food plastic wrap, then wrap in aluminum foil (or just two layers of food plastic wrap). Place into a freezer-safe container. Don’t forget to label with the recipe name and date it was made.
When ready to enjoy, remove the cake from the container (but still leave wrapped) and let thaw at room temperature.
The cake can be frozen for up to 3 months.
Tip: Before wrapping and freezing, cut the cake into chunks. That way, you can just pull out a chunk to enjoy and still have the remainder frozen until ready to use.
I often make this cake a month before Christmas. The season is busy enough without having to add holiday baking to the list.
Tips for Making this Newfoundland Partridgeberry Cake
- Ensure the cream cheese and butter is softened before creaming. It makes for a nice consistency.
- If you didn’t take the cream cheese and butter out early enough, no worries. Cut into cubes and spread out on a plate or platter. It will soften quicker than if it were in a huge chunk.
- I used frozen partridgeberries and didn’t allow to fully thaw before incorporating into batter? Why? Frozen berries when thawed tend to be softer than their fresh counterparts. By not allowing to fully thaw, it meant for less “bleeding” into the cake batter.
- Have fresh partridgeberries? Great! Use those instead of frozen.
- Rosemary is not for everyone. I used some here (about 1 tablespoon or two sprigs), but you could totally omit if you like.
Like this Newfoundland Recipe? You May Enjoy These Too
Whether you call this a lingonberry cake or partridgeberry cake, I hope you love it as much as we do!
If you make this partridgeberry orange cake, be sure to leave a comment below!
Newfoundland Partridgeberry Cake (with orange)
- 2 cups partridgeberries, I used frozen
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, see "Notes," Point "1" below
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1.5 tablespoons orange zest, from about 3 to 4 oranges
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary (leaves only), optional
- 8 ounces light cream cheese, softened (a 250 gram package)
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons orange extract
- 4 large eggs
- Baking spray or butter, for greasing cake pan
Orange Icing Sugar Glaze
- 1 cup icing sugar
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- ½ teaspoon orange extract
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit for use later.
- Meanwhile, place partridgeberries in a bowl and dust with about 1 tablespoon of flour, stirring to coat, and set aside.
- Then, in another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, orange zest and rosemary (if using). Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or in a mixing bowl using a hand mixer), blend (on medium-high speed) cream cheese, butter and sugar until smooth, combined and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Stop, as necessary, to scrape the sides of the bowl once or twice with a rubber spatula.
- Add orange extract and blend about 30 seconds.
- Reduce speed and add eggs, one at a time, and blend until just combined.
- Blend in reserved flour mixture.
- Next, stir in partridgeberries with a spatula (the spatula is more gentle than the stand mixer; you want to leave the berries as whole as possible).
- Grease a 10-inch, non-stick fluted cake pan with baking spray. Scoop cake mixture into pan (it will be thick). Smooth top. Tap the pan down 15 to 20 times on a hard surface to allow it to settle.
- Bake 50 to 55 minutes or until a wooden skewer or cake tester inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. Because oven temperatures vary, check on at the 45 to 50 minute mark.
- Once baked, let the cake cool in the pan for 30 minutes before releasing and further cooling on a cooling rack.
- Allow the cake to fully cool before icing. Once cool, drizzle with icing sugar glaze. Slice and serve!Note: Wrap cooled leftover cake in plastic food wrap and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Alternatively, you can wrap the unglazed cake in plastic food wrap and aluminum foil (or two layers of plastic food wrap) and place in a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw (wrapped) cake at room temperature when ready to enjoy. You can glaze after thawing if you like.
Orange Icing Sugar Glaze
- Whisk together all ingredients in a bowl until smooth. Drizzle or spoon over cooled cake.Tip: For a thicker glaze, use less orange juice. For a thinner glaze, use more orange juice. If the glaze is too thin, you can add more icing sugar to thicken.
- Reserve about 1 tablespoon of flour. Then stir into the partridgeberries before incorporating into the batter. This will help keep the berries from sinking.
- Depending on the style of your cake pan and how sweet you want things, you may use less (or more) of the glaze than what is called for in the recipe. Just adjust the quantity to what suits you.
- Less is always more when it comes to adding liquid to icing sugar. A little liquid goes a long way. It’s easier to add than to take away. If you add too much liquid, the icing sugar glaze will be thinner. Not a big deal, but it just won’t ‘pop’ as much. Just stir the orange juice and orange extract into the icing sugar. Like, really work it. You may be thinking it won’t liquefy, but it will! It’ll be nice and thick and perfect for glazing.
Nutrition estimate (if provided) is based on 1 Serving.
Nutrition information (if provided) is provided as a courtesy and should be considered an estimate only. Ingredients can vary and Girl Heart Food makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
A note on times provided: appliances vary, any prep and/or cook times provided are guidelines only.