Cloudberries, known as multebær, begin popping up through the moist terrain around mid-summer. They are truly a treasure to find, if you know where to find them or happen to stumble across them.
Long, thin stems reach toward the sky with a single, orange-hued berry on top, ready to be plucked by deserving hands. Resembling soft, pillowy clouds, the berries are incredibly juicy with an earthy, floral taste that is both sweet and bitter. They also happen to be full of vitamin C.
It’s no wonder then that after a day of berries, nature, fresh air, and hiking, the feeling of happiness and serenity is abounding. Even better is the enjoyment you get from tasting the prized bounty when you get home.
A snack of cloudberries, sugar, and fresh cream from the summer farm makes for the best ending to a cloudberry hunt, in my opinion. After that, the rest are giving thoughtful consideration in their use, whether cloudberry caramels or another new recipe to try. Any remaining go promptly into the freezer for a later date.
This year, I wanted to bake a cake that showcased their unique flavor and caramel-like tendencies. So, I thought what better cake to make than one of my childhood favorites: upside down cake. As it bakes, the cloudberries melt into the butter and brown sugar, soaking though the top layer of the cake and leaving a lovely carmelized edge.
This moist cake provides just enough sweet and bitter notes, which are complimented with whipped cream or ice cream. If you can’t access cloudberries, I’ve included how to make this cake with cloudberry jam instead.
Cloudberry Upside Down Cake
- ¼ cup (56 g) butter
- 75 g brown sugar
- 1 cup (180 g) cloudberries
*alternatively, use 2 tablespoons (28 g) butter and ½ jar (215 g) of cloudberry jam
- ¼ cup (56 g) butter, softened
- 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 ½ cups (180 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup (180 ml) whole milk
Preheat the oven to 350° F / 180° C.
Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Pour into an 8-inch/20 cm round cake tin. Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the melted butter and arrange the cloudberries on top. Set aside.
*If using cloudberry jam in place of cloudberries: Grease the cake tin. Melt the butter and stir in the cloudberry jam. Pour this into the cake tin, ensuring an even layer. Set aside and proceed to making the cake batter.
In a kitchen mixer or large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until combined. Add in the eggs, one at a time, until combined. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt and then add to the mixture, alternating with the milk.
Pour the batter into the cake pan over the cloudberries and spread it gently around.
Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. If needed, place aluminum foil over the cake for the last 10-15 minutes of baking to prevent excess browning.
Remove from the oven and allow the cake to rest for 10 minutes. Place a large plate or serving tray over the cake and carefully flip over so the cloudberry layer is on top. Let cool before serving. If desired spread some cloudberry jam over the top and serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
Notes: When making the cloudberry jam version, be wary of the seeds. There are plenty and they will give a bit of texture to each bite. Also, if covering the cake with foil to save it for for later, make sure to grease it beforehand so the jam doesn’t stick to it.