Along the Grapevine

Nannyberry Cake



At this very time last year I posted a recipe for a sauce using nannyberries or viburnum lentago. It was my first experience with this berry, and I was surprised at just how easy to use and tasty it was. In that post, I give some description of the plant which I won’t repeat here, but if you think you might have access to this plant, you might find it interesting.

This year the trees are producing even more than last year, and I hope to try a few recipes with them, starting with one for a cake. There are no nannyberry cake recipes I can find, so here is my chance to create a ‘first’.

It is a pretty standard, old-fashioned sort of cake recipe, using butter, eggs and buttermilk, but the subtle fruit flavour of these berries, something like that of plums, mixed with cardamom, makes a super aromatic dessert appropriate for an autumn menu. If you don’t care for or own any cardamom, cinnamon could be substituted.

Nannyberry Cake


1 1/2 cups nannyberries

3/4 cup water

3 egg yolks

1 cup buttermilk

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup butter

1 cup lightly packed brown sugar

1 1/2 cups flour

2 Tbsp ground flaxseed

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp ground cardamom

3 beaten egg whites


Cook the nannyberries and water in a covered pan until soft, about ten minutes. Strain the berries, pressing out as much pulp as possible. This will make about 1/2 cup of juice. When cool, beat in the eggs, buttermilk and vanilla. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Measure the flour, flaxseed, soda and cardamom and mix well. Blend one third of the dry ingredients into the butter mixture at a time, alternating with half the liquid. When it is all blended, fold in the egg whites.

Pour the batter into a ten inch spring form pan lined with parchment paper. Bake at 325 degrees F for fifty minutes. Allow it to sit for ten minutes, then remove the cake from the pan and allow to cool on a rack.


This is a cake which can be served just as is, with cream or ice cream, or if you like given a full regalia.


Linked to Fiesta Friday #87.


Author: Hilda

I am a backyard forager who likes to share recipes using the wild edibles of our area.

26 thoughts on “Nannyberry Cake

  1. I’ve never sen nannyberries. I’ll have to google them :). Your cake looks delicious!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Julie. You can also look on my original nannyberry recipe where I give a description of the plant. I didn’t know them either until I found them in this garden, but since then have seen them in lots of places. In this area, lots of nurseries carry them, but they are the sort of thing you can get saplings from wherever they grow, and they grow fast.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love how you made your own recipe, and I loved learning a bit more about nannyberries. I hope you have some leftover to make the sauce from last year as well. Happy FF, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend. šŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hmm, sounds delish! Another unique recipe from you. Well, atleast for me. šŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing such lovely treat, Hilda. Happy FF and enjoy your weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This looks wonderful, love the foraging. Are the plants sold as edible ones? I am going to read your original post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Liz. I think most people consider this just an ornamental plant. It has such lovely flowers and the berries are very prominent on their red stems – also they attract lots of birds. But no reason we can’t enjoy some too!


  5. I learn about foods from you that I’ve never heard of anywhere else!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hilda, I think you need to open worldwide service and send some of your amazing cakes!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Never heard about this berry before …. you introduce us to do many new treats … just fabulous Hilda….

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Nannyberry – just has a special sound to it! I will take my piece with a scoop of vanilla ice cream šŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I have never heard of nannyberries but this cake looks absolutely delicious. šŸ™‚


  10. Unrelated, but have you tried Autumn Olives? I think I have a little seedling growing in my backyard. I can’t decide if I should let it grow or yank it out.


  11. I had never heard of nannyberry until now. Thanks for sharing.


  12. We have these berries in the yard all throughout summer, I never thought to make a cake, but this looks great šŸ™‚


  13. do you have any experiance or recepie of nannyberry-cream ? what is your idea about making creams with nannyberry-sauce?

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is a great question. I have some nannyberries begging to be picked now, and I was trying to come up with some new ideas. Nannyberry cream did not enter my mind but now I am intrigued. Can you tell me more about what it is – do you make it with cream? Maybe together we can come up with something interesting.


  14. Pingback: Foraging Nannyberry (Viburnum lentago)

  15. Can I make a nannyberry cake without the flaxseed


    • Thanks for the questions and sorry about the delay in answering. I hope it is not too late to be of use to you. I did not try it without flaxseed myself, but given that it has three eggs with beaten whites I think it is very likely the flaxseeds aren’t essential.


  16. Pingback: A Forager's Guide To Nannyberry | ForagingGuru

  17. Pingback: Today is World Baking Day | Curious By Nature

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