Apr 28, 2014

Whole spelt Paradise cake on berries

I had way too many eggs leftover after Easter. With their expiration date approaching fast, I decided to make Paradise cake, or Torta Paradiso in Italian, with 8 eggs, butter, flours, sugar and lemon.

And since it's starting to feel that cold season is over, I wanted berries. No local variety yet, so I got satisfied with frozen, from a local supermarket.

The cake is an Italian recipe and it does taste like heaven. It's simple but not plain. Light but firm. Buttery and lemony. Very popular with kids or bambini. No chemical rising agents included. Just a lot of egg beating.

Very popular in my family too since I saw it on RaiUno over a year ago. I've made it numerous times ever since.

This time, I just used a different flour, decreased sugar amount a bit, covered it with a glaze...and set it on lots of berries. I turned a coffee cake into a fruit extravaganza. And Easter leftovers into a fantastic dessert.

Recipe adapted from La Prova del Cuoco and Gray Apron
time: 20 min preparation + 45 min baking

2 1/2 sticks (300 g) butter + extra for the form
1 1/4 cups (250 g) sugar
8 egg yolks, room temperature
3 egg whites, room temperature
zest from 1 lemon, grated
1 cup (240 ml) flour; I put 1 cup (120 g) whole spelt
1 cup (240 ml) potato flour (starch)
pinch of salt

1/2 cup powder sugar
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1-2 lbs (500g - 1kg) mixed berries, frozen
2-4 Tablespoons sugar

    Preheat the oven to 180 C/350 F (fan forced function). Butter a 26 cm (10 inch)  round baking form. In a medium bowl, sift in both flours and mix.

    In a bowl (of a standing mixer), melt butter over hot water. Don't let it get hot, the water should never boil. Let butter cool to room temperature. Put the bowl on the mixer's stand. Add egg yolks and sugar and beat it on high speed using a whisk attachment, about 5 min (not less) till pale and fluffy. Add lemon zest.

    In another clean bowl, beat the 3 egg whites with a pinch of salt. Don't overbeat it. The ready whites should be smooth and glossy, not grainy and dull. Do this just before adding to the batter.

    Add flours to the batter. Mix them (with a paddle attachment) or fold them in (I tried both ways with the same result) till all incorporated. Stop the mixer. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the egg whites slowly and gently. Don't over do it. It's better to under-do-it.

    Pour the batter in the form. Transfer to the hot oven and bake for about 45 minutes, till the toothpick from the middle of the cake comes out clean. Remove from the heat, let it cool in the form about 15 minutes. Set it on a cooling rack.

    prepare glaze: in a small bowl, whisk sugar with lemon juice till smooth. Spread it on a cooled cake (room temperature).

    prepare berries: in a medium pot, thaw berries with sugar on medium heat and cook for 3 min.

    • since there is no chemical rising added, the cake needs a special attention to mixing/beating time and method;
    • but I'm always happy to bake without artificial additives;
    • whole spelt flour did change the cake a bit, it wasn't as light (in color and texture) as with white flour but no one complained;
    • the cake was as sweet as I remembered it; I bet I can reduce sugar even more next time...


    1. Lovely photos! Spelt flour is on my list to try (for a long time now).

    2. Ela this look absolutely georgeous and delicious!!! and love the pictures!!xo

    3. It does look like paradise! I'd love a slice with lots of berry sauce :)

    4. This looks exceptionally delicious on top of berry sauce.

    5. Beautiful! I have yet to try spelt flour… it was so expensive here!

    6. I love how you use spelt in your recipes. I never look at the expiration date on my eggs :)

    7. I always appreciate tried and true recipes! This cake looks fantastic and with all these berries indeed an extravaganza!

    8. I love this type of cake - the more eggs, the better. Your spin with the berries and the other changes you made sound really good.

    9. Buttery, lemony and whole spelt...what's not to love this lovely cake?

    10. This sounds wonderful. Love the hint of lemon and a light sweet glaze. Really beautiful! What would you think about making it with almond flour? I love the crumb / texture in the photos - which are beautiful by the way! Love it!

      1. Almond flour sounds like a great idea! Thanks, Tricia! :) ela

    11. This cake looks beautiful! I love that you were able to use all of your leftover eggs and the pretty berries are lovely here!

    12. Ela, this cake sounds SO good! I love the berries. Also, I just bought spelt flour for the first time and was wondering what to make. Thanks for making my life easier :)

    13. This cake looks delicious, Ela! I love the presentation!

    14. This cake looks so delicious ... especially with all those berries! I'm so excited for it to really be berry season soon!

    15. Must try spelt soon, or buy it. Great cake and thank god for frozen berries :-)

    16. Looks like a great way to use up all those eggs :)

    17. Your photography is so beautiful, Elzbieta! This cake sounds lovely with the glaze and all those berries. I too find myself drawn to fruitier desserts now that the weather is warming up a bit!


    18. What a wonderful recipe and sure to please everyone. So simple and elegant!

    19. yum! I love anything with berries, they are my favorite summer treat :) Great photo and recipe as always!

    20. I never have a problem with too many eggs because I make so many cakes haha :) Though I never make really big cakes so I don't use as much as 8 eggs in one go :P Your cake looks beautiful!

    21. A beautiful cake! And you can never go wrong with those stunning berries on the side!

    22. What a beautiful way to put too many eggs to use :) I love the photos!