Chiara Cake! (Or La Torte Di Frutti Di Bosco)

Making my Nan’s shortbread today made me think of this cake – it is quite like a shortbread in texture.  The origins are Swiss Italian and it is supposed to just have berries on the top but I had some nectarine that didn’t seem to be ripening even after a week so that got chucked on top too.  I probably used way too much fruit here but I was using stuff up and whilst it made the cake quite wet in the middle, it was also absolutely lovely so I’m not complaining.  

If you don’t have 00 flour, which I didn’t, I wouldn’t just use plain flour if at all possible, it gives the wrong texture.  I didn’t have any today so used 50g corn flour with 200g plain flour.  I also didn’t have icing sugar so I blitzed granulated to a fine powder in the food processor. 

We had it with Greek yoghurt – that tang balances the sweetness.  There is only one egg in this so it is quite a dense cake.


150g butter

150g icing sugar

1 egg

250g 00 white flour

Grated zest of 1 lemon

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 tablespoons brown sugar (I used dark but light would work just not Demerara)

250g berries (I used two nectarines, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries and some frozen raspberries)

1 tablespoon bread crumbs


  • Pre-heat the oven to 170C and grease and line a seven inch tin
  • Cream together the butter, vanilla, icing sugar and lemon zest until light a fluffy
  • Add a tablespoon of the flour and whisk in (this stops the egg curdling)
  • Whisk in the egg
  • Whisk in the remaining flour which will form a very sticky cohesive dough
  • Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the buttered lined tin
  • Spoon in the mixture
  • Spread the mixture with a spatula so that it forms a slight well in the centre
  • Mix the fruit together (I forgot to do this bit as you can probably see from the photos) and pour onto the cake mix, pressing lightly into the mixture where you can
  • Sprinkle over the brown sugar
  • Bake for 45 minutes then leave in the tin to cool slightly then turn onto a serving plate
  • Serve whilst still a little warm with yoghurt

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