• Blackberry crumble sheet cake (Alan Benson)Source: Alan Benson

This cake is one of those simple, versatile ones that is equally good accompanied by cuppa for afternoon tea as it is with a generous dollop of cream for dessert.






Skill level

Average: 3.4 (17 votes)

Any berries, such as raspberries, blueberries or mixed berries, can be used instead of blackberries. Thin wedges of summer stone fruits, such as plums, peaches or nectarines, can also be substituted.


  • melted butter, to grease
  • 200 g (1⅓ cups) self-raising flour
  • 220 g (1 cup) caster sugar
  • 185 g salted butter, cubed, softened
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 100 g sourdough starter discard (100% hydration), at room temperature
  • 2 tsp natural vanilla extract or essence
  • 300 g fresh or unthawed frozen blackberries
  • icing sugar, to dust (optional)
  • softly whipped cream or double cream, to serve (optional) 

Crumble topping

  • 100 g (⅔ cup) plain flour
  • 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 75 g chilled salted butter, diced
  • 100 g demerara sugar 

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Cooling time: 1 hour

1. Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Grease a 20 cm x 30 cm slice tin with melted butter and line the base and sides with one piece of non-stick baking paper, cutting into the corners to fit. 

2. To make the crumble topping, put the flour and cinnamon in a medium bowl and use your fingertips to rub in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar. Put in the fridge while making the cake. 

3. Place the flour, sugar, butter, eggs, sourdough starter discard and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat with a paddle attachment on low speed until combined. Increase the speed to high and beat for 3 minutes or until the mixture is light, creamy and very pale in colour. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth the surface with the back of a spoon. 

4. Scatter the blackberries evenly over the top of the cake and then press gently into the batter. Sprinkle with the prepared crumble topping to cover. 

5. Bake in preheated oven for 45-50 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Place the tin on a wire rack and set aside for about 1 hour or until the cake is cool. Use the overhanging paper to carefully lift the cake out onto a cutting board. Cut into portions and serve on its own or with cream. 

Baker’s Tip

• This cake will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.


Recipe from Not Just Bread by Anneka Manning. Photography by Alan Benson. Styling by Kat Hunt. Food preparation by Vanessa Miles. Download the free ebook with all of these recipes right here.