Blackberry Vanilla Bean Cake

This is a great “end of summer” kind of cake.  Blackberries always make me think of the end of summer and hot days.  I used vanilla bean paste in this recipe and really loved it.  If it’s unavailable to you, use the same amount of vanilla extract. (Or if you have a vanilla bean, use that).  The paste had a much stronger vanilla taste than the extract and I’m definitely keeping it in my pantry from now on. (I found it at Whole Foods).  Also, I used blackberries in mine (fresh or frozen will work), but raspberries would be wonderful as well.
Berries and vanilla, can it get any better?
Oh wait, throw on my Grandma’s French Cream Frosting and it will.
Recipe by My Stained Apron
6 egg whites
1 cup milk
1 T vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
1 cup mashed and strained blackberries*or raspberries
3 1/4 cups cake flour
1 T baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
Beat egg whites to stiff peaks.
In separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
In a small bowl, combine vanilla bean paste, mashed berries, and milk.
Beat butter and sugar together in a large bowl on medium speed until fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Add flour mixture and berry mixture to butter and sugar in alternating batches.
Fold in about 1/3 of the egg whites, the fold in the rest all at once.
Spray two 8 or 9 inch cake pans with nonstick spray and bake at 350 degrees for about 24-28 minutes.
*I used frozen blackberries, and microwaved them for just a couple of minutes and mashed them.  I didn’t strain them, but if you don’t like the seeds, you should.  You could also use raspberries here- that would be quite delicious as well.

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