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Blackberry and cinnamon sponge squares

If you like carrot cake then this blackberry version of passion cake will get your vote. Made with whole wheat flour then flavoured with ground almonds, cinnamon and ripe juicy blackberries then topped with a creamy smooth, cinnamon spiced mascarpone frosting.

Serves 16 squares

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 25-30 minutes


For the sponge

100 g (4 oz) light muscovado sugar

100 g (4 oz) self-raising wholewheat flour

50 g (2 oz) ground almonds

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

100 g (4 oz) soft margarine

2 medium eggs

175 g (6 oz) blackberries


To decorate

250 g (9 oz) full fat mascarpone cheese

50 g (2 oz) icing sugar, no need to sift

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

16 blackberries


1)    Preheat the oven to 180oC/350oF/Gas Mark 4. Line a 20 cm (8 inch) shallow square cake tin with a piece of non-stick baking paper a little larger than the tin, cut into the corners diagonally then press the paper into the tin so that the base and sides are lined. 


2)    Add sugar, flour and almonds to a large bowl then stir in the baking powder and cinnamon. Add the soft margarine and eggs and beat together with a wooden spoon until soft and creamy. Mix in the blackberries then spoon into the tin and level the surface. 


3)    Bake for 25-30 minutes until well risen, browned and the top springs back when pressed in the centre lightly with a fingertip. Leave the cake to cool for 10 minutes then lift out of the tin using the paper, transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely. 


4)    To decorate, beat the mascarpone and icing sugar together until soft and creamy. Stir in half the cinnamon then spread over the cake. Cut into 16 small squares; add a blackberry to the centre of each then sprinkle with the remaining cinnamon. Lift cakes off the paper and transfer to a serving plate.