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Triple berry Christmas cake

This impressive cake is a fantastic alternative to a traditional Christmas cake. Cut through the creamy white coconut curls to reveal four layers of lusciously light lemon cake packed with bright bauble-like berries.

Serves 12

Prep: 1 hour
Cook: 20-25 minutes


Little sunflower oil for greasing
225g (8oz) soft margarine
225g (8oz) caster sugar
225g (8oz) self-raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
4 medium eggs
1 lime, grated rind only
1 lemon, grated rind only

To decorate

1 x 325g jar lemon curd
225g (8oz) raspberries, plus few extra to decorate
400g (14oz) strawberries, thickly sliced, plus few extra to decorate
150g (5oz) blueberries
450ml (3/4 pint) double cream
100g (4oz) coconut shavings
Little icing sugar, sifted, to decorate

1.       First, make the cake. Preheat the oven to 180oC (160oC fan assisted), Gas Mark 4. Brush the base and sides of 2 x 20 cm (8 inch) Springform tins with a little oil and line the base of each with a circle of non-stick baking paper.

2.       Add the margarine, sugar, flour and baking powder to a large mixing bowl or food processor. Add the eggs and fruit rinds and beat together for a few minutes until smooth.

3.       Divide the cake mixture evenly between the two tins and level the surface with a knife. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the cakes are well risen, golden brown and the tops spring back when lightly pressed with a fingertip.

4.       Leave the cakes to cool for 5 minutes then loosen the edges, remove the tins and cool on a wire rack.

5.       About 1-2 hours before you are ready to serve, remove the lining paper from the cakes if you haven’t already then cut each cake into two layers. Put one of the layers on a cake stand or flat plate.

6.       Spread with some of the lemon curd then arrange half the raspberries and strawberries in an even layer on top. Add a second cake layer, more lemon curd and the blueberries. Add a third cake layer, more lemon curd then the remaining raspberries and strawberries and cover with the final cake layer. Press together gently, checking that the cake stands straight.

7.       Whisk the cream in a bowl until it forms soft swirls then spread a thin layer over the top and sides of the cake to stick the cake crumbs in place then spoon the remaining cream over and spread into soft swirls. Cover with the coconut shavings then chill until ready to serve. 

8.       Add a few extra berries to the top of the cake, if liked, dust lightly with sifted icing sugar just before serving. 

Cook’s tip

Large coconut shavings are now sold in most big supermarkets or health food shops but if you can’t get them, buy a fresh coconut. Pierce one of the eyes, drain out the coconut milk then break the coconut in half and prise out the coconut flesh then pare into thin slices with a swivel vegetable peeler.