Spring Coffee Cake with Elderberry Sauce and Crate and Barrel


Spring is springing and I’m all about finding delicious recipes for cozy tea-time while also fending off the flu—cue, elderberries!

We’ve been experiencing more sunny days here in Portland and on the west coast the last couple weeks – and all I can think of is SPRING!


So naturally… what is there better to do other than to create a new recipe that’s worth waking up for?! My ideal morning consists of a slice (or two) of this Spring Coffee Cake with Elderberry Sauce recipe + the perfect cup of tea.

Have you ever cooked with elderberries?

They are an oft-forgotten gem that are perfect for mixing into wines, jams, syrups, pies, and pretty much anything else you can dream up. They’re tasty on their own but since they have a slightly tart, earthy flavor, they’re also pretty yummy mixed with sweeter berries and fruits.


And bonus! Like all berries they are chock-full of antioxidants, so they’re the ideal spring accompaniment to your baked goods for keeping you healthy all season long.


Elderberries All Year Long (but Skip Snacking on Them Raw)

The elderberry harvest in the US as a whole lasts about 8-10 weeks, starting in the south (on average starts in July) and heading northward (lasts until September), so spring isn’t the optimal time for finding them fresh.

I love ordering from this company as they flash freeze the berries and ship them straight to your door for enjoying any time of year.

Note: because some people have an allergic reaction to elderberries, it’s recommended to avoid eating them raw and opt for cooking or baking them.



The Ideal Pairing

For the tastiest tea-time treat, I made a warm elderberry sauce to drizzle over my cake. Serious yum! To top off an already perfect combo, serve with this gorgeous Flowering Tea Set. This delicate-looking but super functional glass teapot comes complete with blossoming tea leaves that will unfurl as the tea steeps.  My favorite combo—beauty and utility in one :).


Small Space Solutions

Love to bake (and itching to make this cake) but find it impossible in your tiny space? Trust me, I’ve been there! But voila!—now there’s an easy solution for baking even if you don’t have room for a full size oven. Meet the Breville Smart Oven Air; small enough to fit on your countertop but big enough to fit practically all your culinary creations.  

This handy little hardworking oven can accommodate a 13″ pizza, 9″ x 13″ baking pan, 12-cup muffin tray, and even a 14-lb. turkey! I baked my cake in here and it was a cinch.

And – the convection oven setting is life changing. This cake cooked in nearly half the time and turned out more moist than ever. I’ve already said goodbye to my traditional oven in my kitchen.

Spring Coffee Cake with Elderberry Sauce

Morning, noon and night. That is THIS cake. Chewy on the outside, moist on the inside. No one will believe it’s gluten and (near) refined sugar free. The elderberry sauce is not one to skip. Pour it on a slice and watch it soak in, enhancing every bite.
*Note: because some people have an allergic reaction to elderberries, it’s recommended to avoid eating them raw and opt for cooking or baking them.
Servings: 8 Servings


Spring Coffee Cake

  • 226 g 2 sticks / 1 cup butter
  • 235 g 1 ½ cups coconut sugar
  • 3 eggs whole
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons 1 whole lemon, zested
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 210 g 1 1/3 cups + 1 tablespoon gluten free flour
  • 75 g ⅔  cups almond flour
  • ¾   teaspoon Himalayan sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Optional:
  • White sugar for dusting
  • Powdered sugar

Elderberry Sauce

  • Makes 2 cups
  • 296 g 2 cups elderberries, frozen (or fresh, stems removed)
  • 62 g 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 121 g ¾ cup coconut sugar
  • 2 oz. ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Pinch of sea salt


Prepare Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350° (325° for convection oven). Coat medium-large sized cake pan with nonstick spray. Coat pan with white sugar (optional step).
  • Whisk dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  • Using an electric mixer on medium speed, whip butter. Add sugar while mixing until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  • Add eggs one at a time, mixing well to incorporate after each addition.
  • Increase speed to medium-high and beat until mixture is light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Reduce speed to a lower speed and add lemon zest, juice and vanilla.
  • In 2-3 additions, add flour mixture while continuing to beat on low. Scrape bowl as needed. Do not overmix.
  • Pour batter into prepared cake pan.
  • Bake cake until golden brown and beginning to pull away from sides of pan, 55-65 minutes (or just 25-35 minutes in a convection oven), or until top is golden brown and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Transfer to a wire rack and let cake cool in pan for 15-20 minutes. Invert cake onto rack; remove pan and let cool completely.
  • Sprinkle with powdered sugar.
  • After cutting a generous slice, pour a drizzle of the Elderberry Sauce (recipe below) over the top and enjoy!

Prepare Elderberry Sauce 

  • Add berries and lemon juice to a double boiler. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Remove lid. Add sugar, maple syrup and vanilla. Stir.
  • Transfer to small saucepan (remove double boiler top element).
  • Simmer on low heat for another 3-5 minutes and allow to reduce and thicken just slightly. Be careful not to boil. Remove from heat.
  • Stir and scoop out 1 cup berry mixture. Place in blender, and puree on medium. Return to remaining mixture and stir. You should now have a very nice consistency.
  • Serve warm with a slice of cake. Store leftovers in an airtight glass container for 7-10 or freeze.

Can’t wait to see what you think of this new recipe + playing with elderberries in the kitchen!

If you have questions feel free to reach out via IG or my website.  

Share your creations on social media by tagging @crateandbarrel and @christiannkoepke!

-You can also find this story over on Crate and Barrel


[ This post was sponsored by Crate and Barrel. All opinions are my own.

Photography, Creative Direction, Product, Prop, Model Sourcing and Styling by Christiann Koepke

Written by: Julie Pointer Adams & Christiann Koepke ]


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