Saskatoon Berry/Applesauce Cake: a DIY artist’s book and a recipe

The May book arts challenge on Instagram is #areyoubookenough_fruit. Since I live adjacent to a city named for a fruit —Saskatoon— and since the bushes grow wild where I live, I chose the Saskatoon berry. Although they are usually baked in pies or made into jelly, I like them in cakes too. My book of the month is a slice of cake and a recipe.

Book first, cake recipe later.

You will need to download Saskatoon Berry/Applesauce Cake.

Print page one on lightweight paper. (I used 75 gsm/20lb copier paper.) Then print page two on the back of page one, making sure you feed it through with the same leading edge. Print pages three and four on two sheets of cover or card stock. (Stiffer is better. I got away with using 176gsm/65lb cover stock.) The pdf is sized for 8.5 x 11″ paper. If you are printing on A4 you will need to shrink it slightly. Make sure you shrink all pages the same amount. (About 97% should work on most printers.)

Cut out the circular image of the cake. There are faint grey areas where the cake’s edge is not perfectly even.

Lay the circle (recipe side up) flat on your work surface oriented so that the line drawing is on the right and the line in the middle is horizontal.

Fold the bottom edge up. The fold should be parallel to the horizontal line.

Fold the left side over to the right.

Fold the upper corner down to meet the lower right corner.

Crease all folds firmly, then set aside.

Score the longer (left) cake server and the cake wedge on page three using the guides provided, then cut everything out. Score along the edges of the cake wedges (case parts) on page four between the image and the solid colour flaps, then cut them out as well.

The book is designed so that the cake server removes the book from the case. Two ridges need to be created to make this work.

Fold the cake stiffener and longer (scored) cake server as shown below. The arrows indicate the backs of the parts as well as areas for glue application. (Drawing is not to scale.)

To assemble the cake server, glue the two parts together so that there is a bit of a ridge at the fold. Be sure to leave a gap without any glue so that the tip piece can bend a bit.


Now glue your cake stiffener to your pre-folded cake.

After folding as above the stiffener will be glued to the part that is on the bottom. (The images should match.)

You should end up with a wedge shaped book with a ridge on the back and a cake server with a ridge on the front. (The image below gives you the idea, but is from a previous iteration of this structure called Cabbage Pie.)

To assemble the case (the parts you scored and cut from page four), fold down the coloured flaps at the sides of the cake wedges. Trim them to a depth that matches the thickness of your book plus the cake server. (Mine were cut to 1/8 inch.) Glue the two halves together along the flaps. I glued mine with the contents inside to provide stability. If you do this, be careful not to permanently glue your book into the case.  ; ]

(Just a note: I realise that the case has two ‘tops’. A more obsessive individual might have  photographed the bottom of the cake, but apparently I am not that far gone.)

And there you have your Saskatoon Berry/Applesauce Cake Book.


The model for the book was an actual cake, and here is the recipe for it. (It’s also included in the book.)

Saskatoon Berry/Applesauce Cake

2 cups sifted cake flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cardamom

1/4 cup soft margarine
1/2 cup firmly packed golden sugar

1 cup applesauce
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 Tbsp milk*

2 cups saskatoon berries**
1 Tbsp cake flour

Preheat oven to 350ºF/180ºC/Gas Mark 4.

Lightly grease a 9in/23 cm round cake pan and line the bottom with a circle of baker’s parchment. (I also dust the sides with a bit of flour.)

Mix together dry ingredients, blending thoroughly.
In a second bowl big enough to hold the completed batter, cream together the margarine and sugar.
Stir in the applesauce and almond extract and milk.

Blend in the flour mixture about a third at a time.

Toss the berries with the tablespoon of flour and gently stir about one third into the batter.

Scrape batter into the prepared cake pan and level it. Spread the remaining berries over the top of the cake. Bang the cake tin sharply on a flat surface once or twice to eliminate large air bubbles, and place in the preheated oven.

Bake for 35 minutes or until the sides of the cake pull away from the pan and a cake tester/toothpick comes out clean. (The large amount of fruit may mean an extra 3 or 4 minutes of baking.)

Let the cake cool in the pan on a rack.

Cake may be served while still slightly warm.

*For a vegan version, use something like almond milk. Do not substitute water. The milk is there to lower the acidity of the applesauce. Without it your batter will be very frothy and your cake full of holes.

**You can use blueberries if you can’t get saskatoon berries. Wild blueberries are preferable or the smallest commercial ones you can find.



I have finished another week of squares in my self-assigned #99dayproject.

The last one has an added feature. The paper was left on top of a map case, inside a plastic bag, and under a cotton linter sheet for protection. The marks were created by our previous cat launching herself from the top of the map case to the window ledge.

Judith Hoffman sent me a link to an image that reminded her of my squares.

This is a form of Kufic writing called Karamatic. (You can look at more of the book on Arabic Art here.)

In other book arts news:

Celebrate summer with a free Minnesota Center for Book Arts virtual workshop! Learn how to make pop-up cards to send to your loved ones.

Gather your family and join Madeline Garcia, MCBA’s Education & Community Engagement Coordinator, for a virtual workshop! You’ll learn how to make three summer-inspired pop-up cards to send to your loved ones this summer. Fun and accessible to many developmental levels, this workshop is open to all ages. Families can choose to work together or separately to create their cards (some adult help suggested when using Xacto knife).

You can find the supply list and registration link here.



Set aside the week of July 3-10, 2021, to study, learn and improve your lettering skills – Virtually!
• Front row seat!
• Get inspired!
• All ability levels!
• Participate in a Mini-class!
• Attend demos, exhibits, lectures, show & share and more!
• Save money: No travel and lodging expenses!
• Shop at the Scribe’s General Store!
• Enjoy Pre-conference Mini-classes & Tune Up Workshops starting July 2nd!


• Choose 5-days of study in any combination of 1-Day, 2-Day or 3-Day Workshops.
• Choose from six packages (Schedules).
• Schedule overlapping Workshops – then watch the recordings of the others later*.
• Morning & afternoon sessions (2.5 hours each), 2-hour lunch, Live mid-day
and evening lectures and demos available on-demand throughout the week through July 31, 2021.

You can find more information and registration links here.

About Byopia Press

I have been working in the book arts field for more than twenty years, and operating Byopia Press with my husband David since the late 1990s. I began producing artist's books and altered books in 2004.
This entry was posted in art, artist's books, book arts, DIY, free printable, instructions, recipe and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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