Virtues: Baby Cakes is a thornless blackberry that makes it easy to enjoy a sweet harvest. This new variety from Bushel and Berry has a compact size that suits it to small gardens or large containers. Its thornless canes mean harvesting is painless. Pruning is straightforward.
Common name: Baby Cakes blackberry
Botanical name: Rubus x’APF-236T’
Exposure: Full sun.
Season: Summer and fall, for fruit. (Baby Cakes will produce two crops of blackberries in most regions in which it grows.)
Flowers: White flowers in spring. These are self-pollinating; Baby Cakes blackberry does not need a companion.
Fruit: Large, sweet blackberries ripen in two crops in most regions. The first crop is ready in midsummer, borne on floricanes (canes produced the previous year). The second crop, carried on primocanes (those produced within the same growing season), is ready in early fall through frost.
Habit: This thornless blackberry grows to three to four feet tall with a upright, rounded habit.
Origins: Part of the Bushel and Berry collection of fruiting plants, which also includes the blueberries Jelly Bean, Blueberry Glaze and Peach Sorbet, among others, and Raspberry Shortcake raspberry. Baby Cakes blackberry was brought to market in 2017.
How to grow Baby Cakes blackberry: Site in full sun and average soil with good drainage. Provide even moisture. Feed in early spring and in summer. With its compact habit, Baby Cakes blackberry does not require trellising. To prune, simply remove second-year canes that have fruited just after the summer harvest. Leave newly emerged canes alone; they may fruit in fall and will fruit the next summer.
This dwarf blackberry can be grown in the ground or in a large container. Containers should be moved to a protected but unheated space in USDA Zones 4, 5 and possibly 6 (there you may get by with simply moving the pot to a protected site outdoors and applying a winter mulch). Water sparingly while in storage, just enough to prevent the soil from drying completely. Move the container back outside when nighttime temperatures remain in the high 20s. In Zones 7 and 8, the pot can be left outside year-round. USDA Zones 4–8.
Image courtesy of Bushel and Berry.