I have always had an affinity for baking and decorating my baked creations, whether it’s cakes, cupcakes, pies, tarts or anything that requires precision. I love the art of measuring and mixing and waiting for the moment you can open the oven. I live by Julia Child’s wise words that “a party without a cake is just a meeting.” Even a simple cake with a bit of pretty garnish has the property to transform any meeting into a party.
Below is a simple cake and frosting/decoration recipe that will be a classic for your next party. I have been very drawn to square cakes recently as I think they make more of a statement. As well, I have loved the trend towards “naked cakes” as I ironically am not much of a dessert eater and prefer the look of the bare cakes as seen here. I baked this cake for a birthday celebration at my boyfriend’s parents’ house and it was a perfect post-dinner treat!
SERVINGS: 9-12 (depending on how generous you feel)
PREP & BAKE TIME: 1 hour
- your favorite cake recipe (lemon)
- 1 pint (473 ml) whipping cream
- 1 tbsp baker’s/cane sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- fresh berries of choice (raspberries)
- ~1 cup powdered sugar
- Pre-heat oven according to your cake recipe. Grease and flour two cake pans. I used an 8×8 inch pan.
- Place metal bowl and mixing paddles into freezer to expedite whipping of frosting.
- I was short on time, so I used Betty Crocker’s Super Moist Lemon Cake Mix. This is a great mix to play around with. Pour prepared batter into pans and bake according to instructions (I err on the side of slightly underdone to ensure the cake is nice and moist).
- Let cakes cool for approximately 5 minutes in pans on a cutting board to absorb heat. Transfer cakes to cutting boards to cool completely.
- To make frosting, pour whipping cream into a cold bowl. Mix whipping cream on high until it begins to form. Add 1 tbsp of baker’s/cane sugar and 1 tsp of vanilla. Mix until fully incorporated and whipping cream completely thickens/forms and creates a pattern from mixing.
- Transfer one of the cakes to the center of a cake plate/stand. Create a thick and even layer of frosting approximately as deep as your berry of choice.
- Arrange berries in frosting to create a sweet and natural surprise in the middle of your cake.
- Create another layer of frosting gently on top of your berries. This will help your top cake layer stay in place. Again, attempt to make this layer as even and flat as possible.
- Place top cake layer on the final layer of frosting. Use any extra frosting to fill the sides so that each cake layer is in line — place a flexible knife vertically and use the cake layers as guides help create an even look. I added a touch of frosting along the sides of each cake layer as well to create a “powdered” look.
- Place a dollop of frosting in the middle of the cake. Arrange berries in frosting and apply frosting as necessary to berries on top of the pile.
- Sprinkle powdered sugar onto berries, around berries and on each corner of the cake to finish! Make sure to do this step right before your party if you are baking ahead of time as the powdered sugar will slowly be absorbed by the cake and berries.
- Enjoy with a bit of vanilla ice cream, if desired!