Party Cake with Fresh Whipped Cream and Berries

Party Cake with Fresh Whipped Cream and BerriesI might have mentioned this before (erm, once or twice?), but I love berry season.  It takes all my willpower not to come home every week from the farmers’ market with flats of every berry I can lay  my hands on. And sometimes my willpower isn’t strong enough.  Which is really no problem at all, because they get gobbled up so quickly around here.  And there is no shortage of inspiring, beautiful recipes to use them up.Party Cake with Fresh Whipped Cream and Berries

But my main gripe is that I can’t bear to cook them.  It’s just that they’re so lovely on their own, that it seems gratuitous to cover them in sugar and bake them into a pie or cake or whatever they’re destined for.  That kind of perfection shouldn’t be messed with.  Usually by the time I overcome this obsession with just shoveling fistfuls of berries into my mouth, the berries are gone and I go crazy for melon.  Party Cake with Fresh Whipped Cream and Berries

But there are those in my family who insist that fruit does NOT equal dessert, so this is a fair middle ground.  A simple vanilla cake that you can whip up in minutes, with very little cleanup or fuss.  And most importantly, pillows of lightly sweetened, freshly whipped cream and tall piles of fresh berries.  If you want something that won’t have you stuck in the kitchen on a beautiful summer day, but also has major “Wow!” factor… this is it.  Party Cake with Fresh Whipped Cream and Berries

Now, to be fair, you could dollop big fluffy clouds of whipped cream and heaps of summer berries straight onto a table and it would be perfectly heavenly.  I’m not really arguing that.  But cake is cake, and cake makes it a party.  I’ll admit that this cake isn’t my ultimate dream cake or anything- it’s plain, pleasantly vanilla-scented, and on its own, would be entirely forgettable.  But as a base for the cream and berries, or even a base recipe to add flavors to as you wish, it’s pretty great.  And I can recommend it even just based on how quickly it comes together- sometimes that’s important, you know?

Cake + cream + berries.  I think that will be my dessert formula for the rest of the summer.  Who’s with me?Party Cake with Fresh Whipped Cream and Berries

Party Cake with Fresh Whipped Cream and Berries

Party Cake with Fresh Whipped Cream and Berries

adapted from Food&Wine

  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened,
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3/4 cup whole milk, at room temperature
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Assorted berries, to top

Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a 9-inch-square baking pan with foil, allowing 2 inches of overhang on two sides.

In a large bowl, using a hand mixer at low speed, mix the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the 1 1/2 sticks of butter, milk, eggs and vanilla and beat at medium speed until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Spread the batter in the pan and bake for about 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean. Let cool on a rack, then cover with foil and let stand at room temperature overnight. (or you know... not)

In a large bowl, using a hand mixer,beat the cream with the sugar at high speed until firm, 1 to 2 minutes. Unmold the cake; peel off the foil. Top with the whipped cream. Pile the berries on top and serve.

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  1. says

    Making this today and can’t wait! Question – I’d love to have it all done and setting out when company arrives. Do you see any negatives in whipping the cream earlier in the day and topping the cake with berries? Or should I wait until it’s ready to be served?

    Thank you and happy 4th to you and your family! :)

    • but i'm hungry says

      No, you can definitely whip up the cream ahead of time, and keep it separate in the fridge. Just give it a stir again before topping the cake with it and adding the berries, because sometimes it separates just a bit. Once you actually put it on the cake, it can still sit out for a hour or two, as long as it’s in a cool spot- if it gets too hot, it will melt. :) Happy 4th!

  2. Emily Muender says

    This was my first from scratch attempt and I loved it! I share your love of berries and I have seen so many of your recipes and decided I just couldn’t pass this one up! It was easy and delicious!!

    Thanks for sharing!!

    • but i'm hungry says

      That’s awesome, Emily, I’m so glad you liked it! Thanks for stopping by to let me know! I love feedback. ;)

    • but i'm hungry says

      Sometimes with cake, simple is best! And it’s so easy to cut them up into a few layers, add some berries, and all of a sudden you’re all fancy-like! Love it!

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