Iced Berry Cake

This is an all-singing, whooped-up, somewhat-over-the-top, photo-opportunity cake that requires no cooking at all and can be assembled–because it is essentially an assembly job–by a five-year-old. Which is, after all, the point: that it has been, at least in some small way, prepared by the children.

You can use any shop-bought cake—maybe a Victorian sponge or a lemon drizzle cake. Here we’ve used a simple sponge cake that started out with jam in the middle and a dusting of icing sugar on top. Just make sure it’s a cake that isn’t iced or decorated, because that’s where the kids come in.

Smaller children may need a hand with some of this, but older ones can probably manage the whole lot. Let imaginations run riot with the decorations—use whatever the kids think is required. And yes, this could well mean we’re talking dog’s dinner, but it’s all in the spirit of the day, so bite your tongue on tasteful and go with the creative flow. If you’re supervising, all you should need to do is melt the chocolate…and manage the mayhem.–Bill Collison

LC Why Stop There? Note

Cookbook author—and, we suspect, dad–Bill Collison makes some savvy suggestions above when it comes to relying on a store-bought cake, understanding as he does the time constraints that go with parenting. lf you have the time and patience (and, if you’re under the age of 10, the adult supervision), we strongly encourage you to indulge in a made-from-scratch cake of any sort for this messy mom’s day surprise. Collison suggests a Victorian sponge or a lemon drizzle cake. And why stop short of chocolate? We think a chocolate cake or even a brownie could be lovely, too. If you don’t mind even more of a mess than what’s already in store, swap softened ice cream for whipped cream. Or heck, why not use both? And those “interesting edibles or decorating” called for in the ingredient list? Anything goes. We have our short list of items we’d fancy on a cake. Care to share yours?

Iced Berry Cake Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 30 M
  • 30 M
  • Serves 8 to 12

Ingredients

  • About 20 ounces berries, fresh or frozen, a mixture of varieties is fine
  • A generous 1/2 to 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 3 1/2 ounces really good-quality chocolate, preferably milk chocolate or white confection, melted
  • 1 cake, single layer or double layer, store-bought or made from scratch
  • A selection of interesting edibles for decorating (go wild!)

Directions

  • 1. If using frozen berries, remove them from the freezer. (By the time you serve the cake, the chocolate will hopefully be melting the berries so they are still cold but not frozen.)
  • 2. Whip the cream until it is thick and softly peaked.
  • 3. Plop the cake on a plate. Slather the whipped cream across the top of the cake and layer on the berries. If using a layer cake, slip some berries between the layers and lavish some of the cream and berries on the top layer, too. Drizzle the warm melted chocolate across the top of the cake and pile on the decorations.
  • 4. Everything may be on the slide, but that’s still perfect. Present it with pride.
Hungry for more? Chow down on these:

Testers Choice

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Natalie Reebel

May 11, 2012

This was a fun cake to put together. I used a Victoria Sponge Cake I made earlier in the week. It really took no time at all to assemble and presented beautifully, in a messy sort of way. The whipped cream gave it a heavenly look. Berries, peanut butter cups, and melted chocolate gave the cake a true “celebration” feeling. A big slice of this on the plate was fun to eat.

It reminded me of something you would eat in a cartoon. Everyone enjoyed it.


Comments
Comments
  1. Beautiful cake any Mother would be proud of, I’m sure! Love that photograph!

    • Renee Schettler Rossi, LC Editor-in-Chief says:

      Our thoughts exactly, Robyn! Here’s hoping one lands on your kitchen table this weekend…

  2. Judy says:

    My daughters are both grown now with children of their own. Both are accomplished cooks in their own way, with their own specialties that they make better than Mom’s or Dad’s. (He was an accomplished cook, also, and to this day I cannot make biscuits like his.) Their first culinary concoctions in the baking world were usually based on brownies. A great first experience for a young child because it can be mixed by hand and in fact is best that way. Most of their celebration “cakes” were topped with ice cream (cause we all like that) and lots of sprinkles and jimmies and whatever else their imagination decided had to be there. One in particular sticks in my mind because it was a little tough to eat. It was 4th of July and she thought it needed red! So ketchup it was–over the top of the ice cream and with the sprinkles, etc., on top of that. Daddy and I ate every mouthful and smiled. A day or so later I explained the difference between sweet and savory and how if you have never seen it together maybe you ought to taste some of it together first.

    Thanks for the memories! Love the photo! That’s the stuff memories are made of!

    • Renee Schettler Rossi, LC Editor-in-Chief says:

      Oh, Judy, ketchup on brownies! There’s no telling what we do for our children. Sounds like you’ve done quite a lot to instill in them the confidence and curiosity to concoct what they will. Thanks for sharing this, you made my day.

  3. Kim Bee says:

    This is really incredible. I love when some recipes keep in mind some people just don’t have time to bake. That’s refreshing to see. I love to bake myself so I’m actually going to take some of the LC notes and try this with a twist. Can’t wait to see how it turns out.

    • Renee Schettler Rossi, LC Editor-in-Chief says:

      We can’t wait to hear how it turns out either, Kim! Let us know what sort of merriment you make…

    • Lindsay Myers says:

      Can’t wait to find out what the twist is, Kim! We’re so pleased that you’re getting clever with cake…it’s just what that recipe calls for!

  4. Carol Hargis says:

    Care to share it? =)

    • Renee Schettler Rossi, LC Editor-in-Chief says:

      Share our portion of Iced Berry Cake, Carol? Or share our short list of what would go on a no-holds-barred, messy-as-can be cake? If the former, hmmmm, that’s asking a lot. If the latter, it would include black raspberries dipped in simple syrup and rolled in superfine sugar, melted (and lovely quality) chocolate, chunks of more said chocolate, a few partially melted scoops of homemade gelato between the layers of cake along with homemade black raspberry preserves, and…well, that’s just me.

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