Summer, in my opinion, is the most fun season for entertaining. Everyone is so happy to be out in the sun, there are so many more possible activities, and some of the best recipes use summer foods. Whether it’s a watermelon margarita or corn on the cob, summer foods are some of the best there are.
That’s why I love this delicious Cool-Whip Berry Cake. It combines the best of summer produce with cake (a requirement for the “best of” anything) in a dessert that is light, fresh, and naturally sweet. It’s the perfect dish for your summer soiree—whether that’s a suburban backyard barbecue, or just sweating it out together in a small city apartment.
The recipe is below, with both “easy” and “from scratch” options. I’ve said it before—no one judges you for using boxed cake mix—but for those of you who can actually nail your Pinterest projects, I’ve included some intermediate methods. Enjoy!
1 box yellow cake mix (or your favorite homemade recipe)
1 8oz container of Cool-Whip (or your favorite homemade recipe)
Assorted mixed berries
1. Bake your cake into two layers, according to the instructions on the box (or grandmother’s recipe card). Let it cool on a baking rack.
2. When the layers are cool, cut a hole in the top layer, leaving about a 1 inch ring of cake around the edges. Take the middle circle and slice it in half vertically, so you’re left with two thin circles (not two thick half-circles).
3. Put the bottom layer on your serving platter and frost the top with a layer of Cool-Whip. Carefully place the outline-circle cake on top so the edges match. Take one of the inner-circle layers and place it in the middle. The second circle won’t be used, so feel free to nibble.
4. Frost the entire cake with Cool-Whip. When you’re finished, it should look like you have a regular cake with a half-inch deep dent in the middle.
5. Wash and dry your berries—I like to use strawberries, raspberries and blueberries. Remove any stems, pits, etc. Pile as many berries as you like into your little cake basket, and voila! A cool, light, refreshing dessert that looks way more difficult than it is—my favorite kind of recipe!
For intermediate- to expert-bakers, feel free to swap the boxed cake mix with a homemade recipe, and the Cool-Whip with homemade whipped cream. The recipe could also be made with a buttercream or canned vanilla frosting, but be prepared for a heavier, sweeter dessert!