The other day I found a whole bunch of fresh blackberries ripe for the picking. And so, an easy, simple, inspired and deliciously delightful entertaining idea popped up. Spilling the beans on my go-to ideas for entertaining and serving with style and let you mingle at the party without being in the kitchen half the time.
And today, we are talking desserts. As in Rustic Cakes. I know I have shared rustic cakes a gazillion times over here- they are definitely some of my favorites. And in the winter, baking layer after layer is a good thing and warms up the house a bit. But in the summer? That over does not like to come on too often. So, I have a simple secret to keep this cake amazingly easy and no bake for those hot summer days. This is a 4 layer delicious cake stacking with frosting and topped with berries and blooms. And that only took about 15 minutes to make. Seriously.
It is a freshly baked cake. With freshly made not from a can on the shelf frosting and topped with fresh fruit. So what is the catch? We will start with a trip to the supermarket.
Did you know that at the bakery at many of the well known grocery stores across the country- you can purchase ‘layers’ of cake that are unfrosted? Yes indeed. And a tub of frosting that they just made that morning. Just go to the bakery department and ask.
So I picked up 4 layers of white cake at $2 a layer. And half a tub of white frosting for $7.
Now it is debatable if the frosting would be cheaper in the pre-made full of who knows what cans but honestly, this frosting spreads like butter. Really does go on much easier so it is worth the extra to me.
Start by stacking the first layer- then chunk a bunch of the frosting on it and repeat, repeat, repeat until all your layers are in place. Then you want to frost the top and pull your knife or spreader around the sides of the cake until is smooth in between and barely frosted. Be careful about pulling up crumbs.
Note- it does not look pretty the whole time- but it will.
Smooth the top making sure to keep the edges simple and rounded as you go. Once that is wrapped up you will have the start of your rustic aka naked cake.
Enter those fresh picked berries.
You can of course use store bought berries-just make sure they are fresh rather than frozen. You don’t want a whole mess of blackberry juice all over your cake as they thaw.
I also clipped fresh herbs and flowers to use. I used sage, catmint and lavender with small baby roses. Note: Key for safety when using flowers and greens on your cake is to make sure they are safe. Do some research ahead of time and a tip is to stay with herbs you know you are eating. If you aren’t using safe, pesticide free flowers, make sure to place a plastic disc layer in between them and the frosting. (you can find these at a bakery) And of course, don’t let anyone eat them. Another option is to use faux and not worry about it.
I layered the sage and mint to create a simple decor on half of the top of the cake and then tucked in just a few lavender sprigs, topped with blackberries and blueberries and created a 3/4 decorated look on the top of the cake.
For the garland – more fresh herbs tucked up against the cake around the base and on the platter for serving. You can also tuck in fresh greens or faux leaves for oomph. Then add your berries, blackberry branches and leaves.
I decided I also wanted a few roses but the ones at the store were too large. So I clipped a couple of the minis off our rose bushes and added 2 of them as a finishing touch.
You can also dip your berries in sugar for a bit of sparkle.
A Few Tips- I like to add sprigs of berries on the vine but they are thorny so make sure to clip the thorns before doing so and keep them as decoration (not on the top) so that no one eats them.
Wear gloves and shoes to avoid ouchies while picking berries.
Make sure to wash, dry everything before putting on the cake and that everything you are using is organic. (no pesticides)
And that is it. Simple, easy to make, pretty presentation and delicious.