June 20th marked the official start to the summer and to celebrate David and I made a summer cake with some fresh berries. I love this recipe - we used a white box cake mix and a super light frosting recipe. Usually, I love baking cakes from scratch, but since David was helping I really wanted something easy and simple so I wouldn’t get easily frustrated. Let’s be honest, kids don’t actually care if we want things to be perfect, so this was the best way to keep my expectations low and have more fun with David.
White cake mix (I used Betty Crocker)
1 C. water
½ C. vegetable oil
3 egg whites
5.1 oz. box of instant vanilla pudding
1 ½ C. whole milk (or any milk)
8 oz. tub of cool whip, thawed
Handful of blueberries
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Prepare two 8 inch round cake pans by spraying them with nonstick spray and sifting some all purpose flour into them. Tap the flour around the pan until it’s thoroughly coated. This technique will help your cakes not stick to your pans, but it will not leave a greasy residue when you take them out to cool.
Start making the batter by sifting your box cake mix into your mixer or bowl. This will ensure a smoother consistency when you are mixing it. Next, add your water, oil, and eggs. Beat vigorously by hand or mix on medium speed for two minutes.
Divide the batter evenly between the two pans and bake as directed on the box. I usually bake it 5 minutes less because my oven tends to bake cakes quickly.
Once the cakes are done baking, stick a knife or toothpick into the cake to make sure it isn’t still wet on the inside. Let them cool completely in the pan, and then remove them and wrap them in saran wrap and place them in the fridge to chill.
Once your cakes are completely chilled start making the whipped topping. This is the best, lightest, easiest topping to put on your cake. I saw this recipe from Not Just Cute (here's the post). It doesn’t have all of the grittiness that frosting has and it doesn’t taste extremely sweet. I also think you could make this into a chocolate mousse if you substitute the vanilla flavor with chocolate. To make the whipped topping: combine the instant pudding mix and the milk together. I use half of the milk required on the box because it makes the overall topping thicker and spreadable. Whisk the pudding mix and milk together until it thickens. Then, fold in your cool whip. More power to you if you can resist tasting it after it’s mixed together. I always take a spoonful and try it just to make sure it actually tastes good. You know, for quality purposes, haha.
After your topping is made, unwrap one cake and place it on your cake stand. This is optional, but I cut off the dome part just so I can have an even surface to frost and place the berries on. Then dollop some topping on and spread it evenly. Next, add your berries. I only did blueberries, but you can add strawberries too. I also skimped on the berries in the middle and regretted it once we cut into the cake. So I definitely recommend filling that layer to the brim with berries.
Next, put your second layer on top and start frosting the entire cake! I didn’t use the entire batch of whipped topping, so I ate some more and stored it in the fridge. It should keep for a couple of days and will quickly satisfy any sweet tooth that you have.
I then tried to place the strawberries on aesthetically and put a small pile of blueberries in the middle! And voila! Your cake is done and can be enjoyed by your family, or just you if you would like. I’m not here to judge! I didn’t get a shot of a single slice because we really wanted to dive into it, but I can say without a doubt that my boys loved it and kept asking for more. Then again, I’ve never met a kid who didn’t want more sugar, haha.
I hope you enjoy the recipe and the cake! Let me know if you make this cake - I would love to know what you think about the recipe! David and I had a lot of fun making it!