Whipped cream cakes with berries

Living on the East Coast, we feel the seasons so starkly and they affect us in so many ways.  There is a huge difference between our lifestyles and eating habits between the seasons.  In the fall and winter, we're craving hearty soups and stews to fortify us against the cold while we huddle indoors.  In the spring and winter, we throw off our coats, raise our heads and sprint to the farmer's market to feast on the inspiration from seasonal produce like fresh berries.
Individual whipped cream bundt cakes to go with seasonal berries
I sometimes wonder what it would be like to live on the West Coast and enjoy more sunshine and longer days.  I figure we'd have a healthier lifestyle and feel less rushed given the longer light hours to do things.  At the same time, I can't help but think I'd miss the cozy feel of winter and the Christmas holidays that just seem more genuine against a cold backdrop.  I guess, like anything else, it's a trade-off equation.  

So what we do is make the best of what we have!  Enjoy the best of each and every season.  And lately, I've been enjoying the vibrancy and colors of fresh local produce. There's been plenty of salads on our table but there's always room for dessert at any season.
Eating fresh fruit plain and straight-up is still my first response but once in a while, it's fun to cook with it or use it for a little embellishment.  I've been in "embellishment" mode lately, preferring to augment or finish my dish with some of these seasonal jewels.

These individual whipped cream bundt cakes pair so nicely with the fruit because I always think of the classic dessert pairing of "strawberries and cream".  These are literally whipped cream cakes, in that they're made with cold heavy cream that's whipped to stiff peaks to anchor the batter.  The heavy cream in essence replaces the typical butter or oil in a cake recipe.
Months ago, I watched Martha make these cakes on Martha Bakes and the recipe actually comes from Rose Levy Beranbaum.  I was mesmerized by the idea of the cream-based cakes, and the presentation itself, so I planned to make them once berries were more readily available.  And now here they are.
I took my small bundt cake tin and baked a few of these little whipped cream cakes.  I grabbed organic strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries from the market (all of which happened to be on sale - score!) and I was ready to assemble this dessert.  I highly recommend whipping up some additional cream to nestle the cakes on top of.  
Not only does the lightly sweetened, softly whipped cream round out the dessert nicely appearance-wise, the extra creaminess just goes so well with the fresh berries. You get a bite of buttery golden cake, with the sweet-tart freshness of the berries, mingled together with the pillowy softness of sweet cream.  It works and it's something to savor over at the table.
Mix up the berries you serve with each cake, go heavy or easy on the whipped cream...however you spin it, I think it makes a beautiful summer dessert that's easy enough to make any time but special enough for a special occasion.  


It was fun to try this unique cake recipe, which starts with whipping cold cream before adding eggs and the dry ingredients.    
I wanted to note that for a more evenly golden result, try generously buttering and then dusting the cake molds with flour.  I used baking spray as a shortcut.  While it is certainly very effective in helping release the baked cakes, I think the extra steps of buttering and dusting the molds will give you a more evenly golden surface on these cakes.
This recipe calls superfine sugar (as well as more delicate cake flour, which should be sifted a couple of times).  In the past, I'd been able to buy superfine sugar in a box at the supermarket.  I haven't seen it anywhere lately so I used up what I had left in the pantry and for the rest, I processed regular granulated sugar in a small chopper to break it down into a finer texture. 

Also check on the cakes early.  Official bake time is listed at 18-20 minutes but mine were done in less than 15 minutes. 
Have a safe and festive July 4th weekend!
So bring on the whipped cream and pile on the berries and let's get ready to enjoy the upcoming July 4th holiday!  I'm looking forward to the fireworks, the family time, and to all the food we'll no doubt be enjoying.  Hope you have a great one!

Recipe:

Whipped Cream Cakes (with Berries and Cream)
Adapted from Rose Levy Beranbaum via Martha Stewart

- Makes 12 mini bundt cakes - 

For greasing the cake molds: baking spray or softened, unsalted butter and cake flour
2 1/4 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups heavy cream, chilled
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons superfine sugar (if you can't find it, process granulated sugar in a food processor or small chopper) 

For serving: whipped cream and berries; confectioners' sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Position a rack in the lower third of the oven.  Prep 12 mini bundt cake molds by either coating them with baking spray or buttering them, then dusting with flour, tapping out the excess.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt.  Sift twice and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the heavy cream, starting on low until soft peaks begin to form.  Raise the speed to medium-high and continue to whip until cream reaches stiff peaks, about 3 minutes.  

Whisk eggs and vanilla extract together in a bowl.  Turn mixer back on to medium-high and gradually add in the egg mixture, beating until well combined and mixture thickens (to a consistency like mayonnaise).  Gradually add sugar, about 30 seconds.

Remove bowl and whisk attachment from the mixer.  Using the whisk attachment, gently fold in half the flour mixture.  Repeat with remaining flour mixture until just incorporated.  Transfer batter to a large pastry bag (or large disposable bag with the tip cut off) and pipe batter into the 12 cake molds.  Run a dinner knife through the batter of each, avoiding the bottom of the molds, to eliminate air bubbles.  Smooth out the top of the batter.  

Bake until cake springs back when lightly pressed and a cake tester inserted into the cakes come out clean, 15 to 20 minutes (check early; mine were done in under 15 minutes).  Remove from the oven and let cakes cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Lightly spray a wire rack with cooking spray.  Carefully loosen top edges of the cakes with a small metal spatula, then invert the cakes onto the wire rack.  Let cool completely.

To serve, set a cake on top of a mound of whipped cream.  Top with your favorite berries.  Dust the top of the cake with confectioners' sugar, if desired.



36 comments:

  1. Your mini bundts are adorable, and they're a perfect way to serve all that gorgeous fruit that's in season right now. I've never made a cream-based cake - an interesting idea, and I'll definitely keep this one in mind!

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    1. I love these little cake molds, Beth. : ) I was really intrigued by the (literal) whipped cream base so I had to try it. It was fun and you get a nice, buttery, golden cake that can go well with lots of things.

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  2. Oh my these are gorgeous! I love the combination of colors and the whipped cream layer is brilliant. You make me want to run out and buy some mini-molds! They are absolutely adorable. I hope you and your family have a happy and safe 4th of July!

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    1. Thanks so much, Tricia. You totally want that extra whipped cream layer to serve it with - it pulls it all together (what's a little more whipped cream, right?). ; ) Enjoy the 4th!

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  3. These mini bundt cakes are the perfect way to showcase summer berries. They look so adorable and pretty! I love the idea of the whipped cream in these cakes! I can just imagine how creamy and delightful they taste! They're perfect for the enjoying with your loved ones for the long weekend! Hope you have a great time celebrating :)

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    1. Just love the pop of color from the berries. So, so good! Thanks and have a great upcoming holiday weekend with your family!

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  4. These mini bundt cakes look so very pretty! I love the combo of flavours and colours.

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    1. Thanks - cakes baked in these little bundt molds definitely have 'pretty' going for them. : )

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  5. These are so cute and look so festive with the berries :) Delish!

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    1. Thanks - berries, cream, and cake all on one plate works for me! ; )

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  6. I think I would miss the seasons if we ever moved away! As much as I sometimes complain about them :)

    These little cakes are adorable - and I love the bright colors from the fresh fruit!

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    1. I am thinking the same way, Ashley... : )
      I am still loading up on the berries while they're good and plentiful. Have a great 4th!

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  7. Wow! Looks so yummy!! It's cool that the recipe uses cream, and certainly a perfect dessert for the 4th of July holiday!

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    1. It's a neat change, right! I had fun trying it out. Enjoy the 4th!

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  8. What adorable little bundts!! I really ought to get that kind of bundt pan, they are so cute :3

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    1. It's nice to make small individual portions, too. Thank you!

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  9. Hi Monica, never heard of a cream based cake before, sounds delicious. Love your mini bundts, there is nothing like fresh summer berries.

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    1. I'd never made a cake that way either but it does work and the taste is nice and buttery. : ) Have a great July 4th weekend, Cheri!

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  10. These are stunning Monica! And whipped cream is my favourite pairing with fresh strawberries. Hehe you should try living in Australia where we have four fab seasons but our Christmas in hot as it is the height of summer!

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    1. Oh my - see, I don't know how I would react to a "hot" Christmas! haha. Take care, Lorraine!

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  11. These are so sweet, lovely way to celebrate the berries when they're in season.

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    1. Yes, berries are just so pretty, on top of being tasty and good for us. Great combination!

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  12. These are such great little cakes Monica! So pretty and festive, and a perfect serving for summer!

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    1. Thanks, Kristi. The molds make the little cakes look special, I think. This is the reason we can't stop buying things!

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  13. Don't we all love fresh seasonal produce? We have been eating so many berries and cherries. Bryan is almost sick of them. But how can you say no to sweet berries when having these tasty little whipped cream cakes? Lovely!

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    1. I hear you since I just had strawberries and watermelon and there was cherries yesterday! i'm not complaining though!

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  14. That's exactly what I need! Thank you so much for the recipe! Love your cakes!

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  15. WOW!! What a simple yet elegant cake. I bet the flavors are amazing and it's so moist! Pinning to try soon.

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    1. Sweet of you to say, Zainab. Congrats to you again! : )

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  16. I've never in my life seen a cake recipe like this that started with freshly-whipped cream. I can't wait to make it!
    I can say that, as a transplant, I still want hearty stews and comfort foods in the fall and winter, but it's still like 90 out which makes it kind of unreasonable but I do it anyway. As soon as we get into the 80s I resolve to make chicken & dumplings or my favorite chili recipe....
    In the summer we don't do anything because it's too hot so I stay inside and eat ice cubes (just kidding). ;)

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    1. Neither had I! It's one of those things that you just want/have to make after seeing just so you could be satisfied that you tried it.
      And with the "seasonal" eating thing...I'm having salads and all the watermelon/fruit I can get but despite the temps, I can't stay away from that oven regardless of how HOT it makes the house. I'm still baking sweet potatoes and cooking hot oatmeal so I'm all over the place, too. But don't just eat ice cubes...ice cream is better. ;)

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  17. This past winter, I went to a book festival and heard Rose Levy Beranbaum and her close friend/ photographer talk about the making of the Baking Bible. It was fascinating to hear her talk about the chemistry in baking as well as the process of writing a cookbook. I haven't ever made a cake with whipped cream in the batter. These look and sound luscious! What a lovely pairing for summer berries

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    1. Hi Wendy...that must have been an interesting talk! To be honest, Rose Levy Beranbaum intimidates me a little (...a lot). Clearly, she is a top-notch expert when it comes to baking but her recipes are so explicit that I feel like I can't veer off from it at all (or what's the point). I know we're supposed to follow baking recipes to the "T" at least the first time around but I like to be a little more relaxed about it and it just doesn't feel right to do that with her recipes. I suppose there's a time and place for everything. I do really admire her for all the innovative techniques and recipes.

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  18. These are so pretty Monica! Cream and berries are such a hit...I can't imagine one without the other. We have an equal share of seasons but somehow summer flies and winter drags along. The great thing however is that our produce is pretty consistent round the year though prices do vary. I love that we have 2 seasons for strawberries and that's what I am living on right now. I need to make these cakes soon.

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    1. I never appreciated the idea of berries and cream as a kid. I've learned so much in this life! haha So glad you have 2 seasons for strawberries. I'm off to pick up some blueberries on special this week. Gotta take advantage of the season and the better prices. ; )

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