Friday, August 9, 2013

Triple-Berry Basket Cake

Triple-Layer Chocolate Cake, Vanilla Buttercream & Chopped Hazelnut filling, Nutella Buttercream frosting, topped with Blueberries, Raspberries, and Strawberries

Today I opened the cupboard...and staring me down - challenging me - was a half-eaten jar of Nutella.  I laugh in the face of half-eaten anything.  I accept this challenge.

Chocolate cake is a natural for this lovely hazelnut spread.  I wanted to make the filling a bit more interesting, so I kept the buttercream in it's natural vanilla state and topped it with chopped hazelnuts.  Part of my interest of continually improving my skills encouraged a bit of a bump up the next buttercream level.  Instead of crumb coating the entire cake with the vanilla, I added a bit of Nutella so the thin white base layer of frosting would not be visible on the cake slice.  I know.  It's a teeny, tiny detail. But it was a choice I made.

After letting it set-up in the cake fridge, it was time to frost.  I've been waiting for just the right time to attempt a buttercream basket weave design...and was finally brave enough to try it today.  We have a planned dinner out in a week or so and a sweet basket cake would be a lovely addition to the evening.
Again, all my training is from a couple YouTube videos and much trial and error in the Test Kitchen.  I plunged right in on this one.  I had read some pointers on line, chief among them: take your time.  This was good and I should have scheduled a break for myself (I will next time) because somewhere around the 70% done stage...the work was getting sloppy. 

Overall, I'm ok with this first attempt at a new technique.  I hadn't really thought through to the top of the cake - when the basket was finished, I looked at my life partner with this sorta "now what?" shrug.  So we walked to the market. 

Generally, bakers top the cake with flowers or fruit.  This triple-berry combination is always a winner on a cake with buttercream.

I am grateful that I had all the things necessary to bake this cake.  I am grateful for my dear husband; his patience and his support are invaluable.  I love that my cakes don't have to be perfect. 

No white frosting except for the filling.


 I don't know why I want to bake cake.  All I know is that it's still working for me - I can be creative and work with different flavors and colors.  The medium of cake and buttercream makes for an endless series of combinations.  I get to work with savory and sweet - at the same time!  Whatever it does for me.  I am relieved.


  1. I can assure your readers that this beauty was as pleasing to the palate as the eye! If only I didn't have to add an hour on the bike tomorrow to dispose of the calories it added to my daily intake! :)

    1. Thank you. I appreciate all your help in the Cake Assessment and Knowledge Evaluation Department.

  2. Just when I think your creations can't get any better, you come up with this. Wow.

    1. Thanks Catherine - I learned so much practicing on this cake. I'm looking forward to the next one in about a week.