The night before we were going over to The Husband's boss's house for dinner, we found out we could bring a dessert. By around 8pm I decided that I'd try making a cake and if it didn't work out in time, we'd do the Achatz pie (our next best idea) as a backup plan. I ran out to get some ingredients and got as far as baking the two layers, trimming and leveling, and filling and crumb-coating the cake. It was so hot, that the buttercream (typical Wilton recipe I always use) was incredibly soft. The filling was buttercream, a layer of fresh strawberries sliced, and topped with strawberry preserves.
After being wrapped and sitting in the fridge overnight, I could see the berries were leaking juices down the side of a cake a little (my mom says it's because the sugar brings out their juices), but I found that dabbing the juice with a paper towel later would do just fine.
I did a quick (and slightly sloppy) basketweave and border around the side of the cake, and The Husband helped me slice the fresh strawberries and place the blackberries and raspberries in a pretty design. We threw all the decorations on in about 45 minutes, which was all I had so it worked out perfectly. On the way there, I dabbed any extra strawberry juice away from the cake plate, but I finally realized there was no stopping it, especially after it sat in the fridge a few more hours before serving. I finally decided the strawberry juice down the side added character and at least it showed that the berries were fresh and juicy!
I took a few photos with the cake cooling off in the fridge for 5 minutes before we had to take it in the car, and also a hastily done photo after we got back home and unwrapped the portion of cake that was leftover. The Husband and I really enjoyed the fresh berry and buttercream combination, and I highly recommend it. Fresh fruit is so easy to make into a pretty design and I'm so glad that summer is here! It's fruit season!!
I used fresh mint leaves for garnish, though not from my garden yet! Also, I used the "butter recipe" box yellow cake from Betty Crocker. This hands-down tastes better than their regular box cake mixes that are made to be used with vegetable oil. I highly recommend it! And if you're appalled that I used a box cake -- too bad! I'm a working woman, had 24 hours notice (and even if I had more time)---> I'd rather spend the time making the cake look pretty afterwards and I did at least make my own frosting. Box cake tastes great and we don't have to worry about it "not coming out" or being flat or dry or........ etc! Kudos to those of you who bake your own! Extra kudos to those who use boxes with gusto!! Box cake users of the world, unite!!! :)