August/September 2018

Fruits of the Forest Cake

In the height of summer, it's hard to pick just one berry to feature in a cake. Taking a hint from a favorite Italian dessert called frutti di bosco, we used blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries in this pastry cream–stuffed showstopper.

Why This Recipe Works

Taking a cue from the Italian dessert frutti di bosco, we used three types of berries on top and around this summer showstopper cake: raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries. To make it really impressive, we alternated layers of vanilla cake and creamy custard and then surrounded the whole stack with lemon buttercream frosting. A light sprinkle of powdered sugar on top completed the look with one more nod to its Italian inspiration.


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Serves 10 to 12


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2 cups (8 ounces) cake flour
cups (10½ ounces) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
¾ cup buttermilk
5 large egg yolks plus 3 large egg whites
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
teaspoons vanilla extract
teaspoon cream of tartar


5 large egg yolks
½ cup (3½ ounces) granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 cups whole milk
Pinch salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces and chilled
teaspoons vanilla extract


20 tablespoons (2½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
cups (10 ounces) confectioners' sugar
teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
6 ounces (1¼ cups) blueberries
ounces (1¾ cups) raspberries
ounces (1¾ cups) blackberries
1 teaspoon confectioners' sugar
Nutritional Information


Per Serving (Serves 10)

  • Calories 875
  • Cholesterol 253 mg
  • Fat 48 g
  • Sodium 371 mg
  • Saturated 26 g
  • Carbs 105 g
  • Trans 1 g
  • Dietary Fiber 3 g
  • Monounsaturated 14 g
  • Sugar 77 g
  • Polyunsaturated 3 g
  • Protein 7 g

The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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Serves 10 to 12

Plan ahead: The pastry cream needs to chill for 3 hours so it will set before you assemble the cake.

1. FOR THE CAKE: Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease three 8-inch round cake pans, line with parchment paper, grease parchment, and flour pans. Whisk flour, 1¼ cups sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in large bowl. Whisk buttermilk, egg yolks, melted butter, oil, and vanilla together in second bowl. Add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture and whisk until just combined.

2. Using stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whip egg whites and cream of tartar on medium-low speed until foamy, about 1 minute. Increase speed to medium-high and whip whites to soft, billowy mounds, about 1 minute. Gradually add remaining ¼ cup sugar and whip until glossy, stiff peaks form, 2 to 3 minutes.

3. Whisk one-third of whites into batter. Using rubber spatula, gently fold remaining whites into batter until no white streaks remain. Divide batter evenly among prepared pans, smooth tops, and gently tap pans on counter to release air bubbles.

4. Bake until tops are light golden and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 18 to 22 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking. Let cakes cool in pans for 15 minutes. Remove cakes from pans, discarding parchment, and let cool completely on wire rack, about 2 hours.

5. FOR THE PASTRY CREAM: Whisk egg yolks, 2 tablespoons sugar, and cornstarch in medium bowl until mixture is pale yellow and thick, about 1 minute; set aside. Heat milk, salt, and remaining 6 tablespoons sugar in medium saucepan over medium heat until simmering, stirring occasionally to dissolve sugar.

6. Gradually whisk half of milk mixture into yolk mixture to temper. Return milk-yolk mixture to saucepan. Return to simmer over medium heat and cook, whisking constantly, until mixture is thickened and 3 or 4 bubbles burst on surface, about 1 minute. Off heat, whisk in butter and vanilla. Transfer pastry cream to clean bowl, press parchment paper directly onto surface, and refrigerate until set, at least 3 hours.

7. FOR THE FROSTING: Using stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whip butter on medium-high speed until smooth, about 20 seconds. Add sugar and salt; reduce speed to medium-low and whip until most of sugar is moistened, about 45 seconds. Scrape down bowl, increase speed to medium, and whip until mixture is fully combined, about 15 seconds. Scrape down bowl, add cream and vanilla, and whip until incorporated, about 10 seconds. Increase speed to medium-high; whip until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down bowl as needed. Add lemon zest and mix until combined.

8. Place 1 cake layer on cake turntable. Spread 1 cup pastry cream evenly over top. Repeat with remaining 2 cake layers and remaining 2 cups pastry cream. Spread frosting in even layer around sides of cake. While spinning cake turntable, run spatula horizontally from bottom to top of side of cake to create textured stripes.

9. Arrange blueberries in single row around base of cake. Alternate raspberries and blackberries around top edge of cake. Scatter remaining berries over top of cake. Sift sugar evenly over berries. Serve.

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16 days

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too. I've done this using a rimmed sheet pan instead of a skillet and put veggies and potatoes around the chicken for a one-pan meal. Broccoli gets nicely browned and yummy!

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too.

9 days

Amazed this recipe works out as well as it does. Would not have thought that the amount of time under the broiler would have produced a very juicy and favorable chicken with a very crispy crust. Used my 12" Lodge Cast Iron skillet (which can withstand 1000 degree temps to respond to those who wondered if it would work) and it turned out great. A "make again" as my family rates things. This is a great recipe, and I will definitely make it again. My butcher gladly butterflied the chicken for me, therefore I found it to be a fast and easy prep. I used my cast iron skillet- marvellous!

11 days

John, wasn't it just amazing chicken? So much better than your typical oven baked chicken and on par if not better than gas or even charcoal grilled. It gets that smokey charcoal tasted and overnight koshering definitely helps, something I do when time permits. First-time I've pierced a whole chicken minus the times I make jerk chicken on the grill. Yup, the cast iron was not an issue.