Créme fraîche adds an elevated quality to whipped cream in this stunning, but easy-to-assemble dessert.
By Bowen Close
This is a cake with a great bang-to-buck ratio, in terms of baking skill. Not an avid baker? Does concocting frosting make you nervous? Not confident in your cake decorating skills? This is probably the cake for you. Assembly is as simple as can be, with swaths of créme fraîche-laden whipped cream and piles of fruit. Everyone loves fruit and whipped cream, and everyone will love you. (As if they already don’t! You’re obviously great.) You could even do two one-layer cakes, maybe with different fruit on each cake, which would make you seem like a particularly generous and loving dessert provider (another idea: for my birthday party last year I made one huge layer cake with my grandmother’s massive layer cake pan, and topped that with the créme fraîche whipped cream and some local Minnesota raspberries).
I definitely need to stop for a moment to reiterate the créme fraîche part. Have you ever folded it into whipped cream? Because you definitely, definitely, definitely should. Heavy cream and sugar make great whipped cream, but folding in some thick, tangy créme fraîche makes something otherworldly. (Thick, high-quality crema or sour cream might also work well here, should créme fraîche be hard to come by, but I haven’t tried it.) I assembled this cake at the 4th of July party we attended and forced no fewer than five passersby to taste the whipped cream before I spread it on the cake layers. After each taste we shared the look, like the look two people might share after making an exciting discovery together, usually accompanied by a nod and a sly smile.
I love that look.Print
Bowen Close believes that food should make people happy and healthy, and loves bringing together people with creative, delicious food made from the heart. She loves making farm-inspired, flavorful dishes with sustainable ingredients - whether that's a big plate of roasted veggies, a towering chocolate layer cake, or a cocktail utilizing backyard ingredients - and collects recipes and other food-related stories on her website, Bowen Appétit. She is a chef, cooking instructor, and food writer living in Southern California with her husband and fully stocked pantry.