This cake was a very pleasant surprise. I have my mother, the lovely Lulu, to Thank for this one.
When I was originally skimming through Southern Living I saw this beautiful photo of the cake, but I wasn’t sure what to think. Is that some weird jello mold with fruit? How is it not falling apart everywhere? Weird, I thought, blowing it off and not really paying attention to how easy, simple, and healthy this dessert is overall! No jello whatsoever! Fruit, sugar, booze and ladyfingers, that’s it! A perfect make-ahead summer dessert that’s totally different from your standard strawberry shortcake.
My mom swapped out orange liqueur for Limoncello, and used some frozen berries instead of fresh (the original recipe also calls for cherries, probably a very good way to go but we aren’t quite to cherry season here yet).
She called me and said, “I really want to make that berry cake from Southern Living!” At first I didn’t even know what she was talking about, then I said, “Oh, that weird berry cake mold thing? It looks…difficult.” Nope. Moms are always right. This is worth making again and again. It’s easy, and you don’t even have to feel guilty about having dessert!
Very Berry Summer Pudding Cake
Adapted from Southern Living
- 2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
- 5 cups frozen mixed berries (we used a mixed bag of strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries from Costco)
- 2 cups fresh raspberries
- 1 cup fresh blueberries
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup limoncello
- 3 (3-oz.) packages soft ladyfingers
- Garnishes: fresh berries, fresh mint sprigs, whipped cream or ice cream
- Stir together first 5 ingredients in a large, heavy stainless steel saucepan; let stand 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 1/2 cup water, and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes or just until berries begin to break down and release their juices. Remove from heat, and stir in limoncello; cool 20 minutes.
- Line a 2-qt. soufflé dish or spring-form pan with plastic wrap. Spoon 1 cup berry mixture into prepared dish, spreading to cover bottom. Arrange ladyfingers in a single layer on berry mixture, pressing together and trimming as needed to fit snugly and cover berry mixture. Repeat layers twice, dividing remaining berry mixture evenly between layers.
- Cover loosely with plastic wrap, and place a small plate (approximately the same diameter as the inside of the dish) directly on top. Place 2 or 3 heavy cans on plate, and chill 12 hours. Unmold pudding onto a serving plate.