{TWD} Berry No-Surprise Mini-Cakes and a little something chocolate too


Tuesdays with Dorie is a weekly online baking group. Every week one member selects a recipe from Dorie Greenspan‘s Baking…From My Home to Yours and we all bake the recipe in our own special way and blog about it on Tuesdays.

This week’s recipe, Berry Surprise Cake, was selected by Mary Ann of Meet Me in the Kitchen. You can find the recipe here. I love, love, love Mary Ann’s blog. She blogs almost everyday {maybe everyday} about a {usually} healthy, good-for-you recipe she made for her family. Whether or not the recipe is healthy, the pictures are always gorgeous. She even makes food I don’t like {beets} look appetizing.


The base of the Berry Surprise Cake is a génoise, which in the world of French pastry is one of the basic starting point for many desserts. Also in the world of French pastry, there is debate about whether you should add melted butter to the batter. Some do and some don’t. Dorie does and I’m of the opinion that butter is always good. 😛


Dorie calls this recipe a Berry Surprise Cake because you are supposed to carefully slice off a top layer of the cake, hollow out the core, fill it up with whipped cream goodness and berries, put the top layer back on, and frost with topping. Surprise! It sounds delicious, but I felt a little lazy this week and decided to change it up a bit.

Picture from my mobile phone

Picture from my mobile phone

Last week strawberries started showing up at the farmers’ market en masse, so I decided to use them instead of the suggested raspberries. Since I was going the lazy route, I decided to make mini-cakes using my mini-muffin pan.


Because I forgot to use lime zest last week, I decided to use it this week {who doesn’t like strawberries and lime?} and rubbed it in with the sugar. I also used cake flour instead of all-purpose because I wanted the cakes to be light and French-y {whatever that means}.

Dorie urges us to gingerly fold in the flour because the beaten eggs are divas. I was overly ginger because when I was half-way done scooping the batter into the tin, I found a bunch of unmixed flour in the batter. :0 I quickly {but gingerly} mixed in the lost flour.

In the oven, half the mini-cakes sank and looked ugly as sin. This was the half that did not have enough flour. The other half rose perfectly and were very lovely. I likened the ugly half to Victorian novel crazy relatives locked up in the attic. My friends do not need to know they exist. 😛

Crazy relatives locked in a Victorian attic

Crazy relatives locked in a Victorian attic

I made the filling and used it as a topping. Instead of cream cheese, I substituted mascarpone. I sliced the strawberries and placed them on top of the mini-génoise cakes, piped the filling, and then finished them with chopped pistachios.

These were a big hit and I’m sure the properly assembled cake is yummy too. Maybe when I am feeling less lazy I will make as directed.


Almost-Fudge Gâteau


I’m slowly baking my way through TWD recipes selected before I joined the group. The Almost-Fudge Gâteau was  the recipe for the week of February 19,2008. This recipe was very easy to make {I made mini-cakes again} and very, very delicious. If you haven’t made it yet, do it! It’s wonderful. Nikki of Crazy Delicious selected this cake and you can find the recipe here.



60 thoughts on “{TWD} Berry No-Surprise Mini-Cakes and a little something chocolate too

  1. Love the way you likened your little sunken sweets to relatives in a Victorian novel locked in the attic — too funny. Very cute cakes. I really like the way the dipped, mini Almost-Fudge Gateaux look.

  2. Ha! My entire cake was a Victorian-era crazy relative! Your (non-crazy ones) look just fabulous! I love what you did with the strawberry and lime. And the Almost Fudge Gateaus look fantastic as well!

  3. Adorable! I love how you adapted the recipe! My husband thought this tasted like strawberry shortcake so we make have to try the lime and strawberry next time!

  4. LOL LOL …No surprise!??? Pfff… I’d say different surprise, for this is way creative and very …ooh! la! la! A touch of vavavoom somehow, like a sexy dessert! Does that make sense? LOL
    Very nice anyways, Pinkstripes!

  5. While everything looks great, I would have to pick the chocolate over the berry cake. But, that’s just me. Because chocolate is always better……

  6. the mini cakes look beautiful, and i am so jealous of those mounds of strawberries!! 🙂 lol about the crazy relatives… no one needs to know 😉

  7. Wow — I love your variations. Rubbing lime into the sugar = way inspired. I love strawberry and lime. And I think that the little cupcakes with the cream and strawberry slices and the sprinkling of pistachios is just so adorable! I’m jealous.

  8. I was a little too gentle in folding in my flour too! So I’m glad I’m not the only one that made that mistake. I also used strawberries, cheaper per pound, and used a pint of rasberries to make the coulis.
    I’m a newcomer to TWD and am doing the same thing, working thru past recipes. (I feel it’ll take forever to get caught up, though!)

  9. these look and sound so good. i’m making my way through recipes i missed too, the Gâteau is coming up soon for me. i’ve heard nothing but good things about it. 🙂

  10. The berry cakes look good but the chocolate cakes look fabulous. I’m afraid my whole cake belongs in the crazy victorian closet.

  11. It’s funny how you say you were lazy and didn’t want to make the whole cake. Those minis are styled so perfectly, I think making the whole cake would have been easier! Not to mention the gateau’s – you were NOT lazy! Everything looks delicious!

  12. I love your mini-cakes and the strawberries/lime combination. That is one of my favorite combinations too. I love the pistachios. Thank you for the kind words- I love your blog too!

  13. Hehe – frenchy 🙂 That’s what I go for when I make genoise too. Strawberries and lime sound fabulous, and I must say that the almost fudge gateau? I still dream about it…

  14. The idea of fresh strawberries showing up in the market sounds so good. I have about 6 more months for that. Your cakes are so beautiful and the addition of pistachios sounds perfect. I also like the idea of adding on an earlier missed recipe, but sometimes it is everything I can do to get the one made and posted!

  15. Awesome looking minis. How great is that picture with the flats of huge strawberries! Yum!
    Someday I want to bake through the months I missed before joining, too. The little chocolate cakes look divine!
    Way to make the cakes your own!

  16. I would actually join the ones in the attic ! Their food is not bad at all !! I wish I was in your part of the world with that wonderful market ! I will take your suggestion and try the almost fudge !!Ciao !

  17. Your cakes look lovely! I love the strawberry pistachio combo. Your mini Almost Fudge Gateaus look adorable too. I’m also trying to tackle the recipes picked before I joined TWD and it’s nice to hear this one was delicious 🙂

  18. Holy Cow! Everything looks so sumptuous! Great pictures, even from your cell. And believe it or not, I don’t think I’ve ever had strawberries and lime. Better add that one to my list of things to try.

  19. Ooooh, I am so jealous of those strawberries. I have taken to buying frozen fruit since the fresh either looks less than perfect or is $$$.

    You certainly made good use of them… your minis are adorable and looks scrumptious.

  20. Your mini cakes are amazing…they look moist, too, which was an issue for me!
    Thanks for posting the rewind…I joined the group in early November and haven’t done a rewind yet, but, now, I know I need to! Thanks!

  21. I love the sprinkling of nuts on your mini cakes, very lovely. And now, you’re making me crave that almost fudge gateau, I haven’t made it yet, but it’s calling my name! 🙂

  22. I love your mini version of the cakes and I’m glad to hear at least half of your cakes rose properly. Great job! And now that I’ve seen yours I’m going to have to go back and try the Almost-Fudge Gâteau.

  23. Oh, wow another great post with awesome photos! Both of your cakes look terrific though if I had to chose one it would be the strawberry marscarpone w/lime sugar cakes. Can you tell what parts drew me in? 🙂

    I’ll be back and I guess while I’m here for the second time today check out your archives!

  24. Your minis are adorable and doesn’t lime improve everything? I’m impressed that you are working through the back recipes – I’d have 20+ to bake. I’m going to rely on you to pave the way! Glad the gateaux are great.

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