Oh my goodness, what an amazingly long week it’s been. Just last Saturday, after spinning my way through the best (and most intense spin class so far) and following a rocking day of cleaning the floor on my hands and knees all Cinderella style, washing every piece of laundry, window coverings, small children, dog, lawn, whatever would stand still enough to be washed (a late spring cleaning if you will) – well, at the very end of the day I stood up from the sofa and promptly fell onto the floor.
Ahem. I exaggerate slightly. About the floor falling I mean. I stood up, took two steps and proceeded to whisper all of the curse words I have ever learned in my life, under my breath because there were small children sleeping soundly in their beds, and also because I could barely breathe because my goodness what the heck was going on with my back?!?
Turns out I had a back spasm.
Dang it old age, why do you take ALL of the things with you??!!?
**waves angry fist into the air at imaginary “old age”**
And my week got worse from there. I couldn’t sleep. I could barely move. I couldn’t hold my kiddos, or a door, or a cup of tea. I shook when I stood up and winced when I sat down. I literally did nothing but curse under my breath, eat ibuprofen and dream about those days when I was young and carefree…just chasing kids, peddling in my spin class, and not saying one single curse word – except for those times that I did curse anyway because that’s just who I am and so there.
So the week went on and on and on.
Every wince and groan and outburst of words that are not allowed in our household on any other day just brought me closer to the end of the week. And boy, was I surprised when on Friday night I slept the whole night through. And Saturday morning brought just the smallest twinge in my back and a smile to my face!! I ran and jumped and played! I really did! I also mowed the lawn, moved the remaining retaining wall bricks to the wall we’ve been building, played with the kids, went on a bike ride with those same crazy kiddos, played in the sprinkler, read books (on the floor), moved a freezer (it was empty, but still), smiled, laughed, picked up my kiddos and hugged them tightly, and even started the cleaning where I left off because really it had been a whole week and things get pretty dirty around here in a week.
And the other thing I did? Made a cake. Because dang it, it was a freaking celebration around here now that mommy was back in action!!
Super easy and delicious. It looks fancy but it is SO not. It goes something like this: Make a cake. Cut some fruit. Make a frosting. Pile the whole thing together in whatever fashion you really want and that looks pretty to you. Slice. Share with the ones you love. Or save it for yourself. Enjoy.
And then jump up and down and run around before “old age” gets you too.
berry layer cake with vanilla buttercream frosting
makes 8 servings
one pound of strawberries, washed, stems removed and sliced (reserve about three or four large unsliced strawberries for the top of the cake)
one pint of raspberries (reserve about eight raspberries for the top of the cake)
one pint of blackberries (reserve about eight blackberries for the top of the cake)
one pint of blueberries (reserve about 12 blueberries for the top of the cake)
for the cake
recipe from Martha Stewart
1 stick unsalted butter, softened, plus more for cake pans and parchment
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter three 8-inch round cake pans and line bottoms with parchment; butter parchment as well. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Beat together butter and granulated sugar with a mixer on medium speed until combined, 1 to 2 minutes. Add eggs and beat well, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary. Reduce speed to low and gradually add flour mixture, beating until combined. Add milk and vanilla and beat until just combined.
Divide batter between the pans; smooth tops with an offset spatula. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted into centers comes out clean, 33 to 35 minutes. Let cakes cool in pans on wire racks 15 minutes. Turn out cakes onto racks to cool completely.
for the frosting
1 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
4 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons milk or cream
Place butter in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat the butter on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the powdered sugar to the butter and whip slowly until combine. Add the vanilla and milk to the mixture and whip everything together, on medium-high speed, until combined and light and fluffy – about five minutes.
assemble the cake
Place one cake on a cake stand or plate. With a large serrated knife, slowly remove the top 1/8 of the cake, so that you have a flat surface. Place 1/3 of the frosting on the flattened cake top and spread evenly. Add the sliced strawberries in an even layer, covering as much of the slice as possible.
Place a second cake on top of the strawberry layer and slowly remove the top 1/8 of the cake, so that you have another flat surface. Place 1/3 of the frosting on the flattened cake top and spread evenly. Add the blackberries, strawberries and blueberries in an even layer, covering as much of the slice as possible.
Place the third cake on top of the berry layer and slowly remove the top 1/8 of the cake, so that you have another flat surface. Place the remaining frosting on the flattened cake top and spread evenly. Decorate the top of the cake with the remaining whole strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries and enjoy!
my notes: You can use any combination of berries that you like, or just one type of berries too. When making the three layers of cake, the layers will be on the thin side. If you want a thicker cake layer, you can double the recipe and then divide by three. I used a scale to divide the cake in three portions (because I’m detailed like that haha) but you can totally eyeball it or scoop it out by the cup measurement. If you have any leftovers, place the cake in the refrigerator (unwrapped and uncovered) until the next day. The cake will dry out slightly but the berries and frosting will be spot on.