Sometimes I wish I were more of a baker. This desire comes in phases.
The first phase is typically in the morning and afternoon as I sit at my computer and scroll through my Pinterest and Instagram feeds. Holy smokes, you guys, there are some seriously talented people out there! If I were even capable of making something so beautiful, I doubt I would be able to eat it. I mean, have you guys seen some of the cakes and pies and tarts out there? Waaaay too pretty to eat.
The second phase is usually at night, aka dessert time. Sometimes (most the time) ice cream and chocolate are not enough; what I really need is one of those cakes or pies I swore I wouldn’t be able to eat because they are just too beautiful. But it’s 9pm, and, given how bad I want cake, well, I would totally eat the cake.
So why don’t I bake more often? Hmm, fantastic question! Well, despite my insatiable appetite for desserts, eating healthy is really important to me. After all, there are only so many hours in one day, so, unfortunately, I have to plan my meals and hands-on cooking time carefully. To bake and decorate a gorgeous cake would take the better part of my day. It would be absolutely worth it, but it doesn’t put dinner on the table. Of course, with time, I would get faster, but for now, baking just isn’t my thing. Don’t get me wrong, I love to eat baked foods and I love to admire other peoples baked masterpieces, but you’ll probably find me making a salad rather than a salted dark chocolate tart. Plus, on the days where I bake or cook when my 3 year old is home, salads are much easier to walk away from for 5 minutes than a needy dessert.
I know, it’s all very conflicting. I don’t understand it myself.
Anywho, when I do bake or make sweet desserts, I always gravitate toward ones that will be EASY. Five hours in the kitchen? Not going to happen. At least, not today. So, the other afternoon as I was strolling through Trader Joe’s I stumbled upon their already baked Lemon Cake Bites. I hadn’t had any kind of lemony dessert in a while, so I immediately placed them in my cart. Then I started thinking about what I would eat with them. Whipped cream? Ice cream? So many options…
Then I thought of something better.
Lemon cake a berries are always a winning combination. The light and sweet refreshing berries with tart buttery lemon cake is pure summer magic. To tie it all together, the cake and berries needed a light, pillowy cream. Just my luck I had a container of mascarpone cream sitting in the refrigerator waiting to be put to good use. And it was.
I lightened up the mascarpone cream with some plain Greek yogurt and lemon juice and gave it a little sweetness with honey. Mascarpone cream alone is thick like cream cheese and definitely not light and pillowy.
Thanks to some store-bought cake (of course, feel free to bake your own), delicious fresh seasonal berries and 10 minutes prep time, I had my very own version of fancy dessert! (minus the guilt of digging in!)
These lovely little Berry and Cake Cups make perfect picnic, party or anytime desserts!
Berry Cups with Lemon Cake and Honey Lemon Yogurt Mascarpone Cream
- 1 cup strawberries (chopped)
- ½ cup raspberries
- ½ cup blackberries
- ½ cup blueberries
- 1 lemon juiced
- 1 lemon zested
- ½ cup mascarpone cream
- ⅔ cup plain greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon honey (plus more to taste)
- 1 cup lemon cake bites (chopped into small pieces (I found these at Trader Joe's))
- In a small bowl whisk together the lemon juice and zest, mascarpone cheese, Greek yogurt and honey until smooth and creamy.
- Layer desired number of cups with cake bites, honey mascarpone cream, and berries until filled. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until ready to eat.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.)