Chocolate Layer Cake with Bavarian Cream & Berries

M and I just bought a house and moved in one week ago. With the way everything is still packed up, though, it looks like we are about to move out! On moving day, the hardwood floors were only ½ done so practically everything we owned went into the garage and has ventured no further. We are both working full time so we barely have time to clean the fine layer of dust covering every room. Couple that with M getting the casts off his hands (yes, he had casts on BOTH hands) only a couple weeks ago and limping around with a broken toe and it looks like we’ll be living out of boxes for a while! But, who cares. We have plenty of time as we intend to live here for the foreseeable future.

The best part about this house? We have a brand new kitchen. New appliances, new countertops, new floor, new cabinets, new everything! What better way to christen it than to bake a cake! Lucky for me, two important people in my life were having birthdays in the same week so I made not only one cake but two! It was so nice to celebrate each of them. Happy Birthday Michele and Susan!

Now I’ve said many times I’m not a baker. I don’t trust my baking skills for important occasions either so I tend to stick to things I know (like cake mix!) I wanted this cake to be decadent but not totally break the bank in the calorie department. I used an old Weight Watcher’s trick of mixing diet soda with a cake mix instead of oil and eggs. It comes out perfect every time and no one ever knows the difference.

Now the Bavarian cream was a different story. I adapted a low calorie recipe I found here. Unfortunately it was a disaster. It called for beating cream cheese and pudding mix together and then adding milk. No matter what I did I couldn’t get the lumps out. I ended up pushing the mixture through a sieve and saved it (and my sanity) but I knew I needed to change the recipe to make it work. I changed the ingredients a bit and how it is made and voila a pseudo Bavarian cream that won’t make you have to throw away your skinny jeans!

Pudding is hard to push through a sieve!

I used a slightly different berry combination in each cake and I recommend using whatever fresh berries or fruit you can get a hold of that are in season to really complement the cake. I imagine it would also be delish with peaches, banana or kiwi. M loved the cake so much he insisted this is what he wants on his birthday this year too!

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 box devil’s food cake mix
  • 10 ounces diet cola
  • 2 vanilla beans
  • 8 ounces fat free cream cheese, softened
  • 2 boxes sugar free vanilla pudding mix
  • 2 cups fat free milk
  • 2/3 (8 ounce) package of fat free whipped topping, softened
  • 2 cups assorted fresh berries (sliced strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries)
  • Mint leaves and extra fruit for garnish

 

Directions:

Preheat oven according to package directions for 2 9-inch round pans. Trace 9-inch round pans on parchment paper and cut 2 to fit. Lightly spritz the bottom of each pan with cooking spray and place the parchment rounds inside.

In a large bowl, combine the cake mix and diet cola and beat on medium for 3-4 minutes. Divide the mixture evenly among the two pans. Bake according to package directions. Let cool completely.

Split the vanilla beans with a sharp knife and scrape the seeds from the inside. Combine with the cream cheese in a large bowl. Beat the cream cheese on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. In another bowl, combine the pudding mix and milk and beat until smooth and starts to stiffen, about 5 minutes. Add the pudding mixture to the cream cheese mixture in thirds and beat on high speed until combined and smooth. Fold in the whipped topping. Cover and refrigerate about 25-30 minutes.

Run a knife along the edge of the cake pan and carefully flip the cake over onto a flat surface. Carefully peel the parchment paper off the bottom of the cake. Place a little dollop of the Bavarian cream in the center of your serving platter and flip the cake back over bottom-side down on top of it (this is to keep it from shifting). Lightly shave off any dome on the top of the cake with a bread knife.

Using a pastry spreader, spread a thick, even layer of Bavarian cream on top of the cake (mine was approximately 2/3 inch thick. Arrange your berries in a single layer, lightly pressing them into the cream. Fill in any gaps between the berries with more cream to create a flat surface.

Remove the parchment paper from the second cake as described above and place it bottom-side down on top of the first cake, Bavarian cream and berries. Using the pastry spreader, cover the top and sides of the entire cake with a layer of Bavarian cream (about ¼ inch thick). Decorate with mint leaves and extra berries. Chill until ready to serve.

Servings: 12    Serving Size: 1/12 cake

Calories: 234               Fat: 5.4g          Sat. Fat: 2.8g   Carbs: 40.2g

Sodium: 611.2mg        Fiber: 1.8g       Sugar: 20.4g    Protein: 6.1g

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Hi! I'm Barbara and yes, I cook! Welcome to my world of mouth-watering delicious food that you don't have to feel guilty about.
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