Winter Fruit Shortcake Birthday Cake

This cake was inspired by an amazing English Trifle that our family friend, Ms. Wendy makes at special occasions. She assembles it in a huge glass punch bowl…layers of cubed pound cake…bright fruit that peeks out on the sides of the glass…and creamy, homemade custard. Then everything is topped off with a layer of freshly whipped cream. For finishing touches, she dots the edges with maraschino cherries & shaved dark chocolate….a show stopper to say the least.

 I thought a toned down version of Ms. Wendy’s trifle would make a perfect birthday cake for my friend Zachary, who likes light and simple desserts. 

I kept things really easy to make. Instead of making pound cake, I used a boxed cake mix. I didn’t even whip up my cream, two tubes of Cool Whip did the trick. I was worried about the fruit not being in season but they were fine. Everyone enjoyed it and described it as “deliciously fresh”. 

Here’s My Notes:

1)As I mentioned, I was worried about the fresh fruit being tart because of it not being in season. If your fruit isn’t sweet, place it in a strainer over a bowl and sprinkle it with a little powdered sugar. Place in the fridge for about 30 minutes for the fruit to marinate. 

2) Use whatever fruit you like or what is available to you.  

3)Ms.Wendy sprinkles a brandy syrup over the cubed pound cake. I brushed each of my cake layers with a brandy simple syrup. This is totally optional. Also, you can sprinkle shaved chocolate over the top of the cake like Ms. Wendy does on her trifle.

4)Zachary’s cake was a huge four layer 10-inch cake, I used two cake mixes and two tubes of Cool Whip, I’m writing the recipe for a normal sized cake. But this recipe can be easily doubled.
Winter Fruit Shortcake Birthday Cake 

Yields: 1 9-inch three layer cake 



1 recipe of your favorite cake recipe (here is a good one)

Brandy Simple Syrup:

1/2 cup sugar 

2/3 cup water

2 Tablespoons brandy

Cream Cheese Whipped Frosting:

12 oz. cream cheese, softened 

3/4 cup powdered sugar 

3/4 cup sugar 

1/2 teaspoons vanilla 

8 oz. (1 small tube) Cool Whip

Fruit of choice, I used strawberries, kiwi, & canned peaches 

Maraschino cherries with stems 

Dark chocolate, shaved 



After making your cake, allow it to cool completely.

While the cake is cooling, prepare the whipped frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer cream the softened cream cheese and sugars together using the whisk attachment; beat for 3-4 minutes. Add in the Cool Whip and vanilla; beat for another minute. Place in the fridge to chill.

To make the brandy simple syrup: Place the sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat, add in brandy. 


Place one layer of cake on a serving plate. Brush the layer with brandy syrup. Next spread a layer of whipped frosting. Then evenly place sliced fruit over top of frosting; continue this process with the next two layers. For the top, you can pipe a few swirls using a Wilton 1M piping tip, then place a cherry on top of each swirl. Finish with  a sprinkling of shaved chocolate or cute sprinkles; totally optional. Enjoy ! 



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