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Retro Recipe: Berry Basket Cake

By Becky Rosenthal
Created January 10, 2017
Piled high with fluffy meringue and honey-kissed berries, this party-perfect recipe is worth revisiting.

Whenever I flip through my collection of vintage Betty Crocker cookbooks, I can’t help but stop and marvel at all of the unique cakes. With names like “Lovelight Chocolate Chiffon,” “Pink Azalea Cake,” and “Rememberance Fruitcake,” it’s easy to become enchanted with a recipe by the fanciful name alone. Take the last time I perused Betty’s Guide to Easy Entertaining for instance. Turning slowly through the pages, my eyes paused on a photo of simple round cake piled high with fluffy meringue and topped generously with all kinds of beautiful berries, aptly titled “Berry Basket Cake.” I knew at first glance this was a cake recipe I needed to test out.

Betty Crocker Book-1

The recipe, found on pg. 130, is worded simply (just eight sentences all together) but beautifully. “Pile mounds of meringue around the top edge of the cake for a basket effect.” Mounds of meringue? How gorgeous a description is that! Although I’m not a professional meringue-maker, after reading a few short how-tos, I soon felt confident enough to recreate this classic confection. 

To make the cake-baking step a snap, I relied on Betty Crocker Super Moist White Cake Mix, but you could also substitute vanilla or yellow cake mix, or bake a white cake from scratch. (Got to love a versatile recipe, right?) When topping the cooled cake with meringue, it felt good to get a bit creative, swooping my spoon along the edges making soft peaks that would brown well in the oven.


After a quick visit to my hot oven, and the cake returned with beautiful browned meringue, stiff to the touch.


And for a fresh-feeling ending, the cooled meringue is topped with honey-soaked berries, making it an impressive, yet easy, dinner party dessert. 

Are there any vintage Betty cake recipes you love to bake? If so, leave a comment telling me which ones you love!