Cheap birthday dessert succeeds on many layers


Sarah Contreras

By Sarah Contreras

When you’re a poor college student eager to impress others, it can be difficult to throw a party and stay within your meager budget.

It being my birthday Saturday, I decided that instead of doing the usual “going out and spending a ton on Malibu and Cokes,” it would be nicer to invite my friends over to my place. Now, I love to host. Nothing makes me happier than a few hours of cleaning and cooking in order to provide people with a comfy environment and tasty food. What I do not enjoy about hosting is the cost. Desserts and snacks can be pretty pricey. I understand that most people don’t expect too much from a fellow student, but it was my birthday, and I really wanted to make something special.

Thankfully, I learned that special does not always equal expensive. I put my thinking cap on and dove into a few cookbooks. After a bit, I came up with an adorable but inexpensive treat that delighted my guests’ taste buds and made me seem like the next Sara Lee. I am compelled to share this with you, dear readers, so you can dazzle your next party crowd or even a special someone.

Pretty and Sweet Mini Fruit Parfaits:

  • 1 pint blackberries
  • 1 pint raspberries
  • 1-2 containers strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • ¼ cup of sugar
  • Juice from one lemon
  • 1 large tub Cool Whip or other whipped cream product
  • 1 small store bought angel food cake
  1. Thoroughly wash all berries. Combine berries, sugar, and lemon juice in large saucepan. Over medium heat, stir mixture until berry juices begin to run and sugar dissolves into mixture. Make sure to evenly coat the berries with sugar and lemon sauce. After about four minutes, set aside.
  2. Cut angel food cake into medium sized chunks with a bread knife. Each chunk should be the size of a Ritz cracker.
  3. Now here’s the fun part: Layer three to four pieces of cake into the bottom of a small, four ounce plastic dessert cup (you can use whatever container you like, this is just for presentation). Once the cake is in, cover with one large spoonful of berry mixture and one dollop of Cool Whip. Repeat until top of glass is reached, with whipped cream as the last layer.
  4. Store in refrigerator until berries firm up (about one hour). 
  5. Stick a plastic spoon into each parfait and voila! You’ve got an easy and cheap dessert that is sure to wow your friends or impress your date.

Eight out of nine party guests gave this confection two thumbs way up. (number nine doesn’t enjoy any kind of fruit-based treat).