With Memorial Day tomorrow, I decided to redo an old recipe from 2014.
I never know when I may be asked to make a dessert or want to take a dessert somewhere to share. Sometimes there isn’t a lot of time to make anything fancy, and I tend to favor simple, homemade items over gourmet dishes. I always look through a recipe book before I decide whether to purchase it or not. If there are too many “gourmet” type recipes, I’ll simply return it to the store shelf, feeling not an ounce of regret.
So when I’m in a hurry to make a dessert, I favor cakes and change out the filling to make it fit whatever holiday or event it will end up at. With Memorial Day as with the Fourth of July I think of the colors of the U.S. Flag. Some may think its cliché to do a red, white and blue dessert for such holidays but to me they are the perfect choice.
In fact, I just had a scrumptious dessert this week in Brookville that you could say was red, white and blue. It was a wonderful cream spread between two layers of moist yellow cake. Topping the entire creation was a mixture of raspberries, blueberries and strawberries. The dessert was homemade and after seeing a photo of it on our waitress’ cellphone, I knew I had to try it. Each bite was heaven on a fork. The rich flavor of the berries was complemented with the light cream filling and the moist cake. I could happily have eaten several more slices but I remained in control and savored the single slice I had ordered.
If I could make such a cake, I’d make it every single time I was asked to make a dessert. Heck, I’d even make it if I wasn’t asked to make a dessert, it was that good.
My cake while good could not compare with the fresh berry taste of what I had but for those of us that don’t have the recipe or cannot achieve such scrumptiousness, I have a simple solution.
Using a boxed moist yellow cake mix, and make two layers according to directions. Or if you want to make it slightly healthier, replace any oil called for with applesauce (plain, without any added flavors unless you want your cake to take on that flavor).
Once the cake rounds are baked and cooled, you can begin to assemble your holiday dessert.
I usually have a can of raspberry cake filling that you can find at the grocery store. Or if you cannot find that, you can use pie filling just remember not to use too much or your top cake layer will slide off the one beneath. Place one cake layer on a flat plate or serving pedestal and then spread the filling on top, staying a half inch in from the edges so that the filling doesn’t ooze out when you place the top layer down. Once the top layer is in place you can add some of the raspberry cake filling to the center of the top of the cake and then place fresh raspberries, blueberries and strawberries on top.
Use a whipped topping such as Cool Whip to cover the sides of the cake and place a dollop in the middle of the top. Easy to make and it will look wonderful to your guests.
I’m going to experiment the next time I make a cake like this to see if I can make the cake a day ahead and after cooling the layers completely, storing them in large Ziploc backs to make sure they stay moist. I want to determine if I’m having a really busy week, if I can still make this type of cake over two days and have it turn out just as moist and tasty as if I had made the entire cake in one day, rather than two.
That is part of the fun of baking – experimenting with combinations of flavors. We shouldn’t be afraid to make changes to suit our tastes, such as using strawberries on top and blueberry pie filling in between the cake layers. Or even a lemon filling with fresh raspberries on top would make for a light dessert for any occasion.
As to that scrumptious cake I had the other day, yes, I’ll let you know where to find it. Check out the Courthouse Cafe and Grill on Brookville’s Main Street and just ask for the berry cake.
I think another piece is calling my name right now...