“Independence” is a dirty word and one that is impossible to escape right now.
I hate to be a “Debbie Downer” but I am SO fed up with the EU Referendum and the impending economic gloom we are all to suffer until the eventual signing of Article 50 and the UK officially leaves Europe. So god bless America, July 4th and Independence Day for a more positive outlook this weekend – I know, rather hypercritical for a Brit to celebrate independence from her mother country, but who can resist a good party?!!
We will be celebrating July 4th with our annual dinner ritual at Daniel’s Broiler. Not only is this the best steak house in the city (the Dungeness Crab Legs are mouthwateringly good too!), but we are always blessed with the same table outside on the deck with front row views of the firework display over Lake Union – spectacular!!!
This year, however, is going to be extra XL-special, as Freddie (one of my BFF’s), will be flying out for the weekend. I am SO EXCITED to show her my new home city and her trip also provides me with the perfect excuse to stuff myself with all foods American (think Top Pot Donuts, Red Robin Burgers and See’s Candy!) – all in aid of being a good hostess, of course!
So to welcome Freddie and celebrate American Independence, I have made this delightfully patriotic Stars and Stripes Cake.
This cake has everything you could possibly want for your July 4th celebrations – cake, buttercream frosting, cake, berries, and did I mention CAKE? And with the healthy addition of fresh fruit berries, the bad calories of the cake are completely balanced out – well that last part may not be totally true, but who cares, it looks AND tastes great doesn’t it?!!
Wait, there’s more! This cake also has a deep and (not so) dark secret. The patriotism doesn’t stop at the decorative outer, for when the cake is cut a red, white and blue theme is revealed inside, giving you double the BANG for your buck – yippee!
I used a strawberry flavour cake mix for the red sponge layer and a blue cake sponge for the upper layer. However, you could easily use regular sponge cake mix for both layers and add a few drops of red and blue food colouring to the dough for the same knock-out results.
To get started on your July 4th Cake, simply prepare your strawberry sponge cake mix, as per the box directions, and bake in a square cake pan (as seen below, using my favourite USA Pan cake pan!)
Then prepare your blue sponge cake mix, as per the box directions, and bake in a square cake pan – I use a Dough Whisk, which makes short work of mixing the dough and can be thrown in the dishwasher for fuss-free clean up – and who doesn’t like that?!!
Once both cakes are baked and have cooled, spread a thick layer of buttercream frosting on top of the red sponge cake and top it with the blue sponge layer. Then completely cover the cake with the remaining frosting.
To decorate, lay the blueberries in rows at the top left hand corner of the cake to represent the stars of the American flag. Then decorate the rest of the cake with the sliced strawberries, placing them in horizontal stripes.
If you are making the cake in advance, cover and place the cake in the fridge after decorating with the buttercream. You should wait to add the berries until just before serving in order to avoid the fruit drying out.
Followers in the UK, France, Germany, Italy, or Spain can now buy our favourite kitchen tools and gadgets at the Arugula & Rocket Store on Amazon. Readers in the USA can visit the Tovolo and USA Pan websites.
Stars & Stripes Cake
1 Pack of Red Strawberry Sponge Cake Mix (and required ingredients)
1 Pack of Blue Sponge Cake Mix (and required ingredients)
2 Tubs of Buttercream Frosting
Blueberries, Whole (approx. 20)
Strawberries, Sliced (approx. 6)
Prepare the strawberry sponge cake mix, as per the box directions, and bake in a square cake pan – alternatively use regular cake mix and add a few drops of red food colouring.
Prepare the blue sponge cake mix, as per the box directions, and bake in a square cake pan – alternatively use regular cake mix and add a few drops of blue food colouring.
Once both cakes are baked and have completely cooled, spread a layer of buttercream frosting on top of the red sponge cake and top with the blue sponge cake.
Cover the cake with the remaining buttercream frosting.
Add the blueberries to the top left hand corner of the cake in rows to represent the stars.
Add the sliced strawberries to the rest of the cake in horizontal stripes.
Slice and serve.