Things have been pretty exciting for us recently and I’ve been a little MIA for a while because my husband and I have been in Ecuador on a medical mission trip. I’m so excited to begin sharing about the people we met, the things we saw, and the ministry we were blessed to be apart of. You’ll have to stay tuned for more later.
Today, I wanted to recap our 4th of July. I am proud to live in America! We are so blessed to live in a nation with such wonderful men and women who have worked and are working so hard to preserve our freedoms we so often take for granted. Yesterday we celebrated “America’s Birthday” as my daughter (Little Mouse) has dubbed it. Everyone knows you just can’t have a birthday without cake, so we spent a good portion of our day in the kitchen.
Our baking session didn’t start out too well with mixing up the cake batter. Little Mouse was so excited to help me, and is learning very quickly her way around the kitchen. She is getting good at cracking eggs, and this was her first try at helping to separate the eggs as all we needed were the whites. We did end up with a few yellow spots in our whites, but I thought it was pretty good for her first go round. What I had forgotten was that you can have NO yoke in your whites when you are trying to beat them to form stiff peaks! We beat the eggs for over 30 minutes with no success. After a quick Google search, I accepted the fact that we would have to start over. Unfortunately, I didn’t have 8 more eggs to spare to repeat the recipe, so we moved on to plan “B” – a box mix. 😦 I’m not a fan of box mixes, but they do come in handy at times. Thankfully, I had one in the cabinet. At least I have found a way to make a box mix taste a bit more homemade. So, here is my secret… If you’re ever in a bind and need to whip out a quick cake but don’t have time to make one from scratch, here is what you do.
Semi-Homemade White Cake
1 Pillsbury Classic White box cake mix
1 cup milk
1/3 cup butter, softened
It is that simple, and you can do this with any box mix – substituting equal portions of milk and butter for water and oil. Pour all ingredients into a large bowl and mix on medium-to-high speed until thoroughly mixed and fluffy.
Bake according to package directions.
For our cake, I baked it in a prepared jelly roll pan (grease pan, line with parchment paper, grease again and dust with flour) at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes (or until done). Cool completely and slice into 3 equal portions.
For the filling of our cake, I made a basic whipped cream.
2 cups heavy whipping cream
2-3 Tablespoons powdered sugar
Beat heavy whipping cream on high until soft peaks form. Add powdered sugar (amount based on the level of sweetness you desire) and beat on high until stiff peaks form. Be careful not to over-beat or you will end up with sweet butter. 🙂
I added strawberries and blueberries to create a “patriotic” cake. Just wash and slice strawberries and wash the blueberries. Reserve 1/3 of the whipped cream and 1/3 of the berries for the top of the cake. Stir together the remaining whipped cream and berries.
To assemble the cake, start with 1 layer of cake, 1/2 of the whipped cream and berry mixture, cake and remaining whipped cream and berry mixture, top with last layer of cake, the reserved whipped cream, and then sprinkle the top with the reserved berries. Serve right away, or cover and refrigerate until ready.
This cake was so light and fluffy. It was a little bit richer because of the cake mix than it would have if our shortcake/angel food cake had turned out. All things considered, it was a wonderful dessert and ended up being very easy to make! 🙂
We had friends over for a cookout and dessert and then ended our day by going down to the waterfront to enjoy the fireworks together. It turned out to be a wonderful day and a great way to celebrate after returning to the U.S.!
Little Mouse getting ready for the big show!
My wonderfully crazy crew and their dramatic reactions to the fireworks. 🙂
Hope you all had a wonderful and safe 4th of July celebration of your own!