So if you’re hosting a little Fourth of July get together, or are in charge of bringing dessert to the BBQ you are attending, then pay attention. This cake is what you should bring. And the best part is that it’s really versatile. Even if you don’t get a chance to make it this week for the Fourth, you can make it another time! I’ve done it as two round cake layers for birthdays, and as a large rectangle that I decorated as a flag for the Fourth last year. I even just did it yesterday for the joint birthday party I threw (more pictures to come)!
Cake recipe adapted from here.
2 cups cake flour (you can use regular flour and corn starch, see here)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup milk
2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Zest of 2 lemons
1 stick butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 container whipping cream (if doing two rounds), 1/2 container (if doing rectangle)
1/4 cup sugar, optional
Decorations for American flag-
2 cups sliced strawberries
1/3 cup blueberries
If not doing a flag, you can decorate with whatever fruit you like. I just did strawberries and then created some decorative flags with washi tape and toothpicks.
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter 2 round cake pans, or 1 large rectangle (13 x 9). Line each with a sheet of parchment paper (cut into a circle if you’re doing round pans). Then butter the top of the parchment paper.
2. Mix flour and baking soda in a small bowl. In a separate bowl, mix milk, lemon zest, and lemon juice.
3. Beat softened butter with paddle attachment in electric mixer until creamy. Add sugar, and continue beating until fluffy. Add eggs and then scrape down sides. Now alternate between the flour mixture and the milk mixture, starting and ending with flour.
4. Pour the batter into your pan(s). Bake for 25 minutes if you’re doing a rectangle, or 20 minutes if you’re doing two rounds, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes, then invert pan(s) onto a rack to cool. Let cake(s) cool completely before frosting.
5. Once the cake(s) have cooled, beat whipping cream on high with whisk attachment in electric mixer. You can add sugar if you want it to be a bit sweeter, but you can also do it with just the whipping cream. Once the cream is standing in peaks (you can see these by stopping mixer and lifting up whisk, if the cream stands up on its own in peaks, it’s done).
6. Place cake on plate to serve. If you’re just doing the rectangle, go ahead and frost the entire cake. Then decorate the top with fruit. If you’re doing two rounds, place one cake on plate and frost this cake. Place a layer of strawberries on top. Then do another layer of frosting before putting the second cake on top. Finish with another layer of frosting (you can just do it on top, or cover the entire thing). Then finish with fruit on top to decorate.