Thursday, July 3, 2008

oh, say can you see blue jell-o in me?

Everyone loves cake, and who couldn't get a kick out of blue jell-o? So put them together, and you've got jell-o poke cake! To me, jell-o poke cake is the epitome of summer. It's refreshing, and it makes me want to go on a picnic at a park with a really sweet playground.

Jello-o poke cakes are so so much fun for the holidays. Imagine the rainbow of possibilities! Anyway, I decided to make a July 4th-inspired cake for a BBQ with my friends. After dreaming up a slew of overly gaudy cake combinations, I decided on this prettier version, using blue jell-o, strawberry preserves, whipped cream, strawberries, and blueberries.

So nowadays, I seek every opportunity I can to practice my layering skills, and I felt that this cake was just screaming to be cut into layers. All was going well...layers were lovely. But, the moral of the story is, always, always slice your cake into layers using a very long knife. Or else you may end up with a hole in your cake. Eep. But whipped cream was made to fix holes, so no worries. And basically, the hole in this cake did not stop us from consuming it all before midnight. :)

Fabulous Fourth Cake
Adapted from "Simple White Cake"

1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 cup butter
4 eggs
4 tsp. vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 cup milk
1 cup boiling water
1 (3 oz.) package blue gelatin

1 (12 oz.) jar strawberry preserves
1 (8 oz.) container whipped cream
strawberries, sliced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 8-inch cake pans with non-stick cooking spray. Cut pieces of wax paper to fit onto bottom of the pans. Spray with non-stick cooking spray. Dust bottom and sides of pans with flour.

In mixer bowl, cream together the sugar and butter. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in vanilla extract. Combine flour and baking powder, add to the creamed mixture and mix well. Stir in milk until batter is smooth. Pour batter into prepared pans.

Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until top is browned and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

When cakes are completely cool, slice each layer into two, creating four layers total. Place one layer on serving dish, and spread a third of preserves over the cake. Top with second layer, and spread with half of remaining preserves. Top with third layer, and spread remaining preserves over the cake. Place fourth layers on cake-pile, and mountain-on whipped cream (you might not use the whole container). Top cake with strawberries and blueberries. Serve, and sing "The Star Spangled Banner" while consuming. :)

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