I made this cake for a Memorial Day get-together (though it would be great for the Fourth of July or any other patriotic themed party as well), and no, those layers aren't just dyed red and blue - the top layer is fresh strawberry cake, the middle is white cake, and the bottom layer is fresh blueberry cake. The cake uses real, fresh ingredients but it doesn't take hours slaving in the kitchen to make. You know quick & easy (and beautiful) are my M.O.
I used a little cheat, too. The cake is made from a box with some adaptations to the recipe done by yours truly.
What you'll need:
1 box white cake mix - use your favorite, I chose Pillsbury of course
3 (large) egg whites
1 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
6-8 large strawberries
1 cup blueberries
a few drops of red food coloring
a few drops of blue food coloring
24 ounces vanilla frosting (homemade or store bought. I used Pillsbury Vanilla. 24 ounces is 1 1/2 regular tubs of store bought icing)
Blueberries & Strawberries for decorating
For this recipe, you will need 3 medium mixing bowls, 9" cake pans (preferably 2 but you can bake in batches), and a blender or food processor.
Grease your cake pans. Preheat oven to 325.
In one mixing bowl, mix cake mix, water, oil, and egg whites with whisk or hand mixer. Separate the batter equally into three bowls.
In food processor (or blender), blend strawberries completely. The mixture will be smooth and slightly frothy. 6-8 large strawberries should make about 1 1/4 to 1 1/12 cups pureed. Fold the strawberry puree in with one bowl of cake batter. Mix well, add red food coloring and continue mixing until you reach desired shade of red.
Again, in food processor, blend 1 cup blueberries completely. Fold blueberry puree in with another of the three bowls of cake batter. Mix well, add blue food coloring until you reach desired shade of blue.
The two fruit cakes need to bake slightly longer than the plain white cake. I had two 9" pans, so I greased both of them well, poured the fruit batters in each of them and baked them first.
Pour strawberry cake mix into one, well-greased cake pan. Pour blueberry cake mix into another well-greased cake pan. Bake at 325 for about 30 minutes (28-32 minutes) until a toothpick inserted in center comes out MOSTLY clean. Most cakes when done, will leave a toothpick clean. The extra-moistness of the fruit cakes will leave a little bit of colored cake on the toothpick even when done. Touch the top to check for sponginess if you are unsure.
Allow to cool for several minutes, then turn out of pan onto a cooling rack or plate to finish cooling.
If you are reusing a pan from the fruit cakes, wipe out the colored residue and regrease pan. Pour white cake mix into pan, bake for 23-26 minutes at 325. Remove from oven and allow to completely cool.
Start with the blueberry cake on bottom. Top that cake with a thin, even layer of icing, then add white cake. Top white cake with another thin, even layer of icing. Finally, top with red cake and ice cake completely - top and around edges.
If you want, make "stars & stripes" using thin sliced strawberries and whole blueberries
Slice & Enjoy!
This cake is one that also tastes great served cold, so you can pop it in the refrigerator if you need to prepare it ahead of time.
Happy Memorial Day! Remember what we are celebrating :)