Tuesday, June 18, 2013

4th of July Dessert Ideas!


These are some of the desserts I've whipped up for 4th of July's past. I LOVE planning out festive desserts so even when I wasn't blogging I still took pictures and saved recipes, this year I'm thinking of doing a beautiful layered trifle because it's one of those desserts you can justify eating, "whhhat? Cheating? I'm not cheating, this sucker has fruit in it!" Yeah...we will see, it's still in the works. I hope these give you some inspiration for your patriotic get together!

Okay...the colors weren't supposed to be this faded but I ran out of food coloring hence the creative (improvising) name. At least these colors look more "natural." It might look intimidating but believe me, it's pretty easy.

Red Cake Layer
1 box white cake mix
1 pint (2 cups) strawberries, stems removed, pureed in blender or food processor to about 1 1/4 cups
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 egg whites
1 tsp red paste food color

Blue Cake Layer
1/2 box white cake mix (about 1 2/3 cups dry mix)
1/2 cup blueberries, pureed in blender or food processor
3 TBS vegetable oil
2 whole eggs
1/2 tsp blue paste food color

White Cake Layer
1/2 box white cake mix (about 1 2/3 cups dry mix)
1/2 cup water
2 TBS vegetable oil
2 egg whites
Sprinkles (optional)

Directions:

1.To make red cake layers:
Heat oven to 350°F. Grease or spray two 8-inch round pans; place 8-inch round piece cooking parchment paper in bottom of each pan. Grease or spray parchment paper. In large bowl, beat red cake layer ingredients with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds, then on high speed about 2 minutes or until smooth. Spread in pans. Bake 29 to 34 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched. Cool 10 minutes; run knife around sides of pans to loosen cakes. Gently remove from pans to cooling rack; remove parchment paper. Cool completely, about 30 minutes. Flatten cake layers by trimming off rounded tops. Cut layers in half horizontally to make 4 thin red layers. In 1 layer, cut small round out of center, using 4-inch biscuit cutter. Wrap and freeze 1 thin layer and the layer that was cut out of; save for another use.

2.To make blue cake layer:
Heat oven to 350°F. Grease or spray 8-inch round pan; place 8-inch round piece cooking parchment paper in bottom of pan. Grease or spray parchment paper. In medium bowl, beat all blue cake layer ingredients with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds, then on high speed about 2 minutes or until smooth. Spread in pan. Bake 29 to 34 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched. Cool 10 minutes; run knife around side of pan to loosen cake. Gently remove from pan to cooling rack; remove parchment paper. Cool completely, about 30 minutes. Flatten cake layer by trimming off rounded top. Do not cut in half horizontally. Cut small round out of center, using 4-inch round biscuit cutter. Wrap and freeze 4-inch round; save for another use.

3.To make white cake layer:
Heat oven to 350°F. Grease or spray 8-inch round pan; place 8-inch round piece cooking parchment paper in bottom of pan. Grease or spray parchment paper. In medium bowl, beat white cake layer ingredients with electric mixer on high speed about 2 minutes or until smooth. Spread in pan. Bake 29 to 34 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched. Cool 10 minutes; run knife around side of pan to loosen cake. Gently remove from pan to cooling rack; remove parchment paper. Cool completely, about 30 minutes. Flatten cake layer by trimming off rounded top. Cut layer in half horizontally to make 2 thin white layers. In 1 layer, cut small round out of center, using 4-inch biscuit cutter. Wrap and freeze the layer that was cut out of; save for another use.

4.To assemble cake:
Place 1 red cake layer on cake stand or serving platter; spread 1/3 cup frosting on top. Top with 1 white cake layer; spread 1/3 cup frosting on top. Top with second red cake layer; spread 1/3 cup frosting on top. Gently top with blue layer. Carefully spread thin layer of frosting on cut edge inside of blue cake layer. Gently insert white 4-inch cake round; top with frosting and then red 4-inch cake round; press slightly. Frost side and top of cake using remaining frosting. Top with sprinkles. Store loosely covered in refrigerator


Recipe:

makes 12 cupcakes or 48 mini cupcakes

1 (12 ounce) package vanilla wafers
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
3/4 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For Garnish: 1 cup heavy whipping cream with 2 TBS confectioners sugar
Fresh blueberries and strawberries

Directions:

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin tins paper liners.

2.Place 1 vanilla wafer at the bottom on each lined muffin tin.

3.In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, eggs and vanilla until light and fluffy. Fill each muffin liner with this mixture, almost to the top.

4.Bake for 15 minutes. Cool. Top with a dollop of cool whip or homemade whipped cream and fruit.



Recipe:

Crust:
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened and sliced

Filling:
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Topping:
Fresh strawberries, blueberries, raspberries

Directions:

1.Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2.For the crust: In a food processor, combine the confectioners' sugar, flour, and butter, and process until the mixture forms a ball. With your fingers, press the dough into a 12-inch tart pan with a removable bottom, taking care to push the crust into the indentations in the sides. Pat until the crust is even. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until very lightly browned. Set aside to cool.

3.For the filling and topping: Beat the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla together until smooth. Spread over the cooled crust. Cut the strawberries into 1/4-inch slices and arrange around the edge of the crust. Fill the rest of the space with the remainder of the fruit, have fun with it! You could do a circular pattern or try out a festive flag pattern!

4.Keep the tart in the refrigerator. Remove about 15 minutes before serving. Slice into 8 wedges and serve.

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