Saturday, May 21, 2011

From My Kitchen: Princess Tiara Cake & Summer Berry Medley

Tomorrow is Amelia's fifth birthday.

I can't believe that she's already five! Whoever said "The days are long but the years are short," was soooo right.

We had a birthday celebration today, complete with a homemade princess tiara cake. I called on my 4-H days and made a nifty cut-up cake. Here's how you do it.

First, you need a princess to help you make a 9x13 sheet cake.


Add a couple of eggs...


Here's the big tip on cut-up cakes: You MUST grease and flour your pan. Even though the box recipe says to grease the bottom only, I sprayed my whole pan with Pam for baking and the cake came out easy-peasy.

The cake won't raise as high if you grease the sides of the pan, since the batter can't cling to the sides as it bakes. That's actually a good thing here. Your cake will still be delicious, but it will be a little flatter and slightly more dense, which makes it easier to work with. Most importantly, it will pop right out of the pan.

Cool the cake completely, flip onto a cutting board and use a paper template to cut out your princess tiara.

I spread a thin layer of frosting on the cake while it was on my cutting board, let it dry a bit, and then carefully transferred it to my serving platter. Before I moved the cake, I covered my serving platter with strips of parchment paper so my platter would stay clean. Once I frosted the cake, I carefully pulled the parchment paper strips out and took the mess with it. Voila!

It wasn't a fancy cake with fondant and cake decorator touches, but I was proud of how it turned out. I used a small biscuit cutter to make the round "jewels." At Amelia's request, we frosted a couple blue for the boys who were going to be at the party.

In the interest of full disclosure, this was my second attempt. The first attempt crumbled as I tried to cut it and had to be declared a cake-tastrophe.

Which brings me to my second recipe. I hated to waste a whole 9x13 sheet cake, even though it was a sorry mess. So, I tore it into bite-sized pieces and served it with this yummy Summer Berry Medley and lightly sweetened real whipped cream. It was the perfect dessert for the grown-ups to enjoy while the kids ate birthday cake.

The original recipe, which calls for limoncello liqueur and fresh mint (and is amazing!), comes from Cooking Light via my friend Heather. I didn't have mint on hand, and left out the liqueur in deference to the kids, though none of them ate it anyway. You can make this with any combination of berries.

Here's the variation I made today.

Summer Berry Medley
1 cup fresh raspberries
1 1/2 cups fresh blackberries
2 cups hulled fresh strawberries, quartered
1 cup fresh blueberries
1/4 cup sugar (start with half and adjust according to taste)
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
Juice of one lemon

Toss all ingredients gently and let stand for 15 minutes. Serve over cubed cake (yellow, white, angel food or pound cake would all be delicious) with slightly sweetened real whipped cream.

It's even more delicious if you happen to have a five-year-old princess around to eat it with you.

© Trippin' Mama 2011

1 comment:

Aunt Mary said...

Happy Birthday AMELIA!