Festive Dessert for the 4th

Every year friends of ours from the lake have a huge 4th of July party. We play volleyball, swim, eat, laugh, do lots of visiting, and watch fireworks from the boats. It is always so much fun, and we look forward to it all summer long. It’s an all-day affair, so there’s plenty of time to sample all the good food and treats that everyone brings, and perhaps enjoy a cocktail or two.

I always make a dessert and a side, and breakfast for the host family for the next morning. Hosting such a large gathering is a monster undertaking that requires all the normal party prep plus setting up tents and tables & chairs. And of course the clean up that night and the next day. It’s a lot! So I bring breakfast so they have something filling and yummy, but doesn’t require more than a heat-thru. In years past I have made cinnamon rolls, coffee cake, and breakfast pockets. Their favorite is the breakfast pockets, so I am making those again this year. They can be reheated in the oven, toaster oven, or microwave, and are quick and delicious.

Breakfast Pockets– makes 12

  • 3 tubes Crescent Rolls
  • 1/2 lb Bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1/2 roll Sausage, cooked and crumbled
  • 6 Eggs
  • 1 Cup Cheddar Cheese, shredded
  • Splash of Milk
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 2 T Butter

Cook and crumble bacon and sausage, set aside. Crack eggs, add splash of milk, mix in bacon, sausage, and cheese. Melt butter in large skillet, pour in egg mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Keep stirring slowly until you have soft scrambled eggs. Do NOT overcook! Remove pan from heat.

On large cookie sheet or stone, press together perforated edges of 2 crescent triangles to make a large rectangle. Spread 2-3 Tablespoons cooked egg mixture on one half of rectangle, leaving a small margin around edges to seal the crescents together. Fold empty half of crescent over the side with egg mixture and press with fingers or a fork to seal the margin, creating a pocket. Repeat with all 12 pockets. Bake according to crescent roll package directions, until golden brown, but not overcooked. Remove from oven and move pockets to cooling rack to cool completely. Refrigerate in Ziplock bags or airtight container, separating layers with parchment or waxed paper. To reheat, place in microwave for 30 seconds, or oven for 5-7 minutes.

I have also made these in batches with only one meat, and store bacon vs sausage in separate Ziplock bags. You can also use diced ham or veggie. Just think of all the breakfast possibilities!

This year I decided to make a red, white & blue cake. I will be completely honest with you and say that I seriously dreamed of 2 desserts for an entire night. I even made each dessert in my dream 2 different ways. Girl, you’ve got problems! The best part is, my dreams failed me! I made the cake exactly as I did in dream sequence #1, but the frosting was much too heavy (tasting and weight) and thick, which caused very bad things to happen like frosting glopping down the edges and smearing the beauty of the colors. UGH!!! So I sliced it up and delivered it to my BFF and my in-laws and made another cake. Major Blog-Fail! But I got it right the 2nd time, and it’s perfect, I promise. The flavors of the cake and 2 different fruit spreads are absolutely to die for, light, and delicious. You will make this cake for more than the 4th of July, and I would encourage you to experiment with other fruit flavors.

After all the “no, No NOOOOO!” of the first cake-tastrophy, I did a lot of laughing at the fail and thinking about what I liked and didn’t like, as well as what I really wanted from this cake. The result of those thoughts is the cake you will find here. It’s perfect in every way from flavor profile to presentation. I could not be happier with this flag cake. Sissay, Little Guy, and their friend Lane (unfortunately for them) got to see my excitement as it all came together and I danced around the kitchen and squealed like a little girl with excitement. The girls each ate one small piece, then two pieces, then I stopped paying attention. I guarantee they kept thinking, “Seriously, it’s a cake. No need to be that excited, ya big dork.” But they never said any of that out loud. Instead they raved about the flavors and kept eating, and smiled and laughed when I’d get all goofy and dance. Thanks, kiddos for letting your momma be a big baking nerd.

Lisa’s Red, White & Blue Cake

  • 1 White Cake Mix, make according to package instructions
  • 1 lb fresh Strawberries, rinsed, cored and rough chopped
  • 1 pint fresh Blueberries, rinsed
  • 1 Cup sugar, divided
  • 1 Cool Whip, 8oz thawed
  • Fresh Strawberries and Blueberries for garnish

Seriously, that’s all you need! Make your white cake according to the box. Line a sheet pan/bar pan with parchment paper, and spread cake mix evenly, doing your best to get mix into the corners. Bake according to package temperature for 18 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on cooling rack. You can remove cake from pan after about 20 minutes and cool parchment/cake on cooling rack to speed it up a bit.

While your cake is in the oven, chop your strawberries and grab 2 medium sauce pans. Put strawberries in one, blueberries in the other. Add 1/2 Cup Sugar to each saucepan, and bring to low boil over medium heat. Stir occasionally to move fruit and sugar around and prevent sticking and burning. Low boil for about 15 minutes until both pans have a lot of foam. You’ll know it when you see it. Remove from heat and transfer, one fruit at a time, to blender or use an immersion blender right in the saucepan. Blend until no chunks or lumps remain. Mixture will be thinner than jelly. Go ahead, taste them both. You may just start making your own jelly after this. **There will be more than enough fruit spread for the cake and tasting and to put on your toast the next day. You’re welcome. If you are not planning to cut up fruit and decorate the top of the cake, consider drizzling some of each fruit spread over the Cool Whip. That will be beautiful and tasty too.

While we waited for everything to cool, Little Guy wanted to do a little fishing. He caught a catfish and Quinn investigated.

The nerd in me grabbed Superman’s tape measure to make sure I cut the cake equally. And since I’m amazing at math, 15 divided by 3 = 5, so each layer of the cake is 5″ wide.

You can see my knife marks at 5 inches

With a cooled and cut cake, and cooled fruit spreads, you can begin to construct your masterpiece. I flipped each layer of cake over so I had a more even surface to work with. Using a large kitchen spoon, I put 2 spoonfulls of blueberry on the bottom layer and spread out to the edges. Because I wanted the flavor to be present and not just a little hint, I added one more spoonful and spread it around again. If some runs down the edges, that’s ok, and it makes it look better in my opinion. Continue with the next cake layer and then put the strawberry spread on, following the 2 spoonfulls, then add 1 more.

Add your last layer of cake and spread about 1 Cup of Cool Whip on top. I tried to make it as smooth as possible because I wanted to give the fresh fruit design a blank canvas. Don’t feel like you need to use the whole container of Cool Whip, a thin layer will be perfect without overtaking the flavors. I found similar-sized blueberries for my stars section of the flag, and cored and quartered strawberries for the stripes. Obviously I did not even attempt to be accurate with my numbers, that’s not what I was going for, and this is a small surface to work with. One of my friends teasingly suggested I create the Navy emblem rather than the US flag because Superman is a Navy veteran. I declined. That emblem is not something I would ever attempt with fruit šŸ™‚

This cake is best served cold. Refrigerate for a few hours before you head to your party so it stays cold. If you are going to be outside in the heat, keep it covered and place your cake plate on ice or ice packs. It shouldn’t last very long once word gets out that it’s so good.

Happy 4th of July, America! Please take a moment to thank God for blessing us with the freedoms we enjoy, and remember those who have served in our armed forces or surrendered their lives throughout our country’s history so we can live free.

4 thoughts on “Festive Dessert for the 4th

  1. I was fortunate enough to try a bite as the slice of cake was for my man. He said it was amazing and he knows cake!

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    1. Thank you so much! It is quite possibly my favorite cake I have ever made. The flavors and lightness of the cake are so prefect for the summer, or any time really. Iā€™m so glad you both liked it.

      Like

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