Celebrate the 4th with this patriotic red, white and blue cake!
The holiday weekend is here! And I couldn’t let it pass without a little celebratory sweetness. It seems my margarita kick has given way to a new obsession with blueberries and naked cake. But can you blame me? Berry season is in full swing and of course these sweet little red and blue berries are naturally brimming with patriotism.
I’m going to keep it short and sweet (pun intended) today as we’re gearing up for guests and a little r and r. This red, white and blue cake is comprised of my tried and true red velvet cake and cream cheese icing. I’m keeping it super simple by not icing the sides and topping it off with concentric circles of raspberries, blueberries and piped icing stars. Feel free to omit the icing stars and just continue with the berry circles if you don’t have a star tip handy. Believe me, I get it, we all have better things to do over the long weekend than to fuss.
And did I mention that the best thing about naked cakes is they’re anything but fussy? They’re not supposed to be perfect and they are a great intro into the cake-baking world for any of you cake-decorating-phobics. All you need is a large offset spatula or dough scraper to smooth the edges (and PS they don’t have to be perfectly smooth).
This cake comes together pretty quickly and can be stored, covered, at room temperature or in the frig for a day or so. If you keep it in the refrigerator, just be sure to take it out and let it sit at room temperature for at least 30 mins before serving. Red velvet is always a favorite among my family and friends and it’s the flavor that unites the vanilla and chocolate lovers in world. And what better holiday to celebrate unity? Amidst the sun, sand and fireworks it’s always good to remember that this holiday is about celebrating what makes our country special and those things that unite, rather than divide us.
I’ll see you back here next week after a weekend full of blueberry cocktails, cakes and cones. I’m thinking a salad recipe may be in order for next Tuesday. Until then, I hope you have a fantastic 4th!
- Red Velvet Cake
- 4 oz 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 1½ cups sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 Tbsp red food coloring
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 cups all-pupose flour
- 2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp white vinegar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Cream Cheese Icing
- 12 oz cream cheese softened (brick cream cheese, not whipped)
- 6 oz unsalted butter softened
- 1 1/2 lbs confectioners sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 pint blueberries
- 1/2 pint raspberries
Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees and coat 2 - 8 inch round baking pans with non-stick spray. Measure and cut parchment rounds to fit in the bottom of each pan and place in bottom.
Cream together the butter, oil and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs, one at a time, blending well after each addition.
Add the food coloring and buttermilk and mix until incorporated.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, salt and baking soda.
Slowly add in the flour mixture and mix until just combined.
Add the vinegar and mix, then the vanilla and mix until just combined. Do not overmix.
Divide batter equally between the two prepared pans.
Bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Cream Cheese Icing: Beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy, about 2 minutes on med/high speed with an electric mixer.
Gradually add in confectioners sugar, mixing well to combine.
Stir in vanilla extract until incorporated.
Putting it all together: Slice the top off of each cake to create a nice, flat surface.
Divide each cake in half to create four layers.
Place one layer (save your best for the top layer) on a cake plate and top with one fourth of the cream cheese icing.
Repeat two more times and finally top with the last cake layer. Run a large offset spatula around the cake to smooth. It should look rustic and not too perfect.
Garnish with blueberries and raspberries placed in concentric circles. You can pipe little icing stars using a small star tip in between the berries if desired.