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Friday, August 10, 2012

Who Says Box Cake Can't Be Delicious?

I love the Olympics. I remember freaking out when Dominique Moceanu won gold for the U.S. in 1996. I was 6 and totally in love with her. I wanted to be her, and I started gymnastics that year. I didn't last long. Soccer, swimming, and gymnastics are my favorite sports to watch, and so far the United States has done a pretty great job bringing home medals in all three (woooo go US Women's soccer! I love them so so much). Also, how amazing is the Chinese diving team? They're fantastic!

Anyway, when Annelih suggested we make something Olympic themed for this week's recipe adventure (and I apologize for how late it is!), I decided I'd make something in honor of the US Olympic athletes. I also wanted an excuse to use an excess amount of strawberries and bluberries. And whipped cream. Sooo much whipped cream.

I also decided to make a cake that looked like Captain America's shield because why not? As one of my friend's mentioned recently, Cap would totally take the gold in the decathlon. It's not even up for debate.

Another confession: I love box cake. I went through a phase where I refused to settle for anything less than everything from scratch. I tried dozens of cake recipes, and while most were delicious, I soon realized that I still loved good old Duncan Hines, Betty Crocker, and Jiffy cakes from a box. Plus, you can just add a little orange zest or almond extract to the batter to give it some extra oomph. It can totally hide the fact that you didn't slave over the cake for hours.

So yes, I decided to make a box cake for this week instead of making it from scratch. And it was light and fluffy and delicious. Lucky for me, whipped cream and berries can make any cake look way harder to make than it really was.

Whipped cream recipe and how I decorated the cake behind the cut!

For the Cake:
1 box of cake mix, any brand. I used Betty Crocker's white cake mix.
3 eggs
1 1/4 cups water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 orange, for zest
1 small carton of blueberries 
1 lb of strawberries, halved
10" cake pan 

For the cake I just followed the box's instructions. I baked the cake at 325F but because my cake was larger than any of the sizes listed on the back of the cake mix box, I baked it for about 35 minutes rather than following the instructions for the other sizes listed.

To doctor up the batter, I folded in about a tablespoon of orange zest.

The only real recipe I have for this week is the whipped cream, which is very easy to make.

For the Whipped Cream:
1 pint heavy whipping cream
2 tbsp confectioners sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Combine ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Blend together on a low speed until all of the sugar has dissolved. Increase to a medium speed and whip the cream mixture until soft peaks begin to form, about 4 minutes or so. You don't want to over whip the mixture because then you'll have butter instead of whipped cream!

Chill until you're ready to cover the cake in whipped cream.

The cake decorating was pretty easy too. I know everyone can probably figure out how to do it just by looking at it, but just in case: first, cover the cake in a light layer of whipped cream.

Place a star-shapped cookie cutter on the center of the cake to use as a stencil, and pipe whipped cream into the cookie cutter until it reaches just past the top of the stencil. Use a knife to level off the whipped cream until it is level with the cookie cutter. Remove the makeshift stencil gently.

Arrange blueberries around the star in a circular pattern, then surround with a ring of strawberry halves. Pipe a ring of whipped cream around the strawberries, then surround that with another ring of strawberries. That's it! Best enjoyed with a cup of tea or milk and while watching the Olympics.

Be sure to check out Rhiannon's Olympic quinoa fruit salad and Annelih's Devils on Horseback!

This week I'm participating in Strut Your Stuff Saturday, Show and Tell Saturday, and Say G'Day Saturday!


  1. This cake looks delicious!! Thanks for sharing on out Strut Your Stuff Saturday! We hope you'll be back to share more delicious recipes and ideas! -The Sisters

  2. This looks fantastic!
    And I agree, sometimes a cake-mix can be really really good:D



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