Saturday, June 22, 2013

Summer Berry Trifle

June is turning into dessert month!  I made this trifle for a dinner party recently.  It's a yummy combination of fruit, cream and angel food cake!  I use a box cake mix so this recipe takes very little time to pull together.  My boys got a kick out of the cake getting inverted on a beer bottle when it came out of the oven!  They didn't understand that angel food cake is so light and airy that it would fall under it's own weight if not inverted.  

Summer Berry Trifle:

(Serves 12)


2 cups strawberries
2 cups blueberries
1 cup raspberries
3/4 cup confectioner sugar, divided
3 tsp vanilla extract
11/2cups heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup sour cream
1 angel food cake, cubed or torn into pieces


Prepare cake per package instructions and let cool completely inverted on a bottle.  Cube cooled cake and set aside.  Toss the fruit with 1/4 cup of confectioner sugar plus 2 tsp of vanilla.  Let fruit mixture rest about 15 minutes to allow sugar and fruit to macerate (break down and get syrupy).  Before making the sweetened whipped cream, place the mixing bowl and beaters in the freezer for at least 15 minutes.  The chilled bowl and utensils will allow the cream to set up better.  Mix the heavy whipping cream, 1/2 cup of confectioner sugar and the reminding teaspoon of vanilla until soft peaks form.  Fold sour cream into the mixture.  To assemble the trifle, start with a layer of cake then a 1/2 cup of berries and a 1/2 cup whipped cream mixture.  Repeat layering 2 more times and then top with remaining berries.  Chill the trifle at least 2 hours before serving!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Bananas for Banana Cake!

My youngest son's favorite fruit is the banana so we always have them on hand. This morning, I noticed there were three that had become over ripe.  I was out of milk, but did have buttermilk on hand that I had used in another recipe.  I found a recipe for the cake on, but the reviews of the icing weren't very good so I chose to cover the cake with a simple cream cheese frosting topped with toasted pecans.  It was super moist and light! It passed the grade with the family and with our friends.  I did a backyard dessert exchange with my friend, Sherry.  Slices of the banana cake for slices of her yummy peach cobbler!  I hope you get the chance to try this in your own kitchen soon!

Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting:

1 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
2 eggs, separated
2 or 3 bananas, mashed
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup sour milk or buttermilk
2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix sugar and shortening until creamy. Add egg yolks and bananas, beat thoroughly. Dissolve soda in sour milk. Sift flour, baking powder and salt. Mix alternately. Add vanilla. 

Beat egg whites until stiff and fold into batter. 

Pour into two greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 40 minutes.  Let the cakes cool in the pans before turning out on to racks to cool completely (at least 30-45 minutes).

Cream Cheese Frosting:

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons chopped toasted nuts (optional)


Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat cream cheese and vanilla. Reduce speed and gradually add confectioners’ sugar.

Friday, June 7, 2013

June Means Strawberry Pie!

Last Fall, I wrote an entry about my Nana and her wonderful pies when I shared her apple pie recipe.  Today's entry is one of her summer beauties, strawberry pie!  I love the fresh, light taste of this pie.  It is  a simple recipe that comes together very quickly.  I made the pie crust dough the day before and let it rest in the refridge overnight.  After rolling out the crust, bake at 425* for 15 minutes. Be sure to prick the bottom with a fork to keep it from puffing up and being uneven.

Allow the crust to cool for 15-30 minutes before filling with fruit.  When you make the filling, you need to stir the mixture constantly and watching for the point that the mixture turns clear and thickens.  If you don't thicken it enough, your pie will be runny and if it gets too thick, it won't set up right with the fresh fruit.  

This pie takes about 25 minutes to prepare and 2-3 hours of chilling time in the fridge.  Since I had enough dough for a second crust, I also threw together a chocolate pie using Jello chocolate pudding and following the recipe on the side of the box!  It too only took 15-20 minutes to prepare! These summer pies are great ways to have dessert without a lot of effort or mess :)