My family is crazy over blueberries. My husband loves them sprinkled in his cereal, oatmeal—even in his yogurt. My son loves to eat them frozen right out of the freezer until his fingers are a lovely shade of purple. I just eat them fresh from the carton. With me, they rarely survive long enough to adorn any cereal or oatmeal. We even have a small blueberry bush in our yard. Very small. We get about 6 blueberries a year on our precious little bush (Yes, that's 6 blueberries and not a typo). It’s ridiculous how excited we get over each one!
In Water Lily, Aiden introduces Lily to the Summer Festival. He surprises her with a Festival Cake. Of course, there are blueberries in the cake, because . . . BLUEBERRIES!!
He reached into his sack again. He held a small package in his hands, loosely wrapped in paper. Peeling back the parchment, he revealed a miniature cake. Blueberries stuck to the sugary icing. It was just like the one the boy had shoved into his face.
“For you. Your first Festival Cake.”
“How did . . . when did you get this?” I asked, taking the cake and holding it like it was some precious treasure.
“I saw you watching young mister Carter enjoying one. I thought you might like one, too.”
This cake recipe actually comes from an old Betty Crocker cookbook that my grandmother had. It’s called a dinette cake and is described as “a tender, golden cake for small families.” You can call it whatever you want, but we call it delicious!
Summer Festival Cake
1 ½ cups cake flour or 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ tsp salt
¾ cup milk
1/3 cup shortening (we use canola oil and it works fine!)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 3-ounce packages of cream cheese
½ cup softened butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 ½ to 5 cups sifted powered sugar
jar of blueberry preserves
1 to 2 cups of fresh blueberries, the more the merrier!
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour square pan, 8x8x2 or 9x9x2 inches. Mix all of the cake ingredients in bowl until well mixed. Pour into pan.
Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool.
(The fun part!)
Beat together the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until fluffy. Add in ½ cup of the blueberry preserves. Gradually add in the powdered sugar, one cup at a time. Mix well, until you get the consistency you prefer.
Cut the cake in half. Spread some frosting on the first layer. Generously sprinkle with fresh blueberries. Place the second layer on top. Spread with frosting and sprinkle with more fresh blueberries. Yum! Of course, you could always add strawberries or bananas (another favorite).