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Recipes: Fourth of July/Memorial Day Cakes

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Sparkling Lemon Picnic Cake

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons grated fresh lemon zest
(from 2-3 lemons)
4 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream (not fat free variety)

2 1/4 cups powdered sugar (unsifted)
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (from 2-3 lemons)

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease and flour 9 x 13-inch baking pan.

In medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside.

In large bowl with mixer on high speed, beat the sugar, butter, oil and lemon zest until smooth, about 30 seconds. Add 2 of the eggs and the egg yolk and beat on high for 30 seconds. Scrape bowl and add remaining 2 eggs and vanilla extract. Beat on high for 4 minutes until light and sugar has dissolved.

To creamed mixture, add half of the dry ingredients and 1/2 cup of sour cream. Mix on medium speed for 30 seconds. Scrape bowl well. Add remaining dry ingredients and sour cream. Mix on low until smooth. Beat batter on high speed for 1 minute, scraping bowl well.

Pour into prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes or until center just starts to spring back when touched. Top of cake should be a light golden color.

While cake bakes, make the glaze. Combine powdered sugar and lemon juice in medium mixing bowl. Whisk or stir until very smooth and opaque.

Remove cake from oven and immediately poke small holes into cake using a wooden pick. Slowly pour half of the glaze over cake, spreading slowly to cover entire surface. Let cake absorb glaze, then slowly pour remaining glaze over cake. Allow cake to rest 5 minutes and absorb glaze.

Turn on oven broiler and broil cake until glaze just starts to bubble and cake top is golden brown.

Cool cake for 2 hours before cutting. Dust with additional powdered sugar just before serving, if desired. Serves 24.

Baker's hint: Start pouring glaze over center of cake. This will help the cake absorb the glaze evenly so it doesn't pool in the corners.


Star Spangled Banner Cake

2 (18.25 ounce) boxes white or yellow cake mix
Strawberry or raspberry jam
Fresh strawberries or raspberries
Prepared white icing
1 pint blueberries

Prepare two 9 x 13-inch layers white or yellow cake.

Spread strawberry or raspberry jam on one layer, then stack the second layer on top. Frost with white icing and make stripes, using halved strawberries or whole raspberries. Leave room for field of blueberries. Make field of blueberries and use miniature marshmallows or whipped cream for the stars.

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