OK, so the title should probably be lavender or perhaps lilac blueberry cake, but it's a work in progress and a deep, rich purple is the goal. I am aiming for a purple like Juana Cocina's blueberry sour cream ice cream, which is out of control gorgeous. And I am aiming to create rich color without using artificial food dyes. But the spectacular color was not to be this time. Oh well. My five (and a half) year old son and I had fun baking this cake. So did some of his Lego friends, especially Captain America who defended us from the flour monster.
This week's theme for #SundaySupper is kids in the kitchen. Getting kids in the kitchen early and getting them involved in making some of their own food is a great idea. It builds basic cooking skills like measuring, reading recipes (my boy isn't there yet, but he will be), some basic math, some nutritional information, but more important it creates a sense of comfort and confidence in a kitchen, like this is a place that you know and feel at home in. The best way to control what and how much you eat is to learn to cook it yourself. Without the confidence built from familiarity, the kitchen can seem intimidating. (I've written about fear in the kitchen before.) Thankfully, my boy won't grow up with that fear.
I asked him what he wanted to make for this blog post, and he decided he wanted to make a cake and frosting from Williams-Sonoma's The Kid's Cookbook, which has lots of great somewhat simplified recipes (good for adults too) that are almost all made from scratch (which is really important to me; I am afraid I don't much care for "recipes" that start with processed, packaged foods). From the basic recipes in there, we modified them a bit to try to get color into the cake and the frosting. Like I said, I am not ecstatic about how the color turned out and will probably have to try a few more variations until I get it as purple as I want it to be, but it's a tasty cake anyway. (As you will no doubt notice, I am not skilled when it comes to decorating cakes. Perhaps one day I will learn to do better, for now, I'll just muddle through.)
FOR THE CAKE
- butter for greasing the cake pan (about 1 Tbsp)
- flour for the pan (about 2 Tbsps)
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 tsps baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 tsps vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup pureed frozen blueberries (I really like Wyman's frozen wild blueberries)
- 1/3 cup milk
- 12 Tbsps butter, room temperature
- 3 cups confectioner's sugar (sifted)
- 2 Tbsps pureed frozen blueberries, strained
- 2 Tbsps heavy cream
- 1 1/2 tsps vanilla extract
- plus about a cup of blueberry jam for the inside of the cake
FOR THE CAKE
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Then grease and flour an 8-inch springform pan:
Measure flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl and mix it together. Set it aside for now.
Add sugar and butter to a mixer bowl. Beat with the paddle attachment of your stand mixer until the butter and sugar are creamy.
Add the eggs and vanilla and continue beating the mix until smooth. Reduce the speed on the machine and add the blueberry puree and the milk. Finally, add the flour mixture.
Combine everything quickly, but completely, and spread the batter into your springform pan (note, the batter isn't very runny, you will want to smooth it out with a spatula). And, because I trust the farmer who raises my eggs, I let my son sop the pot. (I wouldn't do this with industrial eggs anymore.)
Bake it in the oven for 45 to 50 minutes. When it's done (test for doneness with a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake; if it comes out dry, the cake is done), take it out and let it cool in the pan on a baking rack for 15 minutes.
Then, get the cake out of the pan and let it cool completely on the baking rack. Go ahead and get out your butter to soften and blueberries to defrost during this time. (My boo and I watched Captain America while it cooled; it was on the fourth of July that we baked this after all.)
FOR THE FROSTING
To make the frosting, puree about a quarter cup of blueberries and strain the puree. I went ahead and poured the heavy cream through the strainer to try and pick up more of the color.
Add the butter, cream, blueberry puree, vanilla, and confectioner's sugar to your mixer bowl.
Beat until the frosting is fluffy.
Cut the cake into two layers. Spread a layer of blueberry jam on the bottom layer. Then gently place the top layer onto the bottom layer. Try to line them up as evenly as possible.
Spread a thin layer of frosting all over the cake. This layer is called the crumb layer and will basically glue down the crumbs. Then spread a thick layer of frosting all over. To make my super fancy border, spoon frosting into a plastic bag, cut a tip off one corner, and push out one little dollop of frosting at a time all around the outside rim of the cake.
Then invite some friends over to eat it.
And of course, it wouldn't be #SundaySupper without all the other great meals that my fellow bloggers have put together this week. Check out all these tasty meals that can get your kids in the kitchen: