Cake’s luxuriousness comes from more than 4 sticks of butter

A bite of blueberry and lemon together is almost magical. The sweet-and-tart combination momentarily dazzles the taste buds, leaving them wanting more.

What better way to celebrate the Fourth of July than with a fancy-looking cake? With blueberries resting on top of rich buttercream icing, just add a garnish of fan-sliced strawberries and you have a patriotic red-white-and-blue masterpiece. The buttery taste is so luxurious that this cake would also be great for a wedding, anniversary or other special occasion. Guests may assume you spent all day on it, and if you don’t want to reveal how simple it is, just take the Fifth if anyone asks.

What we made:


2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

3/4 cup butter, softened

3 eggs

1 1/4 cups milk

1 cup powdered sugar

1/3 cup lemon juice

1 1/2 cups butter, softened

4 cups powdered sugar

3 tablespoons milk

2 tablespoons lemon juice

3 cups fresh blueberries

3 teaspoons grated lemon peel

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and flour bottoms and sides of 2 (8- or 9-inch) round pans. In bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt. In large bowl, beat granulated sugar and 3/4 cup butter with electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well. On low speed, alternately beat in flour mixture and milk until blended. Pour into pans.

2. Bake 25 to 35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. With fork, poke tops every 1 inch. Mix 1 cup powdered sugar and 1/3 cup lemon juice until smooth. Spoon over cakes. Let stand 10 minutes. Remove from pans; place top side up on cooling racks. Cool completely, about 1 hour.

3. In large bowl, beat 1 1/2 cups butter, 4 cups powdered sugar, 3 tablespoons milk and 2 tablespoons lemon juice on low speed until blended. Beat 3 minutes on medium speed until fluffy.

4. On plate, place 1 cake layer, rounded, side up. Spread with 1/2 cup frosting. Top with 1 1/2 cups berries. Spoon 3/4 cup frosting over berries; carefully spread to cover. Place remaining layer, top side up, over berries. Frost top and side. Arrange remaining berries on cake. Sprinkle with lemon peel. Refrigerate 2 hours. Before serving, let cake stand at room temperature 15 minutes. Store in refrigerator.

Our assessment: All my taste-testers loved this cake. “It was sweet but not overpowering,” said fellow editor Michelle Fong. “It reminded me of a cake you would have at a wedding or a bridal or baby shower. The icing is delicious.”

If you do add sliced strawberries on top of the cake, avoid using very ripe berries because the juice will run.

From the book: “Betty Crocker The Big Book of Cakes” by the editors at Betty Crocker; 336 pages, $19.99. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.

What you get: Hundreds of cakes — layer, sheet, Bundt, themed, rolled; also an assortment of cupcakes, cake pops and cheesecakes.

In their own words: “Cakes hold a special place in our hearts — they’re sweet, delicious and just perfect for any occasion. And baking a cake instead of picking it up at the bakery, whether it’s simple or elaborate, makes the experience even more personal and wonderful.” — the editors of Betty Crocker

Video: Watch me make this cake on our website.

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