Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Blueberry Citrus Cake

Happy (Belated) First Birthday Blog!  And, Happy Birthday to my Mother-in-Law Mary Lynn!

In a way, this is a faux birthday for the blog because I didn't actually start this public blog until the Fall of 2009.  However, it's been a year since I first started sharing recipes with my friends and family on our personal website, the Chronicles of the Chrises and those recipes were loaded with backdates this this website.  Back when I started blogging recipes, it was just a way for me to share family recipes and things that I was cooking with those that were close to us.  Back then, I didn't know about food blogging ettiquite but I now know and make an effort to take my own photos.  Eventually I thought why not start a public blog and this blog was born with a name to mirror our other more life-centric website. 

I also can't believe the improvement to my skills that's happened through the past year or so.  Honestly, I used to be kind of the black sheep of my extended family because I NEVER cooked and came from a family of cooks/restaurant owners.  Cooking became a necessity when I was living on my own in college.  It was learn to make food to eat or eat out...which on a poor college student's budget isn't so friendly on the pocket books.  I started by committing myself to trying at least 1 new recipe a week.  After I got married about 2 years ago, the domestic bug must have bit because then I started cooking even more.  I wanted to be a good wife and have dinner on the table for my husband by the time he got home from work!  And most recently, we bought a house last Fall and we gutted our entire kitchen on the same day that we closed.  We remodeled and put in a beautiful gourmet kitchen and I'm so glad that we did because nearly all my free time is spent in the kitchen trying new recipes now.  Hey, gotta get our money worth, right? :)

What I'm not new to is the concept of social media and blogging.  I grew up with the Internet (Prodigy shout out!) and chat rooms (Microsoft Comic Chat woot!).  I had to take a mandatory typing class in Junior High and because I'd been typing since I was like 6 I came into the class typing faster and more accurately than the teacher.  (Unfortunately, they made me take the class anyway...waste of time!).  I have had a personal blog since at least 2001...maybe even 2000 (I'd have to go back and see).  I distinctly remember writing about September 11th in it and was so proud that I've kept posting to it through all these years.  (I think I have to go and get my 2010 post in there!)

Anyway, I hope that you enjoy the recipes that I share with you.  This particular one is deliciously light and refreshing.  I made it for Mary Lynn's birthday and we all really enjoyed it.  I will be making this one again!  Since I started making a lot of things from scratch I've generally started turning my nose up to boxed mixes but this recipe just uses the boxed mix as a base and then adds all these delicious goodies like zested lemon and oranges, blueberries, and a homemade frosting.  In my eyes, this still makes it homemade!

I'm sorry but my sucky photo taking skills don't do this cake justice at all and you must try it!  And/or go to the Better Home and Gardens site where I found the recipe to see a prettier professional picture.  It's the perfect cake for Spring and Summer!

One Year Ago: Crockpot Turkey and Cakeballs

Blueberry Citrus Cake
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Prep Time: 30 min
Bake Time: 35 min
Cool Time: 2 hours
Yields:  12 Servings

For the Cake
  • 1 package 2-layer-size lemon cake mix
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup cooking oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon zested orange peel (from approximately 1/2 large orange)
  • 1 tablespoon zested lemon peel (from approximately 1 medium lemon)
For the Citrus Frosting
  • 1 (3 oz) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons zested orange peel (from approximately 1 large orange)
  • 1 tablespoon zested lemon peel (from approximately 1 medium lemon)

To Prepare Cake
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degees F. Grease two 8 inch or 9 inch round baking pans; set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl combine cake mix, orange juice, water, oil, and eggs. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium; beat for 2 minutes. With a wooden spoon or rubber spatula gently fold in blueberries, orange peel, and lemon peel. Pour batter into prepared pans.
  3. Bake for 25-30 minutes (9 inch pans) or 35-40 minutes (8 inch pans) or until a wooden toothpick inserted near center comes out clean.
  4. Cool layers in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove cakes from pans. Cool thoroughly on racks. While cake is cooling, prepare Citrus frosting using the directions below.
  5. Frost cooled cake with Citrus Frosting. Garnish with orange peel curls, if desired. Store frosted cake in the refrigerator.

To Prepare Citrus Frosting
  1. In a medium bowl beat together softened cream cheese and softened butter until fluffy.  Add sifted powdered sugar and orange juice. Beat until combined.
  2. In a small bowl beat whipping cream to soft peaks; add to cream cheese mixture.
  3. Add zested orange peel and zested lemon peel. Beat on low until combined.
Source: Better Homes and Gardens

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