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Celebrate Mother's Day with a Homemade Cake

Mother’s Day is this weekend, so I can’t think of a better time to encourage you to revive the somewhat lost art of cake-baking. I totally understand that not everyone has the time or willpower to bake a cake from scratch (although, it’s a little easier than you might think). Anyway, using a cake mix to help you get started is perfectly fine, as long as you add your own creative touches.

I’m doing my part to keep cake baking alive, even if it’s just encouraging others to get in the kitchen and try their hand at a chore they may be leaving to the supermarket or bakery. But as a friend of mine always says, “Unless you’ve tasted my mother’s from-scratch pound cake hot from the oven, you don’t understand the difference in homemade and store-bought. There’s simply no comparison.”

I have to agree with my friend, and as a result, encourage you to start your cake-baking journey with a simple pound cake. Sliced hot out of the oven and topped with a scoop of ice cream and sliced strawberries, it’s one of my all-time favorite desserts.

However, if you are still nervous about baking a cake from scratch, I have a simple, semi-homemade recipe that involves a box of butter cake mix, sour cream, almond extract and a few more simple ingredients. It’s so close to homemade that nobody can ever tell the difference. Drop me an email and I’ll send you the recipe in plenty of time for weekend baking.

Again, I encourage you to join my quest to keep homemade cakes alive, especially on Mother’s Day or any special day when a cake is warranted. Nothing says, “I really care,” like a cake warm from the oven. I understand that sadly, this is not a holiday everyone gets to celebrate. But why not treat yourself to a homemade cake and celebrate the arrival of spring? A moist, hot-from-the-oven cake is the perfect antidote to lift your spirits and add a special touch to any gathering.

To get you started, I’m sharing a recipe for a cake I made for my mother a couple of Mother’s Days ago. I like to change things up, so this year, I’ll try something new and pass this one on to you. At one time or another, the results have brought a little joy to someone’s life. I hope it will have the same effect on you and start your journey into making many, many homemade cakes in the future.

Strawberries and Cream Cake

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/8 teaspoon salt

1-1/3 cup buttermilk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup butter softened

1-1/2 cup sugar

4 egg whites

16 ounces fresh strawberries sliced

1/4 cup granulated sugar for strawberries

2 cups heavy whipping cream

4 tablespoon granulated sugar for whipping cream

8 ounces cream cheese whipped until light and fluffy

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour three 8-inch or 9-inch round cake pans. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In another bowl, combine buttermilk and vanilla. Beat 1/2 cup butter and 1-1/2 cup sugar together for one minute. Beat in egg whites one at a time.

On low speed, alternate adding the flour mixture and the buttermilk mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture.

Divide and spread evenly in three cake pans. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until done.

Cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack then remove from pans and cool completely.

While cake is baking, add 1/4 cup sugar to strawberries. Stir occasionally. Whip the 4 tablespoons granulated sugar and heavy whipping cream together until stiff peak stage.

Spread the whipped cream cheese on the bottom cake layer and spoon about 1 cup of strawberries over cream cheese. Repeat with another cake layer. Top with last cake layer.

Frost the entire cake with whipped cream. Serve with remaining strawberries.

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