Sunday, July 1, 2018

Happy Canada Day Cake #blogboost

Today starts the Ultimate Blog Challenge, and I welcome any new readers coming my way.  In your honor, in fact, I baked a cake.  But first, a little introduction.

I live in upstate New York, about an hour south of Syracuse, NY, near the New York/Pennsylvania border.  

On Mondays, I participate in a music meme called Music Moves Me.  On Fridays, I participate in a weekly posting of Skywatch Friday. On the second and fourth Thursdays of the month, I blog about trees for a meme called Thursday Tree Love.  On the other days, anything goes, especially if it involves photography.

Today is Canada Day, the day Canadians celebrate the July 1, 1867 enactment of the Constitution Act.

I have visited Canada several times, and have always had a lovely time.  On one of those trips, we picked up these items.  My spouse wears the shirt, and I the socks, each year, to honor our friends to the north.

One thing I've never done, though, is to be in Canada on Canada Day.  I have been in Canada on the 4th of July, our Independence Day, because...well, it seemed like a good idea at the time. And I'll blog about that more on Wednesday.

There is one things Canadians do well for their holiday, which we don't seem to do on our nation's birthday.

Celebrate with birthday cake.

Because, although we Americans do many things on July 4, one thing we don't seem to have are cities and towns that serve birthday cake to their citizens.  Why not?  Why not celebrate a national birthday with free cake?

Canada, I love you.

One Canada Cake idea  is white cake with whipped cream frosting, topped with strawberries,  The strawberries should be arranged in a maple leaf pattern on the cake.

I decided to make this cake instead.  It came up in a search for "Easy Canada Day Cake"  It is hot ("wicked hot" as we say around here) today and I didn't want to go through much trouble, so I used the mix.  Because I'm not a big frosting person (and was lazy), I decided not to attempt to make frosting.

 Here's the recipe:  (sorry, metric readers)

One Box Betty Crocker™ Super Moist™ white cake mix
1 1/4 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil 
3 whole eggs ( I used three duck eggs, because I had bought some in a local store - I used to keep ducks for eggs years ago and they are awesome for baking.)
2 tbsp unsweetened baking cocoa (I used black cocoa, because it's what I had on hand)
2 tbsp seedless strawberry jam (that was the theory, anyway).

Official Method
Heat oven to 350°F. Spray bottom of 13x9-inch pan with cooking spray.

In large bowl, beat cake mix, water, oil and eggs with electric mixer on medium speed
for two minutes, scraping bowl occasionally.

In small bowl, place 1 1/4 cups of the batter; stir in 2 tablespoons cocoa until blended.

 In another small bowl, place 1 1/4 cups of the batter; stir in 2 tablespoons strawberry jam and 1/4 teaspoon food color until blended. Pour remaining cake batter in bottom of pan. Drop tablespoons of each colored batter in random pattern over top; pull table knife through batter to make swirls.  Bake for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees, or 325 degrees if you have a no-stick pan.

What Really Happened (or, why my spouse is the family cook)

Spouse said we had some freezer strawberry jam I had made last year (I hope it was last year, anyway) in a moment of insanity, so he dug a canning jar full of something that looked like red jam from our chest freezer.  Helpfully, the label said "tomatoes".

Spouse defrosted the red stuff while I started to preheat the oven and assemble the baking implements.  It turned out to be raspberry jam, full of seeds, so he quickly took some defrosted stuff and pushed the jam through a colander.  Well, raspberries, strawberries, whatever.

Meanwhile, I combined the cake mix, water and oil, asked Siri (the iPhone virtual assistant) to set a timer for two minutes and started to mix.  About a minute into the mixing, I realized I hadn't cracked in the eggs.  "Stop, Alexa, stop!" I yelled at my iPhone, wondering why the timer was still going.
Finally, by some miracle, I got the cake mixed.  Don't ever say that making a cake mix doesn't involve skill.

I also managed to mix the chocolate and the straw...I mean raspberry part. I forgot to take a picture of the raspberry mix.
Here's the baked cake.

I could have gotten a maple leaf from my front yard or my back yard (we have lots of maple trees around here) but I decided staying in the air conditioning was a lot nicer.

So thank you for sticking with me through this saga.  Too bad I can't squash a piece of this cake through the wi fi connection to your device.  We'll probably serve it with ice cream and some sliced strawberries.

We Americans might make flag cake for the 4th of July, but it isn't institutionalized in the same way.  It's more of a novelty, something to serve to family and friends.    The cake is normally decorated with blueberries for the field of stars and strawberries for the stripes.  However, I've never seen an actual Independence Day birthday cake served at a festival.

So, if you are Canadian, and even if you're not, please have a happy (and safe) Canada Day.

Day 1 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge #blogboost


  1. It looks good, the cake. I'm about 30 miles to Canada, British Columbia that is.
    Some of my ancestors came from New York, Herkimer county.
    Good Luck with blog challenge...Coffee is on

    1. I work with someone who has family in Herkimer County. I've only been there a couple of times - the Herkimer Diamond mine (which aren't diamonds, but it is still fun).

  2. Hi Alana, glad to see you in the challenge again! Thanks for the cake recipe, it looks delicious!! I'll have to find some spare time and whip it up!!

    1. It was delicious, Martha - but more work than I expected.

  3. Happy Canada Day and good luck with the blog challenge!

  4. Too funny - we have similar antics around here. Cake is cake - yummy!

    1. It did turn out yummy - but it was more work than I expected.

  5. I think this is where one says- it's the thought that counts.

    1. Well...yes. But seriously, the cake is delicious. Really!

  6. Nothing like improvising while baking. I bet it tasted good.

    1. I'm pleased to report that yes, it tasted good.

  7. Wow! That's an interesting thought. And now that I think of it, it should definitely be adopted more widely. If states won't start the trend, we citizen can do our part, and bake a cake celebrating the nation's birthday!

    Good luck with the blog challenge. Happy Blogging! :)

  8. Cake looks yummy. I'm in Western New York, five miles from Canada. Happy Canada Day.

  9. Happy Canada Day to all Canadians, wherever they live. I was in Canada for one Canada Day and loved it! Canadians certainly know how to celebrate their national day. The idea of posting the recipe was great! Thank you...

  10. I had fun reading your post which gives vivid and active descriptions - I could see you dealing with Siri and Alexa while dealing with your hubby's activities and yours! :)

  11. Thanks for the recipe. Sounds good. I am bummed that I forgot to share some of my posts from Vancouver. Especially one I wrote about the Olympic Cauldron. Canada Day is one of the days that they actually light it up. Hope to make it there one day to see that. Happy belated Canada Day everyone.

  12. I would love to have a piece of that cake! Never been to Canada. One day maybe. On that note, I'm yet to visit New York, never been to the north of US. One day, sure. :)

  13. I love the idea of serving cake to citizens on the nation's birthday. Here in NZ we celebrate Waitangi Day which would be the closest to NZ Day. Loved your post and cake looks yummy - choc cake is always yummy.


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