In the summertime, our family loves to eat! Whether we are celebrating a birthday, having dinner with friends, or enjoying a family weekend at the beach, we love eating food that screams "summer." If you've been following along with our #70daysofsummer on Instagram (@chris10price), you can see that we have enjoyed some delicious desserts like lemon blueberry anniversary cake and some fun summer salads like layered cornbread and turkey salad. Many of you have asked for the recipes for these two desserts so I thought I would go ahead and share them today so you can make them before the summer ends. Hope you enjoy!

Layered Lemon - Blueberry Cake

layered lemon blueberry cake
layered lemon blueberry cake

On Tuesday, Raleigh and I celebrated our eighth wedding anniversary (or, as the girls called it, our "ammiversary"). Last year, I discovered this delicious lemon-blueberry layer cake recipe by Sally's Baking Addiction. With two blueberry bushes in our backyard, I welcomed a cake that combined both sweet and tart flavors of the blueberries with the tang of lemons. Now, I make the recipe as both a cake for special celebrations or as cupcakes (I can freeze the cupcakes and icing and just pull them out whenever I want a taste of summer!).

The cake portion of this cake has a few extra steps than a normal cake recipe and the batter is thick. But, the buttermilk really does add an extra zest that makes the cake batter cook so light and fluffy. It is so much better than the boxed stuff and worth the extra effort!

I'm such a sucker for cream cheese frosting and adding a hint of lemon makes this frosting burst with flavor and not feel so heavy. Add a few blueberries on top and you've got a wonderful cake that you will want to serve all year long.

Lemon-Blueberry Layer Cake Recipe

  • 1 cup (230g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 and 1/4 cups (250g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100g) packed light brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups (360g) sifted all-purpose flour, careful not to overmeasure
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (240ml) buttermilk
  • zest + juice of 3 medium lemons
  • 1 and 1/2 cups blueberries, fresh (258g) or non-thawed frozen (275g)
  • 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 ounces (224g) full-fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3 and 1/2 cups (420g) confectioners' sugar
  • 1 - 2 Tablespoons (15-30ml) heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease and lightly flour three 9x2 inch cake pans with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. Make the cake: Using a handheld or stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on high until creamy - about 1 minute. Add granulated and brown sugars and beat on medium-high speed until creamed, about 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add eggs and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until everything is combined, about 2 full minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Set aside.
  3. In a large sized bowl, toss together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Beat on low speed for 5 seconds, then add the milk, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Remove from the mixer and stir lightly until everything is just combined. Toss the blueberries in 1 Tablespoon of flour and fold into the batter. Batter is extremely thick. Do not overmix at any point. Overmixing will lend a tough, dense textured crumb.
  4. Spoon batter evenly into 3 prepared cake pans. If only using 2 cake pans, your bake time will be longer. Bake the three layers for about 21-26 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Mine took 21 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before frosting.
  5. Make the frosting: Using a handheld or stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat cream cheese and butter together on medium speed until no lumps remain, about 3 full minutes. Add confectioners' sugar, 1 Tablespoon cream, vanilla extract, and salt with the mixer running on low. Increase to high speed and beat for 3 minutes. Add 1 more Tablespoon of cream to thin out, if desired.
  6. Assemble and frost: First, using a large serrated knife, trim the tops off the cake layers to create a flat surface. Place 1 layer on your cake stand. Evenly cover the top with cream cheese frosting. Top with 2nd layer, more frosting, then the third layer. Top with frosting and spread around the sides. The recipe doesn't make a ton of frosting, just enough for a light frost. Top with blueberries or lemon garnish if desired. Refrigerate for at least 45 minutes before cutting or else the cake may fall apart as you cut.
  7. Make ahead tip: Prepare cakes and frosting 1 day in advance. Keep cakes at room temperature, covered tightly. Refrigerate prepared frosting in an airtight container until ready to use. Frosted or unfrosted cakes may be frozen up to 2 months, thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature if desired before serving.

Layered Turkey and Cornbread Salad

layered turkey - cornbread salad
layered turkey - cornbread salad

Twice this summer, I've been invited to dinner parties with the theme being "summer salad." My friend Hannah had made a wonderful cornbread casserole one night for small group so I asked her for the recipe. It's from Southern Living and oh-so-good. I went a little light on the onions and tomatoes but loaded up with layers of turkey, bacon, cornbread, and cheese. I cooked the cornbread and bacon in the oven the night before and cut up the veggies then assembled the layers six hours before my dinner so it wasn't too soggy. It turned out to be such a light and festive summer salad!

Layered Cornbread and Turkey Salad Recipe

Ingredients

1 (6-ounce) package buttermilk cornbread mix

1 (12-ounce) bottle Parmesan-peppercorn dressing

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup buttermilk

1 (9-ounce) package romaine lettuce, shredded

2 1/2 cups chopped smoked turkey (about 3/4 pound)

2 large yellow bell peppers, chopped

1 package of cherry tomatoes, sliced

1 red onion, chopped

1 cup diced celery (about 3 celery ribs)

2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Swiss cheese

10 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled

2 green onions, sliced

Preparation

Prepare cornbread according to package directions; cool and crumble. Set aside.

Stir together dressing, mayonnaise, and buttermilk until blended.

Layer crumbled cornbread, shredded lettuce, and next 7 ingredients evenly into 6 (3- to 4-cup) glass containers; spoon half of dressing mixture evenly over tops. Cover and chill at least 3 hours or up to 24 hours. Sprinkle with green onions just before serving. Serve with remaining half of dressing mixture on the side.

To make 1 large salad: Layer half each of crumbled cornbread, shredded lettuce, and next 7 ingredients in a large glass bowl; spoon half of dressing mixture evenly over top. Repeat layers ending with dressing mixture. Cover and chill at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours. Sprinkle top with green onions just before serving. Prep: 45 min., Chill: 8 hrs.

Hope you can enjoy these wonderful summer recipes before fall. They truly are delicious! What are some of your favorite summertime recipes?

We want you to show us your summer! Hashtag #70daysofsummer as you capture your final summer memories. Seventy days ends August 8th!

2015-06-15 14.31.31
2015-06-15 14.31.31

Till next time, let your light shine!

Blessings, christen

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