A patriotic bake

Providence Spotts shows off her patriotic-themed cake, perfect for Fourth of July picnics.
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We’ve all seen the classic Fourth of July sheet cake with strawberries, whipped cream and blueberries arranged like an American flag. 

It’s easy to make and has become a staple at backyard barbecues.

But wouldn’t it be fun to make ­something different for this year’s festivities?

We challenged Providence Spotts, who runs a bakery in York Township, to ­create a cool cake for your patriotic bash. The result was a delicious cake shaped like a top hat with simple, clean lines and ­star-shaped decorations.

“I do believe that less is best,” Spotts said about her design.

The cake:

2 1/2 cups of flour

3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup butter

1 2/3 cup sugar 

1 1/4 cup milk

3 eggs

1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Sift flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl.

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Scrape bowl. Then add 3/4 cup milk, eggs and vanilla. Mix well.

Add dry flour mixture, mix well and scrape bowl well. Add 1/2 cup milk and mix.

Grease two 8-inch round pans and bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown.

The filling:

Layer the cakes with red raspberry preserves and whipped cream in the middle.

Providence suggests butter cream or whipped cream.

The decorations:

The stars are cut out of rolled ­fondant with a cookie cutter. She ­inserted a piece of wire before drying them overnight. The stars can brushed with food coloring or sprayed with an airbrush.

The sugar is a coarse grade AA sugar used for decorating that can be bought at a cake decorating shop.

Use regular ribbon, found at a craft store, but make sure to tell guests it’s not edible. 

Providence Spotts

Age: 40

From: York

Her shop: After 21 years in the pastry business, she opened Providence Divine Cakes & Pastries in Olde Tollgate Village, 2515 S. Queen St. in York Township, in December 2008.

Contact: Call 741-0120.