Looking for a festive, show-stopping dessert for the Fourth?  Look no further.  The concept of this cake has been developing in my mind for a long, long time.  At first it was just a vague idea – some kind of patriotic ice cream cake.  Then it was going to be a very simple ice cream cake with red, white and blue frosting detailing on the outside.   Along the way, it transformed into what you see here: two layers of vanilla bean cake sandwiching a thick layer of vanilla bean ice cream with fresh strawberry and blueberry sauces mixed in.  The whole thing is frosted in freshly whipped cream, and garnished with additional fresh berries.  Because this came together so haphazardly in my head, I was completely unsure of how well it would turn out.  I’m happy to say it was a complete success.  It is so, so much better than I could have imagined.  This is a great example of the the expression, ‘The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”  This cake takes the classic pairing of berries and cream and elevates it to a whole new level.

I realize that this cake may seem involved because of the multiple components but I assure you, it is actually quite simple and you can streamline your work to be more efficient.  While the cake layers are baking you can make the blueberry and strawberry sauces.  Once the cake is assembled, pop it into the freezer so it sets completely.  As far as the timing of the frosting goes, you have options.  You can frost and garnish the cake just before serving, you can frost the cake, freeze and garnish just before serving, or you can frost, garnish, and freeze all at once and serve whenever you like.  Just keep in mind that if you garnish and then freeze, the berries on top will be frozen when served and have a kind of frosty sheen on them.  I think they look neat that way but for the look seen in these pictures, you’ll want to add the berries just before serving.  Whatever way you choose to serve it, I do hope you try it!  This is bound to be a hit with kids and adults alike.  Have a wonderful Independence Day (and long weekend!)