You can feel the excitement in the Northland of the upcoming 4th of July holiday. It's a wonder we can get any work done.  If you're like me you're busy working on the menu for the picnic, let me help with a delicious easy dessert from Taste of Home that add to the decor of your picnic buffet table.

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 1 package French vanilla cake mix (regular size)
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 4 eggs

FILLING:

  • 1 package (3 ounces) berry blue gelatin
  • 1-1/2 cups boiling water, divided
  • 1 cup cold water, divided
  • Ice cubes
  • 1 package (3 ounces) strawberry gelatin
  • 2/3 cup finely chopped fresh strawberries
  • 1/4 cup fresh blueberries

FOR THE FROSTING:

  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tablespoon 2% milk
  • 1 jar (7 ounces) marshmallow creme

MAKE IT:

  • Preheat oven to 350°. It's important to line your 13x9-in. baking pan with waxed paper and grease the paper; then set aside. In a large bowl, combine first four ingredients; beat on low speed 30 seconds. Beat on medium 2 minutes. Pour into prepared your pan.
  • Bake 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pan otherwise it may stick.  Transfer it  to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Transfer cake to a covered cake board. Now it's time to get creative.  Using a small knife, cut out a 5x4-in. rectangle (1/2 in. deep) in the top left corner of cake, leaving a 1/2-in. border along edges of cake. For red stripes, cut out 1/2-in. wide rows (1/2 in. deep), leaving a 1/2-in. border. Using a fork, carefully remove cut-out cake pieces.
  • In a small bowl, dissolve berry blue gelatin in 3/4 cup boiling water. Pour 1/2 cup cold water into a 2-cup measuring cup; add enough ice cubes to measure 1-1/4 cups. Stir into gelatin until slightly thickened. Scoop out and discard any remaining ice cubes. Repeat, making strawberry gelatin.
  • In a small bowl, combine strawberries and 1 cup strawberry gelatin. In another bowl, combine blueberries and 1 cup blue gelatin. Refrigerate 20 minutes or just until soft-set. (You can save remaining gelatin for another use.)
  • Stir gelatin mixtures. Slowly pour blueberry mixture into rectangle; spoon strawberry mixture into stripes.
  • For frosting, beat butter until fluffy in a large bowl; beat in confectioners' sugar and milk until smooth. Add marshmallow creme; beat well until light and fluffy. Spread 1 cup over sides and top edge of cake. Refrigerate remaining frosting 20 minutes.
  • Cut a small hole in the corner of pastry or plastic bag; insert a large star tip. Fill the bag with remaining frosting. Pipe frosting in between rows of strawberry gelatin and around edges of cake. Refrigerate 1-2 hours or until gelatin is set.  Serve and enjoy!