Video: my boys bake Ina Garten’s Country Cake

He knew EXACTLY what kind of cake he wanted for his 6th birthday.

And it sure wasn’t Mommy’s same old shortcut, store-bought cake mix crap.

You see, I’m so not a baker. I love my sweets…I just want someone else to bake it for me! The trouble with cooking for a living is that I’ve turned my boys into little gourmands who turn their noses at cake mix! Sheesh!

And a little confession…because I’ve been caught by my 6 year old:

I’ve used the SAME EXACT choo-choo train cake mold for BOTH boys every single year for their birthdays. Same exact brand and flavor of cake mix too. For a while, it didn’t matter…when the boys were itty bitty teeny weenies ages 1-4yrs, it didn’t matter because at that age all they cared about was CAKE! Anything with sprinkles, frosting, chocolate or copious amounts of sugar was okay with them.

Plus, I didn’t think they would remember that they’ve had the same cake year after year. I knew I could get away with it for their 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th birthdays. #5 was a bit dicey, but thank goodness for the water balloon fights to distract him from the cake.

This year, for his 6th birthday, Andrew didn’t even want to take the chance that I would have anything to do with his cake. He declared that he and Nathan were going to bake his birthday cake by themselves and even told me, “no yucky cake mix, Mommy!”

Sheesh! Cake snobs!

So, the boys looked through my cookbooks and picked out Barefoot Contessa Strawberry Country Cake – we brought it over to my friend, Jan’s place. We celebrated two birthdays that day….Wilbur, Jan’s pot-bellied pig, turned 1 year old and Andrew turned 6.

The Birthday Boys


Video: Andrew & Nathan make Barefoot Contessa Strawberry Country Cake

Yes, they really do bake. I gave them verbal instructions, but it was hands-on all them making the cake. I was in charge of the video camera, they wouldn’t let me touch any of the ingredients!

Barefoot Contessa Strawberry Country Cake Recipe

recipe from Ina Garten’sina-garten Barefoot Contessa Parties! Cookbook. Of course, Andrew modified the cake to include sliced marshmallows…and since Nathan snuck and ate half of the strawberries, we had to supplement with fresh peaches too.

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup sour cream, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda

For the filling for each cake:
1 cup (1/2 pint) heavy cream, chilled
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Butter the bottom of two 8-inch cake pans. Then line them with parchment paper and butter and flour the lined pans.

Cream the butter and sugar on high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy. On medium speed, add the eggs, 1 at a time, then the sour cream, zests, and vanilla, scraping down the bowl as needed. Mix well. Sift together the flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking soda. On low speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and combine just until smooth.

Pour the batter evenly into the pans, smooth the tops, and bake in the center of the oven for 40 to 45 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then remove to wire racks and let cool to room temperature. If using 1 cake, wrap the second well and freeze.

To make the filling for one cake, whip the cream, sugar, and vanilla in a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until firm. Slice one of the cakes in half with a long, sharp knife. Place the bottom slice of the cake on a serving platter, spread with 1/2 the whipped cream and scatter with sliced strawberries. Cover with the top slice of the cake and spread with the remaining cream. Decorate with strawberries.

Did not load Widget Area 5

Comments 37

  1. GCS

    Love the pic of Andrew and Wilbur….I had a guinea pig named Wilbur way back.

    The cake looks delicious, peaches add nice color.

  2. joey

    Adorable! I can’t even begin to say which parts of that video I found the cutest! The whole video had me saying “oh! this is the best part!”, “no, this is the best part!”….Aaaaah! Your boys are the cutest ever…and quite handy in the kitchen! The zesting and egg cracking were impressive as was the levelling off of the flour…and the sound effects (hehe)!

    Happy birthday Andrew!!! πŸ™‚ You boys don’t stop making these videos…you’ve both got a lot of talent! πŸ™‚

    aww thank you! they had a BLAST! fun to hear all their boy sound effects. ~jaden

  3. Jan

    Those boys need their own TV show…and Wilbur can be their sidekick. More videos of the adorable duo, please!

  4. Natalie

    OMG — Your sons are SO CUTE!!!! You should send Ina a link to this video!! Food Network has 2 new stars! :):)

  5. The Little Teochew

    Can’t stop smiling. Too cute. Your boys have the total package!!! “Who ate the strawberries?” That one was hilarious!

    thank you! Nathan had a little sad pout when he got busted! ~jaden

  6. Simone (junglefrog)

    That video just made me laugh! You have great boys and so impressive that they can already bake! (thankfully you stopped them adding the entire bottle of vanilla though… :))

  7. [email protected]

    My first visit to your blog – love it!
    The boys are too cute and so talented in the kitchen. They already know that (a little) extra vanilla is a good thing.

  8. Mom101

    With all due respect to Ina and her beautiful cake, I couldn’t keep my eyes off your boys. Thalia says happy birthday Andrew!

  9. Maryann

    Loved the video! Two little stars in the making. Happy Birthday, Andrew and Wilber too. The cake looked yummy. Ain’t it a bitch when your kids not only call you out but are spot on and totally own you?? I’m always happy when my kids show me how smart they are but sheesh (as my tail gets tucked between my legs) gimme a break!
    I just love to see kids cooking and getting into it. Good job mom!

  10. Jean

    Holy crap Jaden, I was laughing my rearend off! These two are great! I’m sure there are moments when they’re trying to kill each other, but they are great in the kitchen together! The Deen brothers got nothin’ on these two!!! (oh so many exclamation marks!) I can’t wait til Bob gets home so I can show this to him. These two rock! And btw, you have been so busted on the cake mix! You’re going to need to step up your game, girl! LOL!
    p.s. “Who ate the strawberries?” (I think I even snorted!)

  11. Pat

    Mmmmmm, just LOVE having my back scratched!! A little to the right, please.

    And, Andrew, that is a great looking cake and there is nothing wrong with adding sliced some sliced peaches or nectarines. They could make it even yummier. Experimenting can discover some really good ideas. And have a Very Happy 7th Year!

  12. Joanne

    That was a fantastic video! Your boys looked like they had a lot of fun. That sure is a yummy looking cake.

  13. Jackie

    Seriously the cutest cooking show I’ve ever seen! I’m so impressed with how enthusiastic they were with their project and how proud they were of the results. Just one question: how did the cake taste?

    he says, “Delicious!” at end of video (though you can’t hear it b/c I had music on in video!) ~j

  14. Miri

    Oh this is SO cute. But more than cute, it’s so great to see little ones–especially boys–exploring cooking and baking in such a fearless, hands-on way.

  15. Shauna from Piece of Cake

    As a baking-obsessed gal, I canNOT wait until my baby girl is old enough to bake a cake with me. You are so lucky that your little boys love being in the kitchen! If it turns out my kid isn’t into baking, can we set up a trade?

    There are so many great one-bowl, no-mixer-required recipe out there that your boys could put together (brownies, yogurt cake), I say get them baking so mama can indulge her sweet tooth! Win-win.

  16. Karen

    Growing up I loved Charlotte’s Web, but we didn’t have a pig to name him Wilbur. So we named our ferret Wilbur. πŸ™‚

  17. Kristina

    This is great- go Andrew and Nathan! I hope my little Andrew (currently 2 months old) ends up loving baking as much as yours!

  18. Piegirl

    Andrew & Nathan are so cute and adorable, as always! Thanks for putting a BIG smile on my face πŸ™‚ Their cake making skills are very impressive, but of course! They have an excellent mentor.

    Happy birthday, Andrew!

  19. Argus (Jy)

    I’m so going out to buy stuff to make this cake but with mascarpone cheese instead of cream. πŸ™‚
    If I didn’t have a dog, I’d want to have two sons like yours, Mrs H.
    Nathan’s expressions are cheekily precious and Andrew is just the consumate pro, isn’t he? Oh, and I love Wilbur the pig. ^_^ Too cute, all of ’em!

  20. Steph

    “Wipe it on my shirt?” OMG hilarious! I have to show this to my eight year-old daughter–maybe she’ll be inspired!
    Thanks again for making me laugh.

  21. Memoria

    A tear fell from my eye more than once while watching this video. It made me so wistful. I wish I had a child to bake with me in the kitchen.

    I love how your son placed his finger on his brother’s face in order mark the culprit of the masticated strawberries. LOL!

    I also enjoyed how your 6-year-old son knew that a cake mix cake just would not do haha.

  22. Celia

    Too cute!! I love the fact that yucky cake mix wouldn’t do, good for you, Andrew!

    Let me give you some insight of what you’re in for a decade from now. I have a 16 year old son and recently, my friend at the deli gave me some premium chocolate mousse that was near its expiry date, and told me to take it home for the boys. This was a gourmet product, not nasty supermarket stuff. When my son tried it, he commented, “It’s ok, I guess, in a manufactured kind of way…” πŸ™‚

  23. Joan

    How great is this video! You can tell these boys have watched “how it’s done” all their young lives. I loved the missing strawberries, and the looks of the guilty culprit and aggrieved brother. Happy birthday to all!

  24. Tracy

    This video was AWESOME. It’s wonderful to see that your kids are so incredibly comfortable in the kitchen! They were really great at making this cake and it looked delicious! There are too many people my age (mid twenties) who have no idea how to use half of the tools these boys are using at 6! From their future significant others, I thank you. Everyone loves a man who can cook. πŸ˜‰

  25. rita

    how did i miss this video? not only are they adorable… they’re like a pro! can they come over here to germany to bake some goodies for me?

  26. Elizabeth U.

    They are too cute! Good for them for doing the whole thing by themselves. I have a 6-year-old nephew who has been cooking with me for a year or so now, and this video reminds me to get him to make something else with me the next time I see him. He makes all the same “bombs away!” noises as he pours things into the bowl, although I haven’t had him do any measuring yet.

  27. Cheryl

    I think the best comment was about wiping hands on the shirt. It was priceless. Your boys are adorable. You are teaching them to love cooking and something that you will always be able to share.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *