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in the schoolroom

In the Schoolroom: Let’s Celebrate the Immaculate Conception


Mary Ellen loves finding ways to honor and celebrate our Blessed Mother, and her Dressed in Blue cake does both with style.

I love finding ways to honor and celebrate our beautiful Blessed Mother in our homeschool. April 16th is the feast of St. Bernadette Soubirous, to whom Our Lady revealed her Immaculate Conception at what was to become the grotto in Lourdes.


St. Bernadette’s story is a beautiful one of faith, perseverance in prayer, and devotion—all virtues we wish to impart to our children.

Of course, there is no reason not to have cake while practicing these virtues, and St. Bernadette’s feast is a wonderful opportunity to read about her and celebrate Our Lady at the same time.

This cake has all the virtues children enjoy: it’s brightly colored, a little gooey, and in no way good for you.


Dressed in Blue Cake

Dressed in Blue Cake

Start with a baked round white cake completely cooled. To make your life a little easier, cut a round piece of parchment paper and place it into the cake pan before buttering it; the cake slides out so much easier. A boxed cake mix is fine for this, but look on the opposite page for my white cake recipe.

1 cup boiling water
1 package (4-serving size) JELL-O Berry Blue Flavor Gelatin

When the cake is completely cooled, pierce the cake with a bamboo skewer at 1/2-inch intervals. Stir the gelatin into the boiling water in a heat-proof measuring cup for at least two minutes until completely dissolved. Carefully pour gelatin evenly over the cake layers. Refrigerate for three hours. Remove the cake and unmold it onto a serving plate frost cake. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until ready to serve. Decorate as desired. Store leftover cake in the refrigerator.

About Mary Ellen Barrett

Mother of seven children and two in heaven, Mary is wife to David and a lifelong New Yorker. She has homeschooled her children for eleven years using Seton and an enormous amount of books. She is a columnist for The Long Island Catholic and blogs here . Meet Mary Ellen.
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