Thursday, July 22, 2010
Val's Fresh Strawberry Cake
There's a new sheriff in town...and its called FRESH STRAWBERRY CAKE!
We used to live in Baton Rouge and got a great strawberry cake from a local bakery. It was heavenly and we got it for every birthday and for any other reason we could think of.
When we moved to Texas, I even ordered it few times but it was so expensive to ship that I eventually quit and started researching recipes online.
They all had jello in them...yuck. Not a fan of jello. Besides, the icing was the key...so....I started playing around with making my own icing.
Over the years I perfected it, and now, Dean doesn't even buy the 'original' when he is in Baton Rouge because this one is so good....and less expensive.
The ingredients are super simple, it is the process that is important.
I've made it with 2 types of boxed cakes and they are both good....here is a little breakdown:
The one made with yellow cake is dense and very moist...perfect in my humble opinion.
It is not quite as sweet as the white cake below.
This is my favorite....sweet but not TOO sweet with a tiny tang from the berries...perfect.
This one is made with white cake mix and is fluffier and lighter...and sweeter...sort of like angel food cake. I think it is too sweet but Dean and both kids say THIS one is their favorite!
Whichever you choose, I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
Val's Fresh Strawberry Cake
1 box cake mix (yellow or white)
Bake cake in 2 round pans according to directions on box, set aside to cool.
For the icing, remember...how you put it together is important, don't skip steps.
1 to 1.5 pint fresh whole strawberries cleaned, hulled and set aside. Do NOT cut them yet. (I buy 2 pints in case some strawberries are not ripe or are over ripe.)
8 oz softened neufchatel cream cheese
12 oz. cool whip original
1/2 cup granulated sugar* you may need a bit more if the strawberries are not at their peak sweetness.
1. In bowl, mix the cream cheese until light and fluffy, add sugar and continue beating.
2. Slice 2/3 of the berries and chop 1/3.
3. Take the chopped strawberries and put into the bowl and mix well. The cream cheese mixture will turn slightly pink. DON'T over process or it will get overly runny. Just mix it until it is uniform in color but still chunky. You can add a few drops of food coloring if it isn't pink enough for you.
4. Add 1/2 of the cool whip and mix just a minute to combine.***
5. Put the sliced berries into the bowl and blend well.
6. Fold remaining cool whip in. *Taste for sweetness and carefully fold in more sugar if needed.
7. Starting with the bottom round, ice the cake being generous with the icing in between the layers.
8. Top with the 2nd round and frost the rest of the cake, covering the sides and top.
Garnish with a big pretty strawberry.
If you have leftovers, make room in the refrigerator for this cake.
***Once you add the cool whip be careful not to over process it or it will break down and you won't be able to ice the cake with it. I learned that the hard way.....
I think these would be awesome cupcakes too...each with a little strawberry on top!