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.
2 cups 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. Reserve 1-3 of the prettiest berries and set aside.
3. Slice 1/2 of the berries and chop 1/2. Basically, you'll have 1 cup of sliced and 1 cup of chopped berries.
4. 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. A couple minutes is all it takes.
5. Add 1/2 of the cool whip and mix a teeny bit.....like 2 turns of the mixer.
6. Put the sliced berries into the bowl a teeny bit again to incorporate them.
7. Fold remaining cool whip in. *Taste for sweetness and carefully fold in more sugar if needed.
8. Starting with the bottom round, ice the cake being generous with the icing in between the layers.
9. Add sliced strawberries to the top of this layer if you like. We do!
9. Top with the 2nd round and frost the rest of the cake, covering the sides and top.
Instead of slicing the top to make it even, I flip it over. The frosting fills in all the ridges and saves you a step. Plus, I hate to waste cake!
I put lots of icing on top to start with.
and use this to do the actual frosting.....works great.
10. Garnish with the reserved strawberries.
If you have leftovers, make room in the refrigerator for this cake.
***Once you add the cool whip only FOLD the frosting from that point on or it will over process and break down and you won't be able to ice the cake with it.