By: Terry Harris | Email: Click Here
Posted: Feb. 24, 2018 | 2:25 p.m.
All the recent warm weather has me thinking of springtime and flowers and – TA DA! – fresh strawberries! OK, I may be rushing the season a bit, but with the way produce is shipped in from all over the world now, we don’t have to wait for spring to enjoy them. With that in mind, today I’m sharing my Soon-To-Be Famous Fresh Strawberry Short-Cut Cake!
I say “soon to be famous” because, while I often share my “old favorites” I only made this one up last spring, so very few people have had it – yet. But the ones who have? MMMMMMMM…. They loved it! And the Short-CUT part is because, *whispering* it’s a “doctored mix cake.” Yep. I when I needed a dessert for a family gathering, I found a recipe for a gorgeous, three layer, strawberry cake made with a very complex pound cake type recipe. Well, it was pretty, but I just did not have the time (or the inclination) for doing all that. So as I played with a mix cake idea I’d already been thinking about, and looked at that fresh strawberry cake, I suddenly went, “I’ll bet I could make this into a fresh strawberry cake with fresh strawberry cream cheese frosting and OOOOOH! Wouldn’t it be GREAT if I added lots MORE fresh strawberries IN it to soak down into the cake like when you make real strawberry shortcake?” So, I did. And it is! I mean, what’s not to love?
Inspired by an elegant layered pound cake, but simplified for easier travel (and saving time!), this Fresh Strawberry Cake is sinfully delicious.
There are a few little suggestions I can make that will make a difference in making this one, like, don’t use the toothpick test for doneness this time. Instead, beginning at 20 minutes, when it’s risen nicely, VERY lightly press the center with your finger. When it springs back, it’s done. Also, you don’t want your pureed strawberries to sit out too long, BUT, they do need a few minutes for the juice to “make up” the juiciest, so I recommend preparing that while the cake is baking. I’d use a carving fork or skewer to make all the little holes on top to pour the puree over. If you use anything smaller, it won’t soak in, and if you use something larger – like a wooden spoon – you’ll just have a mess with this one.
Pour on the pureed strawberries SLOWLY, because you want it to soak into the cake. If it runs down the side, it will be almost impossible to ice it well. And I’d recommend putting it – with the puree on top – in the refrigerator, covered with cellophane-type wrap for a few minutes before frosting it. That way, you’re more likely to have a prettier cake. And when you make your cream cheese frosting, depending on how juicy your strawberries are – and how thick you want your icing – you may need to adjust the powdered sugar. So it’s a good idea to hold a little back – and have a little extra on hand – just in case. Ideally, you’d eat it fairly soon after you finished, but it will keep for up to a week. Just leave off any strawberry garnishes for last minute application if you make it ahead.
That’s it! You certainly could do this as a layer cake, but you’d need to cut back on the amount of strawberry puree. And while this isn’t the showstopper to look at that that three layer cake that inspired me was, decorated with fresh strawberry “roses” and presented on a large, rectangular silver tray, this one could be absolutely gorgeous. For my crowd, I covered some cardboard with aluminum foil and served some sliced strawberries on each slice and it was just fine – memorable, even. In fact, it went so quickly that I doubt anyone remembers what it looked like. But judging by how many times I’ve been asked, “When are you going to make that again?” I’m guessing everyone remembers how it great tasted. Enjoy!
Fresh Strawberry Short-Cut Cake
- 1 Package white cake mix
- 1 (3-ounce) Package strawberry gelatin
- 4 Large eggs
- ½ Cup sugar
- ½ Cup finely chopped fresh strawberries
- ½ Cup milk
- ½ Cup Vegetable oil
- 1/3 Cup all-purpose flour
- Another 1 ½ -2 cups fresh strawberries, for puree
- Fresh strawberries for garnish, if desired
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. On low speed with an electric mixer, beat together cake mix, strawberry gelatin, eggs, sugar, chopped fresh strawberries, milk, vegetable oil and flour for 1 minute. Scrape down sides, and beat at medium speed for 2 additional minutes, scraping down sides, as needed.
Pour batter into greased and floured 9×13 pan.
Bake at 350 degrees, testing beginning at 20 minutes, by pressing center very lightly with finger. When it has risen nicely and springs back, it’s ready. Cool 10 minutes, then invert onto cake plate and cool thoroughly. (While cake cools, prepare your Fresh Strawberry Puree.)
Poke holes in the top of the cooled cake, and pour the Fresh Strawberry Puree over the whole slowly, allowing it to soak down into the cake.
Spread Fresh Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting on top and sides of cake. Garnish with more berries, if desired, and serve immediately. Will last, chilled, for up to 1 week.
- About 2 pints fresh strawberries, hulled and washed and dried
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
Process berries in your food processor (or mash with a fork) until pulverized. Add the sugar to thoroughly draw out the sugar.
Fresh Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting
- 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/2 Cup butter, softened
- (32-ounce) Package powdered sugar, sifted
- 1 Cup finely chopped fresh strawberries
Beat cream cheese and butter together on medium until fluffy. Beat in most of sugar until light. Beat in strawberries on low only until well blended. NOTE: Depending on how juicy your strawberries are – and how thick you want your icing – you may need to adjust the amount of powdered sugar.
Look for Queenie Cooks weekly for recipes that are generally simple to prepare, require relatively few (and easy to find) ingredients, and usually budget friendly as well. We all have to eat. Let’s have some FUN with it!