Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Southern Style Strawberry Cake

I first discovered this cake on Joy the Baker's Blog.  Strawberries, cream cheese frosting and coconut?  I'm in!  I've made it a couple of times and it is always a hit.  But before I get to the cake...

Do you remember last week when I mentioned that if you are going to make an edible image for a cake or cookie, you should make more than one because they are so easy to break?  Well mine cracked and... no back-up.  Yes I am so stubborn I don't even take my OWN advice.  =) 

But I was able to put the pieces together on the cake and it still looked cute.

Back to this cake.  This cake is SOOO good.  Make it.  Trust me.  Oh and since we've bonded over my umbrella crack, I'll share a little secret.  This cake comes from a mix.  Yes my friends - I love to bake from scratch but why fight the mix?

Southern Style Strawberry Cake

from: Sweets Soul Food Desserts and Memories

These instructions make two 8 layer cakes.  For the baby shower, I doubled the recipe and made 4 layers.  What, the cake only has three layers you say?  I froze the 4th layer to make cake balls.

1 (18.5 ounce) box white cake mix (without pudding) - I used Duncan Hines.  Note both Betty Crocker and Pillsbury use pudding in their mix.  I've never used those brands so I'm not sure how it would impact cake.
1 (3 ounce) package strawberry jello
1 Tablespoon self rising flour
4 teaspoons granulated sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs at room temperature
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup fresh strawberries, finely diced.  (Strawberries are a nice touch, but the flavor and color comes from the jello so you can omit if they are out of season.)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

To make the cake, combine to cake mix, Jello, flour and sugar in a large bowl. Mix well. Add the oil. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add the water and strawberries and mix well. Divide the batter evenly into 2 8-inch round baking pans that have been oiled, floured and lined with parchment paper. Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until a tooth pick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean and the layers pull away from the sides of the pan.

Transfer the layers from the oven to wire racks. Let them cool, still in their pans, for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, run a knife around the inside edge of each pan, then unmold each layer onto the racks to cool completely.

Cream Cheese Frosting - I cannot tell you how much I love this frosting!

1 (8 ounce) block cream cheese, softened
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
2 lbs powdered sugar
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
pink food coloring
4 sliced strawberries (for decoration)

To make the frosting, in a bowl combine the cream cheese and butter. Beat until soft and pliable and no lumps remain. Add one pound (one box) of the powdered sugar, salt and vanilla extract. Beat until incorporated. Add the second box of sugar and mix until incorporated. If you would like a smoother consistency, and a slash of milk. If you would like a thicker consistency, and a bit more powdered sugar until the desired consistency is achieved.

Put the coconut in a small bowl and sprinkle with two or three drops of pink die. Mix with hands to distribute the color and wash hands immediately. Once the cake is frosted, decorate the top of the cake with the shredded coconut and sliced strawberries.  For this cake, I put the shredded coconut in between the layers and omitted the strawberries.   

This is the tallest cake I've ever made - I just love the dramatic height!

Sorry I didn't save you a slice.
What is your favorite "doctored" mix recipe?

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