Strawberries and Cream Cake

Strawberries and Cream Cake

We were catapulted straight into summer with blazing hot temperatures last weekend so we headed out to our local farmers’ market and strolled under gorgeous blue skies. One of my absolute, all-time favorite things to do. There were red, ripe strawberries everywhere and the image of this cake popped into my head so I was compelled to come home, bake it, and share it with you.

I’m not a fussy baker. That accounts for my modifications to the recipe for Classic White Cake, originally from Cook’s Illustrated, that I used here. Their version includes all sorts of instructions on the temperature of the ingredients which I completely ignored {sorry}. The recipe also called for unsalted butter which I didn’t have on hand {woops} so I subbed salted butter and reduced the amount of salt called for. The end result is very similar in flavor to an angel food cake – sweet and light. It’s hard to believe it would have been better had I done anything differently so I’ll stick with my less fussy, lazier version.

Just to be different, I baked the cake layers in two 13″ x 9″ brownie pans to create a quarter sheet cake, instead of the typical round layer cake. I like this idea for gatherings when you have a whole mess of people to feed.

If you can’t muster up the ambition to bake a cake from scratch, any white or yellow boxed cake mix will do. I won’t tell anyone. The rest of the recipe continues the non-fussy baker theme as it calls for boxed pudding mix, Cool Whip, and fresh strawberries.

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Here’s what you’ll need to put this together – Nonstick cooking spray, cake flour, whole milk, 6 large eggs, almond extract, vanilla extract, granulated sugar, baking powder, salt, salted butter, a small package of vanilla instant pudding and pie filling, Cool Whip, fresh strawberries, confectioners’ sugar, and parchment paper.

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First we’ll get the pans ready. Cut two pieces of parchment paper just big enough to line the bottoms of two 13″ x 9″ rimmed baking sheets. Spray the edges of the pans and parchment paper with nonstick cooking spray.

Prepare the pudding according to the package directions, cover it and place it in the refrigerator until you are ready to assemble to the cake.

Now, on to the cake…

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Pour milk, egg whites, vanilla and almond extracts into a 2-cup glass measure, and mix with a fork until blended.

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In a large bowl, stir together cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add butter and beat with a hand mixer on low speed until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

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Add half of the milk mixture to the flour mixture and beat for about 2 minutes. Scrape down sides with a rubber spatula.

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Add remaining milk mixture and beat for an additional 30 seconds, just until combined.

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Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared pans, smoothing the tops with a rubber spatula. Pop them in the oven and set the timer to 16 minutes. The key to this cake is to make sure you don’t over bake it. Don’t be like me and go drink a cup of coffee and get totally involved in reading your book and let the cakes bake a minute too long. Check them at the end of the baking time by inserting a toothpick in the center. If it comes out clean, they are ready. If not, let them go another minute and check again.

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Remove the pans from the oven and allow the cakes to cool for a few minutes.

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If you plan to assemble and serve the cake immediately, you can skip ahead to down there where I start putting it together. But, if you’d like to bake the cake the day ahead to save yourself some time then stay with me. Invert the cake on to a large piece of foil. The cake should transfer quite easily. Make sure you have flipped the cake so that the parchment paper is facing up.

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Invert second layer on top of the first, again with parchment paper side up. Bring ends and sides of foil up and secure around the cake. Transfer to the refrigerator until you are ready to assemble and serve the cake.

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When you are ready to assemble the cake, wash and slice your strawberries.

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Transfer one of the cake layers to a rimmed baking sheet larger than the cake. Dump 1-1/2 cups of the prepared vanilla pudding on to the center of the cake and spread it out with a rubber spatula

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Now, on goes the Cool Whip. Spread half of an 8 ounce container over the pudding layer.

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Place sliced strawberries, in a single layer, over the top of the Cool Whip. Reserve the remaining strawberries.

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Carefully place the second layer on top and lightly press down with your hand.

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Dust the top liberally with confectioners’ sugar.

Strawberries and Cream Cake

Scatter the remaining strawberries around the edges of the cake.

Strawberries and Cream Cake

Sit back and admire your work.

Strawberries and Cream Cake

Slice off a piece, add some strawberries and dig in!

Strawberries and Cream Cake

Sweet and pretty for Mother’s Day or a light, refreshing dessert for any spring or summer gathering!

Strawberries and Cream Cake

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 48 minutes

Yield: 18 servings

Ingredients:

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • Cake:
  • 2-1/4 cups cake flour
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 6 large egg whites
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons butter (1-1/2 sticks), softened
  • Strawberries and Cream Filling:
  • 1-1/2 cups (3.4 ounce package) vanilla instant pudding and pie filling
  • 1 (8 ounce) container Cool Whip
  • 4 to 5 cups sliced fresh strawberries
  • Confectioners' sugar (to decorate top of cake)

Instructions:

For the cake:

Set racks in upper-middle and lower-middle positions. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottoms of two 13" x 9" rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper that you have cut to fit the pans. Spray the edges of the pans and parchment paper with nonstick cooking spray.

Pour milk, egg whites, vanilla and almond extracts into 2-cup glass measure, and mix with fork until blended.

In a large bowl, stir together cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add butter and beat with a hand mixer on low speed until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Add half of the milk mixture to the flour mixture and beat for about 2 minutes. Scrape down sides with a rubber spatula. Add remaining milk mixture and beat for an additional 30 seconds, just until combined.

Divide batter evenly between two prepared pans. Use a rubber spatula to smooth tops. Bake 16 to 20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean.

Let cakes rest in pans for 3 minutes. Loosen from sides of pans with a knife, if necessary, and invert one of the cakes onto a large sheet of heavy duty foil, parchment paper side up. Invert the second cake on top of first layer, parchment paper side up, stacking the cake layers. Allow cakes to cool completely then fold foil over at the edges to secure the cakes and refrigerate until ready to assemble. Can be refrigerated for up to one day.

For the filling:

Prepare vanilla pudding according to package directions. Cover and refrigerate until ready to assemble cake.

Wash and slice strawberries.

To assemble the cake:

Place one cake layer on a large rimmed baking sheet that is larger than the cake. Spread 1-1/2 cups of the vanilla pudding on the cake layer then top with half of an 8 ounce container of Cool Whip. Place one layer of sliced strawberries on top of the Cool Whip. Top with second cake layer and press down lightly. Scatter remaining sliced strawberries on the pan around the cake for decoration. Dust top of cake with confectioners' sugar. Serve with additional Cool Whip on the side.

Classic White Cake adapted from Cooks Illustrated as featured on The Way the Cookie Crumbles

http://www.fromvalerieskitchen.com/2012/04/strawberries-and-cream-cake/

Comments

  1. says

    This looks like heaven. I know my husband would love it. I will be making half of the recipe though because it will only be for the two of us (my son doesn’t eat strawberries or whipped cream) and if I make the whole thing I will eat it all and then feel like a pig. I’m used to the pig feeling but I just have to control myself for the sake of my cholesterol levels ;o)

    • says

      I hear ya Nelly. Lucikly, my boys devour any desserts I make before I can overindulge. I depend on that! This one is definitely a weakness for me.

  2. says

    Mmm-mmm! I’m hoping to make it to the farmer’s market this weekend – perhaps I’ll find some strawberries there! This looks gorgeous. :)

  3. says

    I can never resist that ripe sweet scent whenever walking past strawberries, I always grab them! I agree with you – too many weird instructions and I always end up doing it my way instead. I wish I had that slice with the strawberries physically in front of me right now!

  4. says

    Valerie,
    This cake looks awesome! I’m a “semi-homemade” kind of girl too {probably why I love cake batter cookies so much, 1/2 the work is already done}. Angle food cake is one of my favorites, so I’m sure I would love this! And I love the dusting of powdered sugar on the top, nice touch. Ok, you can go ahead and send me a piece please :)

  5. says

    I committed to make a strawberry rhubarb cobbler tonight for a dinner party, but now I want to change my mind! I’d blow everyone away if I walked in with this. What a gorgeous and delicious looking cake!!! Just give me a bowl of that cream topped with a few strawberries!

  6. louise says

    I usually just do angel food cakes and serve with strawberries and cool whip this time I have made a 3 layer yellow cake. not sure if I just slice or half strawberries between the layers with the cool whip and just arrange halves on the top.don’t want it to be messy looking.and will it hold together

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