The perfect spring time dessert

The+perfect+spring+time+dessert

Sophie Enloe , Editor

I love black forest cake, but a strawberry version seems more appropriate for spring and summer. This light fluffy cake, filled with lots of scrumptious strawberries and topped with real whipped cream, will become a family favorite. It’s perfect for parties, church gatherings, and of course picnics. This is one recipe you won’t want to pass up!

 

Cake Ingredients:

  • 1 box white, yellow, or vanilla cake mix
  • 3 large eggs
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • 4 ounces of water
  • 2 cans of strawberry pie fill, with 4 oz of strawberry goo removed for the cake batter
  • Pink food coloring if desired

 

Stabilized Whip Cream Topping:

  • 2 cups of whipping cream
  • ¼ cup of confectioners sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin 
  • 1½ tablespoons of cold water

 

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease two pans and line them with parchment paper. This will make removing the cake much easier.
  2. Crack open a can of strawberry pie fill. Using a spoon or silicone scraper scoop out 4 ounces of strawberry goo into a measuring cup. Leave the strawberries in the can, you’ll need those for later.
  3. Add 4 ounces of water to the strawberry goo and stir thoroughly to combine. Follow the directions on the cake mix box substituting the watered-down strawberry goo for the cup of water. Add a few drops of pink or red food coloring if desired.
  4. When the batter is prepared according to the box, divide equally between the two pans and bake according to the box instructions. When the timer goes off test the cakes with a skewer or other instrument to check for doneness. If it comes out clean, your cake is ready to cool. 
  5. Put cakes on a rack and set the timer for 10 minutes. Now would be a good time to put cake whisk or beaters and bowl into a freezer to cool. Cold instruments will make whipping the cream a breeze.
  6. After the timer goes off, remove cakes from pans and continue to let them cool on racks. The cakes need to be completely cooled or the whipped cream will melt!

 

Making the whipped cream topping:

  1. Measure out 1 ½ tablespoon of water into a microwave-safe bowl. Sprinkle the 1 teaspoon of gelatin over the top and set aside.
  2. Get your and beater(s) out of the freezer. Pour in the 2 cups of whipping cream,  ¼ cup of confectioners sugar, and a teaspoon of vanilla into the bowl. Beat until soft peaks form.
  3. Microwave the gelatin for 5 seconds. Stir with a fork. Remove a tablespoon or so of whipped cream from the bowl and stir it into the gelatin mixture. This will prevent the whipped cream from getting lumpy.
  4. Fold the gelatin mixture into the whipped cream. Beat until stiff peaks form.

 

Assemble the cake!

  1. Place one layer onto a plate or cardboard cake circle.
  2. Using either a piping bag or a zip lock bag with the corner cut off, place a circle of whipped cream around the edge of the layer of cake. This will help prevent the strawberry filling from escaping.
  3. Pour the remainder of the open can of strawberry filling into the center of the layer and spread to the edges of the whipped cream.
  4. Top with the other layer of cake. Using an icing spatula or similar tool, spread a thin layer of whipped cream over the top of the cake. Make another edge of whipped cream on the top and spread the second layer of strawberry filling on top.
  5. Using the icing spatula, spread the remaining whipped cream around the sides of the cake. If you’re a professional cake decorator your cake will look beautiful. Me… Not so much.
  6. And the last step is to enjoy your creation!

 

Tips and Tricks:

  • Use 8-inch cake pans. 9-inch pans create a thinner cake that doesn’t hold up well to the weight of all the toppings.
  • This recipe doesn’t make a super sweet cake. If you’d like it sweeter, add more confectioners sugar to the whipped cream.
  • Both confectioners sugar and gelatin work as stabilizers for the whipped cream but you’re still going to need to chill the cake after assembling it. A cold cake will do well outside of the fridge for a few hours but anything longer than that and the whipped cream will melt.
  • You may be tempted to freeze this cake but don’t do it! The whipped cream will be lumpy after it thaws out and may even be runny. The best way to keep the cake fresh is to refrigerate it or better yet, eat it all!