May 1, 2016

STRAWBERRY CAKE



Oh. My. Gosh.  This case is wonderful!  And here's my sweet little secret.  It's made from a cake mix; so, it makes it a bit easier and quicker.  You won't get any apologies from me for using a mix.  I like the taste of them, the cakes come out perfectly every, single time; and in today's fast-paced world, that matters.


It's strawberry season in southern Illinois, and the berries are beautiful.  So red, juicy, and sweet!

Cudjoe's family raised strawberries for approximately 10 years.  They cultivated an acre and a half of strawberries.   He had to help his dad plant, cultivate, fertilize, pick and pack.

What weren't sold locally were shipped to Chicago, Illinois.
During the latter years of raising strawberries, they turned the acre and a half into a U-Pick and didn't pack and ship any longer.

An interesting tidbit about strawberries is the plants have to be planted two years before they will bear fruit.


I love strawberries.  They are my favorite fruit!   


 Strawberry season is short -- about three weeks -- but that probably makes us enjoy them that much more.  


I was inspired to make this cake by the photograph on the front of this month's Southern Living Magazine.  


 The texture of this cake was truly perfect.  I frosted the outside of the cake with a buttercream frosting and with a strawberry buttercream between the layers.

Cakes:

1 white boxed cake mix

1.  Follow the directions on the back of the cake mix box to make two nine-inch cakes.  (I substituted 1 cup of milk for the water and three whole eggs instead of just egg whites.)

2.  After cakes have cooled completely, remove them from the cake pans, wrap them in plastic wrap and place them in the refrigerator.  I placed mine in the refrigerator overnight.

Buttercream:

1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
4 cups of powdered sugar, sifted
7 to 8 teaspoons of milk or water
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 pinch of salt
1 tablespoon of Meringue Powder (I used Wilton's)
Strawberries, mashed and with sugar added to stir into just enough of the white buttercream to frost between layers

1.  Cream shortening and butter together.  Continue to cream together on medium speed for five minutes.

2.  Add in powdered sugar approximately one cup at a time, alternating with milk (or water).   Add in merigune powder, salt, and vanilla.

3.  Continue to whip frosting on medium to high speed for another five minutes.

4.  Remove enough frosting to frost between the layers and add strawberries that have been mashed and sugar added.  I added in enough to make the frosting a nice, pink color and so that I could taste the strawberry flavor.

5.  Remove cakes from the refrigerator and cut off any dome that is on the cake to make it flat.  Place one cake on a cardboard cake circle, and frost the top of this cake with strawberry frosting.  Place second cake on top of the bottom layer.  

6.  Frost the entire cake with white buttercream.

Decorate with fresh strawberries.

Serve to family and friends!!






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