My favorite time of year is when Scott’s strawberries are in season. This recipe utilizes this season’s bounty. This cake is eye catching with its strawberry flower on top and the strawberry whipped cream tastes like a strawberry milkshake. The best part is, it starts with a cake mix!
Strawberry Flower Cake
1 box strawberry cake mix
1 (3 ounce) box strawberry Jell-O
Additional ingredients listed on cake mix (eggs, oil, water)
Line two 8-inch round cake pans with parchment paper. Spray bottom and sides of pans with non-stick spray. Mix cake mix and Jell-O together with a mixer. Add ingredients listed on cake mix (water, eggs, oil) according to package directions. Bake according to package directions for 8-inch round cakes. When a toothpick inserted in middle of cake comes out clean remove cakes from oven. Let cool 5 minutes then run a knife between cake and pan so cake won’t stick to sides of pan. Remove cake from pan, remove parchment paper, and let cake layers cool completely on wire racks before proceeding with recipe.
1 cup pureed strawberries (pureed in a mini food processor or blender)
5 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons sugar
Mix pureed strawberries, water, and sugar together. Let mixture sit 10 minutes for sugar to dissolve. Set aside.
Strawberry Whipped Cream
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoons strawberry Jell-O
In the bowl of a mixer, combine whipping cream, sugar, and Jell-O on low speed. Scrape sides of bowl and increase speed to medium high. Beat until stiff peaks form (whipping cream will hold its shape when beaters are removed). Place in refrigerator.
Cake Assembly and Additional Ingredients
2 quarts fresh strawberries
Use the smallest and/or odd shaped strawberries for strawberry puree. Organize remaining strawberries by size. Remove caps and slice lengthwise into ¼-inch thick slices. (I start in the middle of each strawberry and cut slices to the edge. That way the center slices are all the same thickness.) The center slices will be used to make the strawberry flower on top of the cake and as a ring on the outer edge of the first cake layer. The end pieces will be used to fill in the center of the first layer and gaps on the top layer.
Remove domed top of both cakes with a bread knife. Reserve domed tops for another use. Insert a plastic drinking straw in cut side of cake ¼-inch deep making holes 1-inch apart. Blow pieces of cake out of straw as you poke holes in cake. Make holes in both cakes. Place first layer cut side up with holes on a serving plate. Spread ½ of puree on top. Let puree soak in cake.
Spread a little less than ½ of whipped cream on top of puree to edge of cake. Make a ring of strawberries with the pointed ends around the outer edge of cake, on top of whipped cream. (See photo.) Fill center with end pieces of strawberries arranging so end pieces touch and strawberries are in one even layer. Place second cake layer on top of strawberries cut side up. Spread remaining puree on top. Let puree soak into cake. Spread remaining whipped cream on top of cake to the edge.
To make strawberry flower for top of cake; use the longest strawberry slices around the outer ring of the cake. Place pointed side of strawberries toward outer edge of cake with widest portion of strawberries facing the center. The widest portion of strawberries should be touching. Repeat making 3 overlapping rows of strawberries. Since strawberry rows overlap, the center of the flower will be higher than the outside. To even things out, place pieces of strawberries in the center then put a fourth ring of strawberries on top of the pieces. Use a few green caps for the center of the flower. (See photo).
Published in The News and Neighbor on May 23, 2018