Triple-Decker Strawberry Cake

Adapted from The Cake Mix Doctor
Cake
  • Solid vegetable shortening for greasing the pans
  • Flour for dusting the pans
  • 1 package (18.25 ounces) plain white cake mix
  • 1 package (3 ounces) strawberry gelatin (or strawberry-banana gelatin)
  • 4 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup milk
  • 4 large eggs
  • ½ cup finely chopped fresh strawberries and juice
Frosting
  • 8 Tbsp (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar, or more if needed
  • ½ cup finely chopped strawberries and juice, or more if needed
  • More fresh strawberries, for garnish
  1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease three 9-inch round cake pans with solid vegetable shortening, then dust with flour. Shake out the excess flour. (Usually I’ll just use Pam, but I did the shortening & flour this time, and it was like magic! woohoo!)
  2. Place the cake mix, gelatin, flour, oil, sugar, milk, eggs, and strawberries and juice in a large mixing bowl and blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat for another 2 minutes. The strawberries should be well blended into the batter. Divide the batter among the prepared pans and place them in the oven.
  3. Bake the cakes until they spring back when lightly pressed with your finger and just start to pull away from the sides of the pan; 33 to 35 minutes. Remove the pans from the oven and place them on wire racks to cool for 10 minutes. Run a dinner knife around the edge of each layer and invert each onto a rack, then invert again onto another rack so that the cakes are right side up. Allow to cool completely, 30 minutes more.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare the frosting. Place the butter in a large mixing bowl and blend it with an electric mixer on low speed until fluffy, 20 seconds. Stop the machine and add the confectioners’ sugar and ½ cup strawberries and juice. Blend on low speed until the frosting is creamy and of a spreadable consistency. If it is too thin, add more sugar. If it is too thick add more strawberries.
  5. To assemble, place one cake layer right side up, on a serving platter. Spread the top with frosting. Add another layer, right side up, on top of the first and frost the top. Repeat this process with the third layer and frost the top; the cake should now resemble a torte with the sides left unfrosted.
  6. Place, uncovered, in the refrigerator until the frosting sets, 20 minutes.
  7. Decorate the top with the “more fresh strawberries.” Serve at once or put it back in the fridge for later serving.
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