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Strawberry Cake

Next to pineapples one of my favorite fruits is strawberries. I remember growing up and my home ed teacher, Mrs. Burns would sell this extra large cupcakes after school for $0.75 cents. Without fail every afternoon she would sell of this delectable delights of lemon, vanilla and strawberry. So this past Labor Day weekend I decided to re-visit an old friend, the Strawberry Cake. So as our farewell to summer until 2013, we celebrated with a delicious, scrumptious strawberry cake.  It was fresh, fruity and full flavor.  Just like I remembered.

Ingredients

Strawberry Cake

  • 1 (18.25-ounce) box white cake mix
  • 1 (3-ounce) box strawberry-flavored instant gelatin
  • 1 (15-ounce) package frozen strawberries in syrup, thawed and pureed; Reserve 1/4 cup for frosting
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup water

Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup reserved strawberry puree
  • 1/2 teaspoon strawberry extract
  • 7 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • red food coloring, optional
  • Freshly sliced strawberries, for garnish, optional

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease 2 (9-inch) round cake pans.

2. In a large bowl, combine cake mix and gelatin. Add pureed strawberries, eggs, oil, and water; beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Pour into prepared pans, and bake for 20 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.

3. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks.

4. Time to make the frosting: In a large bowl, beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Beat in 1/4 cup of the reserved strawberry puree and the strawberry extract. Gradually add confectioners’ sugar 1 cup at a time, beating until smooth.

5. Spread frosting in between layers and on top and sides of cake. Garnish with sliced fresh strawberries, if desired.

*Chef’s Note – 1) You can use fresh or frozen strawberries. If you use frozen, let them defrost first and then place in a food processor and pulse until pureed. If you want puree to be seedless just run through a medium-sized strainer to remove the seeds.

2) Some chefs avoid using red food coloring, I did however add some food coloring to achieve that perfectly pink color. If you don’t care about getting the pink color, feel free to leave it out. I used about 5 drops, but you should add them one at a time until you achieve the color you are looking for.

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Peanut Butter Fudge Cake

Now you know I love me some peanut butter and chocolate. And any way I can get, I have it. This cake is so rich & so delicious. Don’t forget the milk. You will definitely need it! It’s like having a BIG OLE’ peanut butter cup in your mouth.

Ingredients

for cake:

  • 1 box Betty Crocker Devil Food Cake Mix
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 ½ cups semisweet chocolate chips

for frosting:

  • 1 (8 oz) cream cheese, soften
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, soften
  • 2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-4 Tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • 1 bag Reese’s Peanut Butter cups, chopped (optional garnish)

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour (on chocolate cake mixes I love to use cocoa instead of flour) two 9 inch circle cake pans.

2. Place cake mix, eggs, sour cream, buttermilk, vanilla and oil in large mixing bowl. Blend on low for 1 minute, scrape bowl, and blend on medium 2 more minutes. Batter should look thick and well combined. Lightly coat chocolate chips with flour and fold into the batter, making sure they’re well distributed. Pour batter into greased and floured pan.

3. Bake 45-50 minutes, or until cake springs back when lightly touched and cake just starts to pull away from sides of pan. Place on rack to cool for 20 minutes.

3. While cake is cooling make frosting. In medium bowl beat the peanut butter, cream cheese and unsalted butter until light and fluffy. Add vanilla, whipping cream and 1 cup of powdered sugar. Beat well and continue to add 1 cup of powdered sugar at a time  mixing thoroughly after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl often. Continue to beat on medium speed until light and fluffy and it reaches your desired consistency. About 3 to 4 minutes.

4. Now for the  assembly, place bottom circle on cake stand or plate. Spread top with 1 cup frosting. Add the second circle to the top. Spread the rest of frosting on sides and top of chocolate cake. Carefully garnish cake by pressing chopped peanut butter cups into frosting. Chill for a few hours, or overnight, before serving. Serve & Enjoy!

*Chef’s Tip – This cake benefits from some refrigeration due to the cream cheese & heavy whipping cream in the frosting. It helps the entire enterprise of cake while melding the layers together. Maybe an hour. Not a lot. Or forget it and just dig into the cake. Perfect slices are for when you need to appear fancy. Get over it and just eat the darn thang. Nobody really remembers how good it looked. Just how good it tasted.