Sunday, June 23, 2013

Summer Sweet Strawberry Poke Cake

Hello Dear Strangers.
For those of you who don't know me personally, so much has happened since we last talked!!  We've had a very excited turn of events in our adoption journey that has lead to me being way too busy to even catch up with you or share any new recipes at all.!
Unfortunately, this particular blog post isn't about this wonderful blessing the Lord has done.  Not this particular post...  that will take a little bit to write and will be at my other blog Bringing Home Baby Cates very soon!!!  Please don't think I haven't missed visiting with you all, but you'll shortly understand why I haven't really been able to.  So sorry, but today that has to be for another blog.  I simply don't have enough time to write much, and forgive these pictures for being dark, but a storm was rolling through yesterday evening when I baked this cake.
Strawberry cake has to be one of my all-time favorite cakes! 
I made this fresh strawberry cake last night with the intention of making a regular homemade strawberry cake with strawberry butter cream icing. The poke part of the cake is a twist this family-favorite strawberry cake recipe.  I know how unpredictable this icing can be for me, and although delicious no matter what, it can turn out runny and even curdled if I don't add cream cheese--which I didn't this time. 
When the icing did in fact turn out too runny, I decided to turn this delish cake into a really delicious poke cake!  The icing the the perfect consistency for me to pour onto the hot cake after poking holes in it with a wooden spoon.  The cake soaked up the strawberry frosting and also created some pockets of icing (yummo!).  Then I slathered the cooled and frosted cake with homemade vanilla whipped cream and refrigerated it.
My hubby and I think this cake is scrumptious!  The whipped cream really makes it light, cool and refreshing for the hot days of summer and the cake itself it really moist.  It would be perfect for your 4th of July cookout!  I hope you enjoy baking it as much as you will eating this strawberry poke cake with your family!
Sweet Strawberry Poke Cake
For the Cake:
 1 box of White Cake Mix
1(3 oz.) box of Strawberry Jello mix
4 Eggs
1/4 c. Water
1 c. Canola Oil
1 c. fresh crushed Strawberries
For the Icing:
1 stick Butter
1 lb. Powdered Sugar
(I only had 3/4 lb this time, which probably contributed to the runny icing.)
3/4 c. Fresh Strawberries, chopped finely
(My mistake was not straining the juice, but for the poke cake you want the juice!)
1/4 Heavy Whipping Cream
Homemade Whipped Cream:
1 quart Heavy Whipping Cream
1 Tbsp. Sugar or Stevia
1 tsp. Vanilla Bean Paste or Vanilla Extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9x13 in. baking pan with baking spray which I use, or oil and flour.

Hull and dice strawberries.  Please in a bowl and crush with a potato masher until strawberries are mostly all crushed.  Set aside.

In a large bowl or in your stand mixer, dump the box cake, strawberry jello, and water.  Turn the mixer on low and slowly add the oil and eggs.  Turn up the mixer on medium high and beat the batter for a good minute or until fluffy.  The the mixer on low and stir in the crushed strawberries.
Pour the batter in the pan and bake for about 33-35 minutes.  Check with a toothpick and remove from oven when it comes out clean.  If it doesn't put back into the oven for 3 minute intervals until your tooth pick is clean.
While the cake is baking in the oven, mix up the icing.  In a large bowl, cream the butter and heavy whipping cream together.  Add powdered sugar and chopped strawberries in intervals ending with the sugar.  Beat until the frosting is as creamy as it can be.  This time, mine flopped and was curdled but that is completely fine for a poke cake...  it still taste delicious and is covered with whipped cream anyways!
When the cake comes out of the oven let it cool for just a few minutes before poking several holes around the cake and about halfway down.  Then, pour in the strawberry frosting all over the cake and spread out evenly. The icing will seep down into the cake and the holes, and this is a very good thing! 

 Allow the cake to cool completely and you can even put in the fridge to speed up this process.
While cooling, make the whipped cream by beating heavy whipping cream on low until it begins to get creamy.  Add the vanilla bean paste and sugar and turn up the speed to high and beat until stiff peaks form.  You want a fluffy but firm whipped cream for this cake since it's used as a frosting.
When the cake is completely cooled, slather the cake with the homemade whipped cream and garnish with strawberries.  
Store in the fridge until ready to devour! Will keep for 3 days, but is best eaten within 12 hours.

At the Children's Hospital Mr. Cozy works at, his co worker/friends threw us a shower.  Friends, I've waited 7 years for a baby shower!!! 
There will be more news very soon so please keep in touch...

 ... but in the meantime, make this cake!  ;)