Strawberry Shortcake Cake

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“Let them eat cake!” – Marie Antoinette

Yes, I know that that’s the wrong revolution for this day–I just felt like being silly! I wasn’t originally even going to be making a cake today. Actually, I wasn’t planning on making anything at all. But then I went shopping with my mother for a little bit and found the cutest apron at Anthropologie that was on sale AND extra 20% off (I can’t find it on the website, or else I would post the link)… I was going to make cinnamon-sugar pull apart bread, but then discovered that we have no whole milk in my house, and then was requested to use the strawberries my father bought from Costco. SO, this little lady went to the store and bought milk and cream and butter (I already had butter, but, let’s just say that the number of chocolate chips in my house rendered the amount of butter I had painfully low just in case I got the craving for chocolate chip cookies). Plus, red and white is more patriotic (for so many countries, but let’s not talk about how the US isn’t the only nation whose flag is red-white-blue on this magnificent day).

I digress. Today’s dessert is strawberry shortcake cake using this recipe from FoodNetwork.com!

Cake. I made a cake today. A CAKE. All by myself. And it didn’t break in to a million pieces when I turned the cake out of the pan to cool. And the bottom mostly stayed on minus a small layer of the brown bits over a small percentage of the total area. And the bit of cake that did come off in the pan tasted kinda yummy. This is huge. Ladies and gentlemen, I have successfully not butchered my first cake. OH. YEAH.

This whipped cream frosting recipe is excellent! Maybe a little heavy on the sugar and the vanilla extract, but the texture is really quite nice and the frosting holds itself up well too. In other news, my right forearm is ever so slightly exhausted from its whip-tastic workout this afternoon.

The recipe calls for 2 pints of strawberries, and Google told me that 2 pints means 2 pounds. I measured out 2 pounds of fresh strawberries, washed, dried, and sliced all but 12. It looked like an overwhelmingly large pile of sliced strawberries, but I threw caution to the wind and decided to trust the recipe.

Five thoughts happened during assembly:

1. Why would you put strawberry slices onto a not-frosted piece of cake? I concluded that this line of instruction made no sense, to put that many strawberry slices on a cake without having something for the strawberries to stick to. So I put down a thin layer of the frosting on the bottom cake before putting strawberries on.

2. TWO POUNDS OF STRAWBERRIES WILL NOT FIT. I do believe that I managed to pile on a solid inch of strawberry slices before I decided that my efforts were silly and that my cake would fall asunder if I tried to add any more strawberries.

3. The cakes aren’t centered. Damn.

4. Frosting cakes is hard *sad face*. But, the last of the strawberry slices can be used to cover the bad frosting job on the sides of the cake.

5. The picture totally lied. They show a neat little two-layer cake with two layers of strawberry slices. I call BS because there is no way that those two layers of slices plus the strawberries on the top accounted to two pounds.

If you’re like me, and distinctly prefer to not use electric mixers, then this recipe will most certainly not take 55 minutes. I think I wound up at a grand total of 2.5 hours. I was also taking my time and being quite leisurely at each step. And I am terrible at frosting, so that took a very long time.

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The result: a very dense cake and lots of strawberries! Not quite shortcake, but that’s not what the recipe was going for. It was more like 80% shortcake and 20% cake. But it was yummy! For future reference, I think I’d rather just use half a cake recipe and pile the strawberries right on top, rather than squashing them between two cakes. Also, for those of you concerned about the seemingly vast quantities of the whipped cream frosting: I highly recommend that you don’t skimp on the whipped cream.

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