Strawberry Shortcake Poke Cake

My daughter and I are baking today. We are going to make a “Strawberry Shortcake Poke Cake” (think of all the flavors, textures, and pleasures of Strawberry Shortcake in a two layer cake format). We came up with this cake idea together and used some other people’s individual recipes for individual components on the way to making our vision into a reality.

We are starting with this recipe for the 2 layers of white cake:

Cake Ingredients

  • ▢6 Tablespoons unsalted butter softened to room temperature 85g
  • ▢2/3 cup canola oil or vegetable oil 160ml
  • ▢2 cup sugar 400g
  • ▢1 Tablespoon clear vanilla extract
  • ▢2 2/3 cup + 2 Tablespoon all-purpose flour 345g
  • ▢1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • ▢1 teaspoon salt
  • ▢1 cup milk room temperature preferred (235ml)
  • ▢6 large egg whites room temperature
  • Double batch Vanilla Buttercream Frosting (click link for recipe)

We created a Strawberry Puree from frozen strawberries,  strawberry glaze, and sugar.

Puree Ingedients

2 lb (32oz) Frozen Strawberries

14 oz. Marie’s Glaze for Strawberries

1/8 cup sugar

And we made a Cool Whip Frosting.

Classic Cool Whip Frosting

  • 1 3.5-oz package instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 8-oz tub whipped topping (thawed, if frozen)

The Best White Cake Recipe

“This BEST white cake recipe yields a fluffy, snow-white cake that’s light and soft but still sturdy enough to stack or cover with fondant.”

Prep Time: 35 minutesCook Time: 35 minutesTotal Time: 1 hour 10 minutes Servings: 12 slices

Cake Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350F and prepare two 8-inch round cake pans by lining the bottoms with a round of parchment paper and generously greasing and flouring the sides. Be sure to shake out excess flour.
  • In a stand mixer (or using an electric mixer), beat butter on medium-low speed until creamy.
  • Add sugar and oil and beat until all ingredients are well-combined and creamy.
  • Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and then stir in your vanilla extract.
  • In separate bowl, whisk together your flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • Measure out your milk.
  • With mixer on medium speed, gradually alternate between adding the flour mixture and the milk to the butter mixture, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Stir until each one is almost completely combined before adding the next.
  • Pause occasionally to scrape down sides and bottom of bowl.
  • In separate bowl combine your egg whites and using a hand-mixer on high-speed beat until stiff peaks form.
  • Using a spatula, gently fold your egg whites into your batter. Take care to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl so that ingredients are well-combined, and take care not to over-mix.
  • Evenly divide cake batter into prepared pans.
  • Bake on 350F for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake layer comes out clean or with few crumbs (should not be wet). For best results, rotate your cake pans halfway through baking to ensure even baking.
  • NOTE: You can work on the Puree while these are baking.
  • Cakes will be a light golden brown when done baking.
  • Remove cakes from oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the inside rim of each pan and invert each onto a cooling rack.
  • Note, you willAllow to cool completely before poking holes in the cake that will be used for the bottom layer using a dowel, spoon handle or other cylindrical object. (You will wait to poke holes in the second one after it is stacked on top of the first, so WAIT.)

Puree Instructions

Add half of the frozen strawberries and half of the glaze into a blender and puree.

Then liquify.

Once liquified,  slowly add the rest of the frozen strawberries and glaze.

After liquified,  stir in the sugar and  blend consistently.

The puree can be refrigerated until the cakes are finished baking and are cooling. However, when the cakes come out of the oven, the puree should come out of the refrigerator to regulate towards room temperature.

Once the cakes are cooled and holes have been poked in the bottom layer, pour the puree so that it soaks into the poke holes.

You will need to make the Cool whip frosting so that you can top the bottom layer.

  • Pour milk into bowl add pudding mix and vanilla extract.
  • Beat with wire whisk for 2 minutes.
  • Gently fold in whipped topping.
  • Apply to top of first layer

Add puree drizzle to top of frosting

then stack the second layer

Poke holes in the second layer

Pour puree on the second layer

Top the cake with your frosting

Frost the sides of your cake

Add puree drizzle to the top of the cake (preferably with piping bags and decorating tips)

Keep refrigerated until serving

There were several times today while we were baking that we could have chosen to cut corners. We ended up needing a few trips to the store instead of just one. We made everything (other than adding the glaze to the puree) completely from scratch instead of using cake box mixes or ready made frosting. We had to make the frosting twice because we didn’t do the first one in the right order. But each time, we didn’t compromise — we gave our best effort.

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.
Colossians 3:23‭-‬24 ESV

We spent our day, from around 11AM until 4:30PM making this cake together. We did other things in between steps, letting the cakes cool, letting the frosting set up, letting the puree soak in, etc. But we weren’t in a hurry. We were enjoying the time together. You see, getting to eat the cake wasn’t the purpose, it was a product of the purpose. The purpose was to spend time together doing something special.  The beautiful cake to eat afterwards was an added bonus, but the real treasure was us laughing and taste testing and talking with each other throughout the whole process.

It is the same with our walk with the Lord. The “blessings” aren’t near as wonderful as time with the “Blesser”. During this Christmas season,  that’s an important lesson amidst gifts and decorations and songs and meals that are all byproducts of us celebrating the rain for the season.

God bless.

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