Dolce Mangia
Sweet Eats
Triple Decker Strawberry Cake
Cake:
Solid vegetable shortening
Flour for pan dusting
1 package (18.25 oz) plain white cake mix
1 package (3 oz) strawberry gelatin
4 T flour
1 c vegetable oil
1/2 c granulated sugar
1/2 c whole milk
4 large eggs
1/2 c finely chopped fresh strawberries and juice

Frosting:
8 T butter, at room temperature
4 c confectioners' sugar, sifted, or more if needed
1/2 c finely chopped fresh strawberries and juice, or more if needed

Garnish:
1 c halved fresh strawberries

 Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350. Lightly grease three 9" round cake pans with solid vegetable shortening, then dust with flour. Shake out the excess flour. Set the pans aside.

Place the cake mix, strawberry 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 the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes more, scraping the sides down again if needed. The strawberries should be well blended into the batter. Divide the batter among the prepared pans and place them in the oven. If your oven is not large enough, place two pans on the center rack and place the third pan in the center of the highest rack.

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. Be careful not to overcook the layer on the highest oven rack. 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, about 30 minutes more.

Meanwhile, prepare the frosting. Place the softened 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 4 c confectioners' sugar and 1/2 c 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.

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. Decorate the top attractively with the halved strawberries. Serve at once or chill the cake for later serving. (We recommend serving this cake with additional sliced fresh strawberries.)

Time: 90 minutes Servs: 12

This cake recipe is strong enough to make stacked cakes. The recipe is from Anne Byrn's The Cake Mix Doctor and can be found at:
http://www.post-gazette.com/food/20020606strawberryc1.asp.

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