My mom started making this cake when I was a teenager and it immediately became a favorite in our family. Indeed, this cake is a top-pick for those of us with summer birthdays. While strawberries are now available most of the year, this cake is a must-have during strawberry season. What makes this cake so delicious is the flavors in the three layers, soft vanilla cake, creamy and tangy cream cheese with whipped cream filling, and then it is all topped off sliced, glazed strawberries. This mouth-watering cake is light, fresh and delicious.
First, is the soft and moist vanilla cake. It is baked on a jellyroll pan, which makes for a thinner layer, thus creating the perfect cake to cream cheese frosting to strawberry ratio.
Now for the glazed strawberries. My mom makes this cake with a store-bought, strawberry glaze, which is an easy and yummy option. I like the taste of my homemade glaze better and I always have the ingredients on hand which makes one less trip to the grocery store. The glaze is made from strawberry jello, sugar, cornstarch, water and a little red food coloring. This strawberry mixture is brought to a boil for a minute and then it must cool. I like to stir it occasionally to help the heat escape and to help it along in cooling.
Now wash, hull and slice 2 pounds of fresh, ripe and sweet strawberries. The strawberry slices are then added to the cooled glaze.
This layer is probably everyone’s favorite layer and for good reason. It starts with fresh whipped cream with vanilla extract in one bowl and whipped, softened cream cheese and powdered sugar in another. Next we mix the two together, making a sweet, creamy and tangy filling that will have you licking the spoon, the bowl and your fingers.
After the cake is cooled, spread the filling in an even layer, covering the entire cake.
Isn’t that gorgeous! But it isn’t done yet; here come the strawberries and glaze. Carefully, push and spread the strawberries to the edges of the cake, covering the cream cheese filling. Cover with wax paper and refrigerate for at least an hour.
Honestly, this is a cool, and refreshing dessert you’ve got to try this summer. I also think adding some blueberries in a stars-and-stripes design would make it a fantastic Fourth of July dessert. ENJOY!
Fresh Strawberry Sheetcake
1 vanilla cake mix, mixed as directed
2 lbs. strawberries
2/3 c. sugar
1 c. water
4 T. strawberry gelatin
2 T. cornstarch
2 c. whipping cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 (8oz) package cream cheese, softened
1 c. powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a jellyroll pan with parchment paper, a silicone baking mat (my favorite) or spray pan with cooking spray. Pour mixed cake batter into jellyroll pan and bake for 15-18 minutes, until golden brown. Set aside to cool.
In a medium saucepan, whisk together the cornstarch, sugar, strawberry gelatin, and water. Heat over medium high and bring to a boil, whisking constantly for one minute. Set aside and allow to cool.
While glaze is cooling, wash, hull and slice strawberries. When glaze is cooled mix with sliced strawberries.
In a large bowl, beat the whipping cream and vanilla extract until very thick. In a medium bowl, beat the softened cream cheese, add the powdered sugar and incorporate well. Add the cream cheese mixture to the whipping cream and mix until combined.
To assemble the cake, spread cream cheese mixture on top of the cooled cake. Then top with glazed strawberries. Cover with wax paper and refrigerate at least one hour or until ready to serve.