The Fall weather just keeps me in the baking mood. Yesterday caught me making a strawberry Italian Cream Cake for our DIL birthday and the fresh apple cake is for a party we are going to tonight. When Mandy ask that I make either a strawberry cake or an Italian Cream cake, I went looking for either of these recipes and found a great recipe for a strawberry cake which had coconut and chopped pecans, which in my mind said, “wow, this is like a strawberry Italian cake” so I thought I would bake it. I ended up making the layers in 3 pans instead of two, which made them a little thin for my liking, so I went ahead and baked a two layer French vanilla cake mix and combined the two cakes, put together with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting with chopped pecans and coconut. Turned out so good, I wanted to share.
1 package plain white cake mix
1 ( 3 oz) package strawberry gelatin
1 cup mashed fresh strawberries with juice (I used frozen)
1 cup veggie oil
1/2 cup whole milk
4 large eggs, room temp
1 cup frozen unsweetened grated coconut, thawed (I find this by the frozen fruit)
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting
1 package ( 8 oz) cream cheese, room temperature
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar (1 box)
3/4 cup fresh ripe strawberries, rinsed and mashed to make 1/2 cup, then drained well. (I just used the left over mashed strawberries that I didn’t use in the cake mix)
1/2 cup frozen unsweetened coconut, thawed
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Lightly grease 3 9″ round cake pans. Preheat oven to 350 (unless your cake pans are dark coated, then bake at 325)
Place cake mix, strawberry gelatin, mashed strawberries and juice, oil, milk and eggs in large mixing bowl. Blend together on low for 1 min, then scraping sides, increase speed to medium and beat for 2 more min. Fold in the coconut and nuts. Divide mixture between the 3 pans and bake until cake tests done. Cool completely.
At this point, I made a Duncan Hines French Vanilla cake, according to directions on box, except that I always substitute milk for the water. Make in 2 9″ round pans.
Mix the cream cheese, butter and powdered sugar until well blended and no lumps remain. Stir in the coconut and pecans.
To assemble cake:
Place a white cake layer on the bottom of a serving platter. Frost the top. Place a strawberry cake layer on top and frost. Repeat with another white cake layer and frost, then end with another of the strawberry layers. Frost top and sides, using the rest of the frosting. *Also would be good to completely wrap the entire cake, after frosting, with a layer of fresh whipped cream, heh, just sayin). Store in fridge. Keep the 3rd cake layer for another time, wrapped in foil, zip lock bag in freezer.