Thursday, June 16, 2011
My sister in-law Heather is pregnant with her (and my brother’s) first baby. It’s a GIRL and her name is Katharine (we’ll call her Kate)! Being that Heather’s husband Dan is my only sibling, this is the first baby on our immediate side of the family (so this is all VERY exciting)! Heather is being induced… TOMORROW!! Holy smokes I’ll have a niece in 24 hours!!! You can expect to see pictures of sweet little Kate up tomorrow!
Heather and I have been friends since college (pre- her dating and then marrying my brother). I told Dan to date her (that’s another story), but I like to say that I got to pick out my sister in-law!
(The College Years)
(I was there for their engagement)
(She was there for mine!)
(The four of us became inseparable – we were in eachother’s weddings and now live only 2 miles apart!)
(My mom, Heather and I at Heather’s baby shower)
Okay, enough of my walk down memory lane. Back to THE CAKE. I have had the pleasure of working with Heather for more than 2 years now. The company we work for is quite small (12 of us in all), so we are pretty much one big happy family as it is, but it is so nice to have ACTUAL family around everyday (and even better that we get along so well!).
Heather is leaving our company for 3 months on maternity leave. Yesterday was her last day, so we threw her a little going away cake party earlier in the week! I was in charge of the cake:
Ummm this WAS a shindig for a little girl, so naturally it HAD to be PINK! The cake was SUPER easy (Hello “doctored up” box mix!) and super delicous.
Do you think everyone liked it? haha Everyone FLIPPED over it. The last piece was claimed by the hubs. He made me promise to bring him home a piece! So I did. He LOVED it.
This is a classic southern recipe (not sure who the originator is), but there are a million recipes that are pretty much the same! This recipe is adapted from the Queen of butter herself, Paula Deen
1 box white cake mix (I like Pillsbury Brand)
1 small box strawberry gelatin (3 oz size)
1/2 cup canola oil
3 (10 ounce size) boxes frozen strawberries in syrup, defrosted and mashed - divided
2 (8 ounce) blocks of cream cheese, softened
2 sticks of unsalted butter, room temperature
48 oz (3 pounds) powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Fresh Strawberries (for garnish)
Preheat oven to 350° and grease two 8 1/2" round cake pans. In a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or in a large bowl using a hand mixer), beat together the cake mix and the gelatin until combined. Add 1 cup of the mashed strawberries, and the oil and mix well. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until thoroughly combined.
Pour batter evenly among the two cake pans. Bake for 20-28 minutes or until you can insert a toothpick in the center and it comes out clean. Note: oven temps vary so keep an eye on them!
Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. Once completely cool, invert onto a clean surface. Using a sharp knife, cut each cake round in half horizontally (making two skinnier rounds). Repeat with other cake, making for rounds. Set aside until ready to frost.
To make the frosting: Cream together butter and cream cheese. Add 1 cup mashed strawberries (you will probably have a bit of extra strawberries left over - no biggie, save for over ice cream or waffles!). Add powdered sugar, a cup at a time (mixing in between) until desired consistency. Finish by adding 2 teaspoons of vanilla, and mix well.
Assemble layers, frosting between them (remember to always put the cut side of the cakes down). Finish by frosting the outside of the cake. Top with fresh cut strawberries for garnish.