Kelly the Culinarian: Cooking with Kelly: Triple Layer Strawberry Poke Cake Recipe

Friday, September 11, 2015

Cooking with Kelly: Triple Layer Strawberry Poke Cake Recipe

Triple Layer Strawberry Poke Cake RecipeI like to bake things, specifically impressive things that make people happy. Birthdays and holidays and celebrations and milestones should all be rung in with something sweet. I've been doing this for years, because it makes the recipient happy, and it makes me feel like I contributed to the celebration. This cake was crafted for a birthday and it turned out so moist, pretty and delicious I had to share.

Poke cakes are a great way to infuse flavors and colors into a cake. This particular one is made with jello, which ensures the cake stays moist and flavorful. It also gives the cake a tie-dye effect, which is fun to cut into.

I also employed a few strategies I've learned to make boxes cakes and frosting taste more homemade. For the cake, add one more egg than is instructed. Swap out the vegetable oil and use coconut oil instead. And use milk instead of water. Voila, a taste of home. As far as the frosting, use your stand mixer and whisk attachment to whip that stuff up. You'll get more volume from your frosting, which also helps mix up the sugar crystals in it for a smoother finish. Plus, if you're tinting the frosting with food coloring, as I did, it ensures you get an even color. And it just looks nicer, too.

To assemble this, I used a 6-inch cake round. I baked the cake in a standard 13x9 pan, so I leveled it off with a cake saw, then cut two relatively flat and perfect layers. The third layer was two half-circles, which I filled in with the extra cake pieces. I put this not-quite-perfect layer in the middle and the cake consumers were none the wiser.

I also used sliced strawberries inside the cake and on the top. I found it easiest to assemble the layers, then refrigerate to allow this to firm up. Then, I crumb coated the cake, refrigerated again and applied the final layer. Because this cake is so moist, it will crumble during icing if you don't take your time and cool everything down in between.

Pro tip: Use strips of foil or parchment paper on the base of your cake stand. You can remove them when you're done so your cake stand is all fresh and clean.

Triple Layer Strawberry Poke Cake Recipe
1 box white cake mix
1 cup milk
1/3 cup melted coconut oil 
4 large eggs
1 box strawberry jello
1 cup boiling water
1 can white icing
Food coloring, if you're using
1 pint sliced strawberries (save the prettiest for the top)

Grease a 13x9 baking pan and set aside. Using a stand mixer on low, combine the cake mix, eggs, coconut oil and milk, then switch to medium speed and beat for two minutes. Spoon into the cake pan and bake at 350 until a toothpick comes out clean, about 25 minutes.

While it's cooling, boil the water and add in the jello, mixing until all the sugar dissolves. While the cake is still warm, poke the top of it with a fork to create channels for the liquid. Slowly pour the jello evenly over the surface, then allow to cook for 30 minutes. Refrigerate for an hour.
Whip the frosting in a stand mixer on medium, adding the food coloring until the desired color is achieved. To assemble, turn the cake pan over to release from the pan. Level the cake using a cake saw or knife (I'm not that handy, but I'm also clumsy for real), then use the cake round to cut out two circles. Use the remaining cake halves to make a third. To start, use one of the flat rounds, then add frosting and a layer of sliced berries. Top that with the cake halves and use leftover cake bits to fill in the middle. Add more icing and berries, then refrigerate the naked tower for 20 minutes to allow it to gel.

Crumb coat the cake, refrigerate for 20 minutes and then complete the icing. Berries on top are optional, but why not?

1 comment:

Zenaida Arroyo said...

Wow, that look yummy! I never would have thought to add one more egg and to use coconut oil instead of vegetable oil.