Strawberry Poke Cake

I love hearing food stories from anyone. I am a sucker for stories since I am a writer. Anything that involves a story, whether it’s a simple doughnut recipe or a complicated cake recipe, I will love to hear it. There’s nothing more that makes me happy other than stories told by different types of people. My favorites are Mom’s childhood stories because Grandma was as hilarious as a Mother. And it’s a bit amazing to hear stories about your Mom experiencing what you’re experiencing.

Mom told us once that Grandma always made cakes for every occasion. It’s her way of showing how much she cared because Grandma was not the affectionate type. Even to her own husband, she was never that showy with her feelings.

Usually, it’s easy to know how much she loved you. She would labor night and day to cook a feast for you the next day. I think it’s the reason why every time we visited her and Grandpa before, there was always a feast waiting for us.

One of my Mom’s fondest memories was making simple cakes with my Grandma. She allowed my Mom and her sisters to help her arrange those berries on top of the frosting. She said that a simple task made them feel important and loved.

I remember Mom allowing me and my brother to do the same when we were kids. She would spread the frosting on top and hand me and my brother the bowl of the freshest berries. Even though the cake decorations weren’t that perfect, at least I and my brother felt important for having a part in that.

This strawberry cake that I am about to share with you reminds me of those childhood days and the importance of letting someone know how much you care.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pkg ( 18 1/4 ounces ) white cake
  • 1 1/4 c water
  • 1/4 c vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 pkg ( 16 ounces ) frozen sweetened sliced strawberries, thawed
  • 2 pkg ( 3 ounces each ) strawberry gelatin
  • 1 (12-ounce tub ) frozen whipped topping, thawed, divided. (i used 1 1/2 containers)
  • fresh strawberries, optional

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a large bowl, beat the cake mix, water, eggs, and oil; beat on low speed for 30 seconds. Beat on medium for 2 minutes.
  2. Pour into two greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans. Bake at 350° for 25-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  3. Using a serrated knife, level top of each cake if necessary. Return layers, top side up, to two clean 9-in. round baking pans. Pierce cakes with a meat fork or wooden skewer at 1/2-in. intervals.
  4. Drain juice from strawberries into a 2-cup measuring cup; refrigerate berries. Add water to juice to measure 2 cups; pour into a small saucepan. Bring to a boil; stir in gelatin until dissolved. Chill for 30 minutes.
  5. Gently spoon over each cake layer. Chill for 2-3 hours.
  6. Dip the bottom of one pan in warm water for 10 seconds. Invert cake onto a serving platter. Top with reserved strawberries and 1 cup whipped topping. Place the second cake layer overtopping.
  7. Frost cake with remaining whipped topping. Chill for at least 1 hour. Serve with fresh berries if desired