Cream Cake

I tasted a version of this cake over the recent holiday weekend and I was IN LOVE!  Got the recipe from my great aunt.  This is quite possibly one of the best cakes I have ever eaten.  Pictured is the strawberry version and there is also a pineapple/orange version which is equally as delightful.

Duncan Hines butter cake mix
1/2 cup oil
4 eggs
3 cups frozen sweetened strawberries, thawed
16 oz unsweeted whole frozen strawberries, thawed
1/3-1/2 cup sugar
1 small box instant vanilla pudding
8 oz. whipped topping

Combine all thawed berries and sugar in large bowl and mash with potato masher until whole berries are crushed and sugar is dissolved.

Combine cake mix, oil, eggs and 1 cup 2 cups of strawberry mixture.  Beat on medium speed until well blended.  Divide between 3 round cake pans (well greased).  Bake at 350 degrees 20-30 minutes.

Let cake cool before frosting.

Combine remaining 2 1/2-3 cups of strawberry mixture with instant pudding.  Stir well then fold in whipped topping.  Frost between layers and top and outside.  Keep refrigerated.

In cake batter, substitute a 15oz can of mandarin oranges with juice instead of strawberries.
In frosting, substitute a 20 oz can of crushed pineapple with juice instead of strawberries.

My notes:
The recipe said "Duncan Hines" on the cake mix, but you and I both know any brand of butter cake mix will work.  However, I have not tried other brands.  When I made this I just happened to have a DH mix on hand.

The frozen strawberries are sold in 24 oz containers.  I let them thaw, then measured out a cup for the cake batter.  I also mashed my strawberries with a potato masher to get rid of the larger chunks.  I suppose they could be pureed, but then you would lose all of the chunks and that wouldn't be my personal preference.

The batter is pretty thin and runny and you will have a small amount of batter in each pan.  But that's good because each layer bakes up pretty thin and, as a result, is able to soak up more of that wonderful frosting!

I am not a fan of vanilla flavored instant pudding.  So, I substitute cheesecake flavored pudding in most recipes.  To me, it has a richer, less artificial, taste.  Did that in this recipe and it worked beautifully.

When frosting the cake, make sure and use a liberal amount of frosting between the layers.  You will want it there and you will have plenty to do it.

This cake is great right after you frost it, but it is even better after it sits for a couple of days.  The cake absorbs alot of moisture from the frosting and it just seems to get better and better.

I have already written this one in the family cookbook and will make sure I keep all of the ingredients on hand.  It's SO easy to whip up and quite impressive.  Everyone who has tasted it has swooned!  Well, not really, but you get the point.  (o:

More notes:
I made both versions of this cake and noticed that the pineapple/orange version was much more moist.  I examined the P/O recipe and noticed there was almost twice as much fruit and juice in the batter and 1/2 cup more fruit/juice in the frosting.  So, I tweaked the strawberry recipe and made the changes in red in the recipe above.  The extra berries and having to sweeten them made for an extra 3 minutes of work, but it was SO worth it!

Also, this time I used a Betty Crocker mix and it was equally as successful as the DH.  Just thought you'd wanna know. (o:

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