I love a cake made from a box. And I love frosting from a can, brownie mix, Kraft macaroni and cheese, even. Frankly, I’m not a picky person. I would probably eat anything, and I don’t know if I’m proud of that or ashamed. It’s confusing.
And since I love all these delicious processed things, I naturally also love that food old fashioned poke cake. You know, the light cool white cake with ribbons of pretty berry jello sauce. It’s the perfect summer dessert: cool, festive, deceptively light…but there is a problem. It’s boxed cake mix, which I am pretty much against baking with. I realize that they are easy and they taste good and cheap, really, boxed cake mixes are amazeballs. But I’m kinda a prissy stuck up baker who wants to do all sorts of homemade stuff instead. This is something else I don’t know if I’m proud or ashamed of. And whipped topping? It’s not real cream which is a little scary and confusing. I mean, how do they make hydrogenated vegetable oil taste so good?
So I set myself off on a mission of exciting proportions. I decided to make a cake just as delicious, pretty, cool, and summery…all “from scratch” homemade goodness. Whoo hoo! And believe me, it tastes like those original poke cakes that grandma’s all over the country are famous for, but it’s even better. It has that fresh strawberry taste, and because I used cake flour, the homemade cake is light and fluffy. Real whipped cream tops off this recipe and you can eat it with pride (no shame!).
I’ll salute to that. Get the recipe below!
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1¾ cup cake flour
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup butter, softened
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- ⅓ cup vanilla yogurt
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- ⅔ cup milk
- 2 cups fresh strawberries, diced
- 1 box of strawberry gelatin (3 ounces)
- ½ cup hot water
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 3 Tablespoons powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 by 13 inch cake pan.
- In a large bowl whisk together the sugar, cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the butter and cut in until the mixture is crumbly and fine.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, yogurt, oil, vanilla, almond, and milk until combined.
- Add the egg mixture to the flour and butter mixture and stir together until just combined. The batter will be runny.
- Pour the batter into your prepared pan and bake in preheated oven until the top springs back when lightly touched, about 30 minutes. Let the cake cool 15 minutes on a wire rack.
- While the cake is cooling, place diced strawberries in a blender or food processor and blend until liquid. In a small bowl, combine the gelatin and hot water, stirring to mix. When the gelatin is cool and dissolved, add to the blender and pulse a few times to combine.
- When the cake has cooled slightly, use a thick dowel, the end of a wooden spoon or a thick straw to poke holes all over the cake. Slowly pour the fruit syrup over the cake, letting it soak into the holes you've poked. Place the cake in the fridge for three or more hours to cool and set up.
- Before serving, In a mixing bowl whip the cream to soft peaks and add three Tablespoons of powdered sugar. Continue whipping the cream to stiff peaks. Spread over the chilled cake and serve with sliced strawberries if desired.