Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Birthday Berries

I am very happy with the career I have chosen.  The idea of helping children learn, communicate, and socialize with their peers is a great motivation to get up for work every day.  However, if a backup profession is needed, you will find me back in school learning the skills to become a pastry chef.  I cannot imagine a better way to spend my days than in a kitchen turning flour, sugar and butter into delicious works of art.

In the meantime,  I will take full advantage of my opportunities to bake, especially birthdays.  There is nothing more special then turning off the lights, presenting a flaming platter of cake, and of course, eating it!  My friend Meghan had a birthday this past weekend, and we definitely lived it up.

I like to keep things light in the summertime, so this birthday cake recipe is a favorite.  Especially if you have fresh strawberries.  It is very easy to make and will definitely impress your guests with its sweet, but not too sweet flavors.

Strawberry Swirl Cake

You will need:
-1 pkg (2 layer size) white cake mix
-1 pkg (4 serving size) Jell-O Brand strawberry flavor gelatin
-2/3 cup light sour cream
-1 tub (8 oz) light Cool Whip whipped topping, thawed
-1 1/2 cups sliced strawberries

Preheat oven to 350.  Grease 2 (8 or 9 inch) round cake pans; set aside.  Prepare cake batter as directed on package.  Pour half of the batter into medium bowl.  Add dry gelatin mix (I only add half of the still turns plenty pink and has a strawberry flavor); stir until well blended.

Spoon half of the white batter and half of the pink batter, side by side, into each prepared pan (I pour them at the same time...this requires some hand-eye coordination, so if you want you can use a helper to pour one side while you pour the other).  Swirl batters together lightly using a teaspoon (do not overswirl, or the color of the cake will be all pink and not marbled).  Bake 30 min.  Cool 30 min in pans.  Remove to wire racks; cool completely.  Mix sour cream and powdered sugar in a medium bowl until well blended.  Gently stir in whipped topping.  Place one of the cake layers on serving plate; spread top with 1 cup of the whipped topping mixture.  Top with 1 cup of the strawberries.  Top with the remaining cake layer.  Spread top and side of cake with remaining whipped topping mixture.  Top with remaining 1/2 cup strawberries just before serving.  Store leftover cake in refrigerator.  Makes 16 servings, 1 slice each.

Combine with laughing, singing, smiling, and time well spent with loved ones!

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