This year for Easter I volunteered to make desserts for our potluck brunch. I do have quite the sweet tooth (although I contain myself), but from time to time I can’t resist a vanilla pastry, especially vanilla cake with a berry filling (and brownies, who can resist a brownie)! This recipe is all about the French Vanilla Cake with Triple Berry Filling. I must admit, I took a shortcut and used boxed cake mix (shame on me), I did add a few enhancements to give it the homemade touch. The result, a moist and delicious dessert.
- 1 Box French Vanilla cake mix (ingredients as listed; eggs, oil, water)
- 1 Jar triple berry preserves/jam
- 4oz Applesauce
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- Strawberries (3 whole, about 10 sliced)
- Butter cream icing
Make the cake as instructed on the box, when adding the water only add 1 cup and add the applesauce in place of the remaining water. This will add the moistness of the cake. Bake the cake as instructed on the box. I used a round 9″ baking pan but feel free to use square, rectangle or cupcakes.
Once the cake is cooled, using a cake leveler cut the cake into two layers. Slide the top layer onto a plate or cookie sheet and put to the side. Using a piping bag and plain tube cake decorating tip (larger one) create a border on the bottom layer (with the butter cream icing). Once your frosting border is set, spread the preserve/jam onto the bottom layer. The frosting helps contain the preserves/jam to avoid it from slipping out and mixing when you’re decorating. Now place the top layer nicely centered on top of the preserves/jam. You’re now ready to frost your cake, this step I will leave up to you and your comfort/ease with frosting/decorating desserts.
Once you’ve mastered the frosting process you’re ready to top your cake with the strawberries. Place the strawberries on the cake when you’re ready to serve, in order to avoid having water on your frosting from the strawberries. Be creative in your decoration, top your cake with sliced strawberries, place them around the cake, etc…possibilities are endless. You can also add all the berries found in the preserves/jam.
My Tips: Substitute half of the water with half fruit juice in the cake mix; it’ll add another level of flavor and moisture. This would be a great cake for a 4th of July party, you can use the 9×13 baking pan and place blueberries on the corner as your star section and line the rest with raspberries or chopped strawberries.
Mini cupcake verion (also filled with berry preserves/jam).
Wilton’s Butter Cream Icing
Makes: About 3 cups of icing.
Step 1: In large bowl, cream shortening and butter with electric mixer. Add vanilla. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry. Add milk and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Keep bowl covered with a damp cloth until ready to use.
Step 2: For best results, keep icing bowl in refrigerator when not in use. Refrigerated in an airtight container, this icing can be stored 2 weeks. Rewhip before using.
Step 3: For thin (spreading) consistency icing, add 2 tablespoons light corn syrup, water or milk.
Step 4: For Pure White Icing (stiff consistency), omit butter; substitute an additional 1/2 cup shortening for butter and add 1/2 teaspoon No-Color Butter Flavor. Add up to 4 tablespoons light corn syrup, water or milk to thin for icing cakes.
My Tips: Sifting the the powdered sugar is a must, if you skip this step you may end up with clumpy and heavy frosting. I use regular vanilla extract which gives the frosting a soft cream color, which I personally prefer.