Aug 4, 2012

Cook's Country Poke Cake

Cook's Country and Cook's Illustrated are great places to find really yummy recipes.  This one is no exception.  But in their typical style, don't expect it to be fast or too simple.  Worth it?  Oh yea.  If you are interested in another Cook's Illustrated recipe, see my recipe for Enchiladas Verde.  YUM.  Ahem, back to cake.  You c-o-u-l-d just do it the Kraft way.  Buy a cake mix.  Mix up some strawberry jell-o.  Poke the cake, pour jello over, and there you go...  But I warn you - from experience, you get a wet cake that tastes like fake strawberries.  I also tried the strawberry gelatin recipe from this recipe poured over a boxed cake mix. That didn't work either.  In fact, it was far worse.  My sugar loving nieces and nephew wouldn't even eat it.  This cake is dense and holds up well to the strawberry gelatin.  Plus I think it goes perfectly at a summer BBQ especially if all you have to bring is dessert!

Strawberry Poke Cake


    • 3 cups frozen strawberries
    • 1/4 cup sugar
    • 2 tablespoons orange juice
    • 1/2 cup water
    • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
    • 4 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1 cup milk
    • 6 egg whites
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 1 3/4 cups white sugar
    • 12 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
    • 2 tablespoons strawberry gelatin (strawberry Jell-o)
    • 1 cup frozen strawberries
    • 2 tablespoons sugar
    • whipped cream 

  1. Combine 3 cups strawberries, 1/4 c sugar, orange juice and water in a saucepan. Cover and cook over medium heat until strawberries break down and become soft. (Strawberries do not need to be thawed before beginning.).
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F Butter and flour a 13x9x2" baking pan.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt and baking powder.
  4. Whisk together milk, egg whites and vanilla, just until egg whites are broken up.
  5. In the work bowl of a stand mixer (or using an electric hand beater), cream together 1 3/4 cups sugar and butter, about 3 minutes, until fluffy. Reduce speed to low. Add half the wet ingredients, then half the dry ingredients, then the remaining wet followed by the remaining dry. (This step IS important to get a nice flat cake!).
  1. Pour batter into prepared pan. Spread evenly. Bake on middle rack of preheated oven for 35 minute.
  2. Separate strawberry solids from liquid; set the solids aside (you will use these later). Add gelatin powder to liquid. Stir well and let stand until cake is baked.
  3. When done, set cake on a baking rack and let cool at least one hour. Using a large skewer, poke cake about 50 times. Do not poke all the way to the bottom, or the gelatin will run underneath. Pour gelatin all over the top of the cake. Refrigerate 3 hours, or up to 1 day in advance.
  4. Combine reserved cooked strawberry solids with 1 c frozen strawberries and 2 tbsp sugar in the work bowl of a food processor. Pulse until it has the consistency of strawberry jam. Spread evenly over top of cake. Spread cake with whipped cream.

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