If there’s fruit in the cake it counts as Breakfast Food!

strawberry cake1

My sweet treat this week was a very delicious Strawberry Yogurt Cake.  And since it contained fresh fruit and yogurt I declare it both good for you and breakfast food!!

This is a really yummy cake and I highly recommend this recipe.  It was pretty simple recipe and I only made one little change to it.  This was the first time I’ve used a recipe that had me zest a lemon into the flour mixture first instead of the butter/sugar mixture.  I was a little apprehensive of that but it really did help the zest be distributed throughout the cake and it seemed like the flavor of the lemon was much more prominent.  I think it may be because mixing it with the butter and sugar may beat it too much that it loses some of its zip.  I’m going to have to try this with other cakes to see if it’s true. Yep, make more experimental cakes to test this theory…oh the things I do to help society make better desserts. I really do deserve a medal or maybe a crown. I love crowns!  But we’re getting away from the point here. What I wanted to point out is that fresh lemon flavor with the strawberries just made the cake for me.

Now for the strawberries, the recipe called for 12 ounces of diced strawberries.  I can never figure out sometime if they mean 12 ounces of whole strawberries or 12 ounces of diced strawberries.  Because we’re talking about 2 very different things there.  I used a 1lb container of strawberries and I sliced them instead of dicing them.  I thought that dicing them would make them a little mushy after cooking and I would rather have large pieces of strawberry.  I’m glad I made that decision.  The only thing I would change for next time is I would have saved a handful of the slices to sprinkle on top of the batter once I got it into the pan.  Even though they didn’t all sick to the bottom I didn’t think they were very evenly distributed towards the top of the cake. And then of course I made your standard powdered sugar glaze for the top.

strawberry cake

But overall I would give this recipe a big A+.  It’s a great cake for social gatherings like breakfast, brunch or just to have friends over for afternoon tea and cake (which we don’t do enough of that)  It’s not overly sweet and the strawberries and lemon give it a great zip.  In fact, I’m going to go cut myself a nice big slice of this right now!

Strawberry Cream Cheese Icebox Cake

icebox2I started out the weekend thinking I was going to make a cake with dark chocolate and raspberry filling and then the San Diego heat wave said….nah I don’t think so lady. I baked my cake and then I had visions of chocolate frosting sliding down the side into a big gooey mess.  So, I went back to my list and looked for a refrigerated dessert and voila we have the Strawberry Cream Cheese Icebox Cake.  And that’s a terrible name, it’s too long and I don’t know if I would really classify this as a cake but more of a layered dessert.  But the one thing I can tell you is that it was delicious and was perfect for a hot summer night.

The recipe is pretty simple, especially if you have a kitchen aid, you beat together cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk until nice and smooth.  Any dessert recipe that has sweetened condensed milk in it just about always gets a thumbs up in my book.  I love the stuff.  At some point I’ll have to tell ya’ll about my Hot Chocolate recipe that starts with a can of this stuff…yum yum.  But I digress,  next up was adding the instant pudding.  The recipe called for cheesecake flavor but I go my own way sometimes and went with banana. Mostly so I could say BANANA like a Minion. Plus, I love bananas and strawberries together.

Now the hardest part, assembly.  And that should tell you hard this recipe is. Start with Graham Crackers and I suggest leaving them connected together as much as possible because when you add your first pudding layer it will make it easier to spread it out.  Also, on that note, I recommend putting a good amount down to start with and use a small offset spatula to basically frost the crackers.  Add your sliced strawberries and then repeat. You want to top it with a little Cool Whip (and yes, I’m not a Cool Whip snob, it has its place in the culinary world too…don’t Cool Whip shame!) And then I finished it off with some crushed Graham Cracker crumbs.  It makes it all pretty like!  I refrigerated it for about 8 hours and it set up beautifully.

icebox1I used a metal spatula to cut and serve it and it came out perfect.  While eating this I kept thinking about all the different combinations of fruit and puddings that I can use.  I would love to do Lemon Pudding and Blueberries, I think that would be really good too.  And it’s a great dessert for potlucks and picnics.  So, a big thumbs up for this one and if the heat wave continues I see more cold desserts ahead.