A Quick Strawberry Dessert
We love enjoying cake topped with fresh fruit in the springtime, but we don’t always have time to prepare a delicious and beautiful cake from scratch. This strawberry shortcut cake topped with fresh strawberries and whipped cream frosting is an easy dessert that can be made in no time. The sweet strawberry filling is what makes this shortcut cake so moist and a must try!
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Why You'll Love This Recipe
This super simple strawberry shortcut cake can be made from start to finish in just 2 hours, including chill time. With just 10 ingredients, this is one of the easiest – and most delicious – cakes you will ever make! Here are a few more great things about this cake:
- It’s easy to prep with any boxed cake mix (we like yellow cake mix but white cake mix works well too!)
- It’s incredibly light and fluffy
- The 2-ingredient filling is quick to make using a blender or food processor
- The fresh strawberries make this the perfect spring or summertime dessert
Our strawberry shortcut cake is inspired by the flavors of a classic strawberry shortcake. It’s a fluffy yellow or white cake with strawberry filling and whipped cream frosting.
Boxed yellow cake mix: For the light and fluffy cake, we use Duncan Hines Classic Yellow Cake Mix. However, you can use whichever brand of boxed cake mix you prefer! You can also substitute white cake mix if desired.
Eggs/oil/water: You will need to prepare the boxed cake mix according to the box instructions. Most mixes require eggs, oil, and water. For an even richer flavor, substitute the water for equal amounts of 2% or whole milk.
Instant vanilla pudding mix: The pudding mix in this recipe is added to the cake batter before baking. This makes the cake even more moist.
Strawberries: This cake uses real strawberries for both the filling and the garnish. Either fresh or frozen strawberries can be used to make the filling, but you’ll need fresh strawberries for the topping. Sometimes frozen strawberries are cheaper, so I like to use them when I can.
Sweetened condensed milk: The sweetened condensed milk is the base of the filling in this cake. Combined with the strawberries, it makes for the perfect strawberry filling. Unlike other recipes that use gelatin, this filling is extra creamy and perfectly sweet.
Whipped cream: This cake is topped with whipped cream frosting, which can be made with heavy whipping cream and a little bit of sugar. If you prefer the taste of Cool Whip or just want to save some time, you can use that to make your frosting layer instead of making your own whipped cream.
How To Make This Recipe
Follow these steps for the perfect strawberry shortcut cake.
Start by adding the cake mix and the vanilla pudding mix to a large mixing bowl. Next, prepare the cake batter according to the instructions on the cake mix box. This usually includes the addition of eggs, oil, and water.
Grease a 9”x13” pan with non-stick cooking spray. Preheat the oven as directed on the cake mix box (generally 350°F). Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread it evenly with a rubber spatula.
Bake the cake according to the box instructions (generally 20-25 minutes) or until it tests done with a toothpick. Remove the cake from the oven and immediately poke holes all over the cake with the end of a wooden spoon. Then, set the cake aside to cool.
In a blender or food processor, blend together the sweetened condensed milk and strawberries until smooth for the filling. Pour the filling evenly over the top of the cake, ensuring to fill all the holes. Cover the cake and place it in the refrigerator to chill for at least an hour.
While the cake is chilling, start on the fresh whipped cream topping. In a medium mixing bowl, add the heavy whipping cream and sugar. With a mixer, whip them together until the texture is light and fluffy with stiff peaks.
Remove the cake from the refrigerator. Spread a thick even layer of whipped cream over the top of the cake with a rubber spatula. Add sliced and/or diced strawberries on top for garnish. Cut the cake into squares and serve.
Recipe Tips and Tricks
- Add vanilla pudding mix to the cake. One tried and tested trick we like to use when preparing a cake from a box mix is adding vanilla pudding mix in with the dry ingredients. This makes the cake more moist when it’s baked.
- Use milk instead of water in the cake batter. Most cake mixes call for water but substituting milk is a great way to add more flavor and richness to the cake. I recommend using 2% or whole milk for the best result.
- Poke holes with a wooden spoon. Use the handle end of a wooden spoon to poke holes in the cake before adding the strawberry filling.
- Use the toothpick method to make sure the cake is done. Check the center of the cake with a toothpick to make sure it’s done before removing it from the oven – you should see small crumbs on the toothpick when it comes out. If there is liquid batter on the toothpick, it’s not done yet. If the toothpick comes out completely clean, the cake might be over-baked.
How To Store Leftovers
This cake can be stored covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. I would not recommend freezing the cake after fully preparing it because it won't thaw well. Additional moisture will be released from the filling and whipped cream during the thawing process, making the cake soggy.
For longer storage, each part of this cake can be stored separately in the freezer in airtight containers. Before assembling, allow the cake, filling, and whipped cream to first thaw to room temperature. You may need to blend the filling in the blender again before using it if it becomes separated.
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Strawberry Shortcut CakeMarch 5, 2022
FOR THE CAKE
- 1 box yellow cake mix (We use Duncan Hines Moist Yellow Cake mix)
- 1 cup water
- 3 large eggs room temperature
- ⅓ vegetable oil
- 1 box instant vanilla pudding mix 3.4oz box
FOR THE FILLING
- 3 cups strawberries
- ¾ cup sweetened condensed milk
FOR THE TOPPING
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 8-10 strawberries for garnish
FOR THE CAKE
- Preheat the oven and grease a 9"x13" pan. Prepare the yellow cake mix according to the instructions on the back of the box. Add the instant pudding mix into the batter and mix until fully combined. Follow the instructions for baking on the box.
- Remove the cake from the oven and immediately poke holes all over the cake using the end of a wooden spoon. Make sure you do this while the cake is still warm.
FOR THE FILLING
- Make the strawberry filling while the cake is in the oven. In a blender, combined the strawberries and sweetened condensed milk until smooth.
- After poking holes in the cake, pour the filling evenly over the top of the cake, making sure all of the holes are filled in. Cover and place in the refrigerator to chill for at least an hour.
TOPPING & GARNISH
- In a medium mixing bowl, add the heavy whipping cream and sugar. Whip together until stiff peaks form.
- Remove the cake from the refrigerator. Spread a thick even layer of whipped cream over the top of the cake. Add sliced and/or diced strawberries on top for garnish. Cut into squares and serve.