I’m a little behind on my blog.
For the 4th of July I had plans to make the most amazing cake. It called for four round layer cakes and the wow factor was high—a regular cake on the outside and an American flag on the inside when you sliced into it.
Except . . . I didn’t let the cakes cool long enough and sadly, they fell apart when I tried to take them out of the pans.
It was too late bake more but still early enough to make Strawberry-Rhubarb Dump Cake. This is officially going to be my old stand-by dessert of summer! I’ve made it twice for two different groups of people and everyone has loved it thus far. It’s really good and super easy. You should go make it right now!
Ok, back to the cake.
When we got home from the party I still had 4 broken layer cakes in my kitchen. It smelled divine in there, by the way. I considered dispersing them around the house to use as an air freshner. But that would be a waste of good cake so I decided to turn lemons into lemonade . . . or cake in to cake balls.
If you know me, you know I like direction, order, and following the rules. I’m learning that there are two situations where this isn’t always the case though—baking and building furniture. (That’s another story for another time). So, if you need specific directions, you might not like this recipe, but you can still do it. I promise!
You need two things. Cake and frosting. That’s it!
I’m allergic to soy so I make my own frosting.
Palm Oil Shortening
I just start with a little shortening and add powdered sugar and water until I get the consistency that I want, and then add extract and salt until it tastes good. It’s really easy. If I can do it, you can too!
Next you just crumble the cake into a cake pan and start kneading in frosting until it forms a big ball. The first batch (white cake balls), I scooped in a bunch of frosting to start with and it ended up being WAY too much. I thought I was going to keel over into a sugar coma after eating just one. Hubby loved them though. The second batch (the blue ones) were a little better but for the last batch (red ones) I only put enough for it to barely stick together. The red ones were yummy.
Once the cake and the frosting are kneaded into one big ball, you just break them off into smaller balls and roll them between your hands until they are smooth. Pop them in the freezer for about 15-20 minutes. This just makes them easier to frost. Take them out, add a little frosting to the top and enjoy! I made a chocolate frosting for the top just by substituting the orange extract for cocoa.
Even though I thought I had a caketastrophe on my hands, James was thrilled because he ended up with two desserts!
I made this cake over the weekend and it was so good that I wanted to share it with all of you. I got the recipe from my mom, but I’m not sure where she got it from.
1 box of chocolate cake mix (or you can make it from scratch!)
1 container of whipped topping
1 jar of caramel topping
4 Heath bars
1. Bake the chocolate cake as directed on the box or recipe. I used Betty Crocker’s dark chocolate cake.
2. Let the cake cool for a couple of hours.
3. Poke holes into the cake (I used a meat thermometer, mom uses a knitting needle). I made a round layer cake so I had to slice off the tops to make them flat. This exposed the natural air pockets in the cake so I barely had to make any holes.
4. Pour caramel over the cake letting it drip into the holes. (I smoothed a little extra over the top of the bottom layer to help the top layer of the cake stick and then poured the caramel into the holes of the top layer.)
5. Refrigerate the cake for a couple hours or overnight. This thickens the caramel back up so it stays in the holes rather than soaking completely into the cake.
6. Double bag the Heath Bars into sandwich bags that zip shut and smash them with a hammer until they are broken into crumbs. (My mom uses Score candy bars, but I’ve never seen them in CA. Any chocolate toffee candy bar will work fine.)
7. Frost the cake with whipped topping (I used Safeway brand whipped topping that is both soy and lactose free). If your house is warm, you will want to do this as quickly as possible before the whipped topping starts to melt.
8. Sprinkle the crushed up Heath bars over the top of the cake and then finish it off by drizzling a little caramel over the that.
We were taking the cake to a friend’s house so I covered it with plastic wrap and placed it in the freezer until we left so it wouldn’t melt on the way. If you do this, stick a couple of toothpick into the top of the cake before putting the plastic wrap on so it doesn’t stick to the caramel.
This has about a kazillion calories and at least a bazillion grams of sugar so I probably won’t make this cake often, but it tastes so good that it was worth every trip to the gym it’s going to take to work it off!
Um, hi Toni, did you know that it’s almost April?
Well, yes. We’ve just had a lot of “life” going on around here the last few months and I started this post and never finished it. C’est la vie and so I write about Valentine’s Day a month and a half late. I thought about deleting it but James really wanted me to share his cake with you. Plus, I think you’re going to want to make the peanut butter cups below.
We actually celebrated on two days. We had been dealing with some stressful things and without knowing it, James and I both decided to get each other presents a little early.The really crazy thing is that we did it on the same day! James came home with this beautiful bouquet of flowers:
And then when he turned the corner he found this sitting on the kitchen counter:
He thinks I’m the coolest wife ever for putting toys on a cake 🙂
By the way, the cake was chocolate with orange flavored frosting. It’s the first cake I’ve ever made entirely from scratch. You can get the recipe for Hershey’s Perfectly Chocolate Cake HERE. But, I made it with Nestle cocoa. Shhhh . . . don’t tell anyone. I also used the same frosting recipe I always use, but added a little vanilla and orange extract for flavoring. It was yummy!
We celebrated on the actual day too. I made these for James: (I think we are just now getting all these calories worked off!)
The cherries were super easy – I just dipped maraschino cherries in warm melted chocolate chips mixed with about a spoonful of shortening and let them dry on wax paper until the chocolate hardened. Then I put them all in a sealed plastic container and stored them in the fridge. You can get the recipe for the peanut butter cups HERE.
I don’t have pictures yet, but James also made some new planter boxes for me. He did a great job – they are really beautiful! I will be sure to take pictures when we get our plants planted in them this spring.
Ok, so the title of this blog post might be a little bit misleading since there aren’t actually any strawberries in the recipe. BUT you could add them and it would make it even better! When I was home last month, my friend Sara introduced me to Strawberry Rhubarb Dump Cake. It was so good that we ate the entire pan in about 3 days, just the two of us. It was so easy to make that I made it for our life group. They liked it so much that I had to share it with you too! Very sorry to say though, you may have to wait until next year to make this as rhubarb is now out of season. 😦 I actually made it a few weeks ago and even then had to go to two different stores to find it.
The recipe I used was Aunt Kaye’s Rhubarb Dump Cake from allrecipes.com but used a little less sugar . . . maybe 3/4 of a cup or so and just a teeny bit less than the recommended amount of butter. Our oven bakes faster than a sprinter on race day so I only put it in there for about half the time. You can eat it hot or cold- I actually preferred it cold . . . and for breakfast. Yum! 🙂
Here is a picture of the end result. It’s not pretty, but it tastes amazing and no one will ever know that it only took you about 10 min to make!
See all that white stuff on there? That’s cake mix that didn’t get wet. I think next time I’ll mist it lightly with a spray bottle before putting it in the oven. It doesn’t taste bad and it’s still fine to eat if it comes out like this.
A note for fellow allergy sufferers: If you are allergic to soy, you know that it’s really difficult to find cake mixes without soy in it. My allergy isn’t life threatening but it does make me really sick. Betty Crocker’s cake mixes say “and/or soy” in the ingredient list and I’ve found that most products that say “and/or soy” have very little soy and I feel only slight discomfort after eating it.