Christening the Kitchen Aid.

A few weeks back (Fourth of July weekend, to be specific) I decided that it was the perfect time to christen my brand new pink Kitchen Aid mixer*.  I was attending a family gathering, and told my mom I would bring dessert.  I scoured the interwebs for a few days, before finally settling on a recipe on The Pioneer Woman’s website.

Now, The Pioneer Woman has never steered me wrong.  I made her famous lasagna when the Mr. and I were dating, and he was obsessed with it.  I’ve made several of her other recipes since then, and they’ve all come out perfectly.  I knew picking a recipe from her site would deliver.

I weighed all of my options, and while I personally lean heavily toward the “quadruple chocolate chunk brownie with chocolate sauce and chocolate sprinkles” end of the spectrum, I knew that other people might not be quite so affectionate towards chocolate.

So, I picked something summery — her recipe for Strawberry Shortcake Cake.  It seemed relatively simple, plus — big bonus — I got to use one of my cute cake plates that I got as a shower gift for our wedding.

I decided to double the recipe, since there would be several people at the party and it didn’t seem to make a very tall cake.  I didn’t encounter any problems doubling the recipe (unlike with some recipes I’ve tried and they double horribly — or maybe it’s just my wonky math skills) and I came out with two identical cakes.  You cut the cakes in half to fill/frost them, but since I only bought 3 packages of strawberries, I sliced my cakes in half and had 1 half of a cake leftover.  The Mr. and I nibbled at the “leftover” cake half, and it was actually good because I got a chance to sample it before I was at the party!  (Side note:  does anyone else have a teensy bit of anxiety when bringing baked goods to a party?  I’m always afraid that they’re going to taste horrible…even though they never do.  Ok, end of me being neurotic.)

Since I baked my cake layers the night before, the next morning I mixed up what seemed like a mountain of cream cheese frosting.  Maybe I was using too small an amount of frosting, but I had a lot leftover (not that having extra cream cheese frosting is a bad problem to have).   If you’re going to make this recipe and double it, I’d double the cake recipe but maybe add another 1/4 to the frosting recipe, not 1/2.

Finally, after macerating ($5.00 word!) my strawberries, and slicing my cakes in half, it was time to frost, baby!  The layers were as follows:  cake layer, strawberry layer, frosting layer.  Repeat this two more times, and voila!  You’re finished layering.

Mmmm, cream cheese & strawberries.

All layered up, chillin’ in the fridge.

Now…here’s where I would change the recipe slightly if I was making this again.  The recipe instructs you to frost all the way around the side of the cake.  Normally, I wouldn’t think twice about extra frosting on my cake (and didn’t, since I followed the recipe and frosted the sides of mine when I made it).  But, in retrospect, I sort of like the look of being able to see all of the layers of cake and strawberry and frosting.   That’s just my opinion, though!

The completed cake — never mind the milk next to it.

Additionally…I highly highly suggest frosting/filling this bad boy as close to serving it as possible.  I made mine in the morning and finished around 10:00 AM, but it wasn’t served until after dinner around 6:00 PM.  Everyone at the party raved about the cake and how amazing it was, but to be honest…it was a little soggy for my tastes.  A large amount of strawberry juice soaked into the cake layers, and while a little bit of this is delicious…too much of it makes for a soggy cake.  So, I’d either drain off some of the strawberry juice or frost and fill it right before you serve it.

So, my final review:  even though I’d do a few things differently next time I make this recipe, the cake had a great summery strawberry flavor — and the cream cheese frosting is one of the best that I’ve tasted.

*Also: If anyone has a great nickname for the mixer, I’m taking suggestions!  So far I’ve come up with “Pinky”, which is terrible and not even an option.  So, I’m all ears.

Do you have a go-to summer dessert recipe?  I’d love to hear about it!

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4 Comments to “Christening the Kitchen Aid.”

  1. You had me a lasagna, but then the strawberry shortcake pictures did me in. Probably something to do with reading this while convincing myself that my Lean Cuisine ™ is just as tasty!

    I agree with your point about not frosting the sides. Plus, I’d add a few strawberry halves to the top for decoration.

    I’ve never thought of naming my appliances, but I’m sure something will come to you when you and She-Who-Is-Not-Pinky get to know one another. Thanks for the vicarious lunchtime dessert!

  2. Hey, we’re mixer twins!! I have the pink KitchenAid as well! Unfortunately, mine started leaking oil, gotta fix that ASAP!

  3. I just started making ice cream. Mango coconut is new new favorite.

  4. Holy Jesus that cake looks good. I love strawberries and creamcheese frosting! Drool.

    Oh, and I am supremely jealous of your kitchenaid. One day, one day I will have my own!

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