Winter Birthday, Strawberry Well Cake

Strawberry Well Cake
Strawberry Well Cake

Today is my adorable downstairs neighbor Hannah’s third birthday. I like to make their birthday cakes and asked what type of cake she might like. She’s seen only chocolate (spoken in a whisper?) and angel food with strawberries in one form or another, so when offered the choice between the two, she chose STRAWBERRIES!

It is my view that young ladies benefit from learning how to make an easy cake that looks somewhat elaborate and tastes yummy. Strawberry Well Cake serves that purpose very well. There are only a few ingredients and strawberries out of season (and thus sour) will work.

the fixins
the fixins

You need an angel food cake, a pint of whipping cream and a pound of strawberries. Wash, hull and slice the berries, sweeten with a couple tablespoons of sugar and squeeze a bit of fresh orange juice in there. Refrigerate.

Cutting a well in the cake
Cutting a well in the cake

After removing the cake from the pan and placing on a cake plate, use a serrated knife to cut from the top almost to the bottom, about 3/4″ all the way around the outside edge. Then do the same around the middle.

Well inside of cake
Well inside of cake

Stick your fingers down the outside cut, and gently tug the cakey middle OUT. This one came out easily in one chunk, but it doesn’t matter. Most often it comes out in pieces. Put the chunk(s) on a plate for a moment.

Whip the cream, adding a teaspoon of vanilla and a couple tablespoons of powdered/icing sugar. The goal is to barely sweeten because the cake itself is very sweet.

blurry berries n cream
blurry berries n cream

Add a few heaping tablespoons of the whipped, lightly-sweetened cream to the sliced berries. Mix until you want to eat it with a spoon.

Well filled with berry-cream
Well filled with berry-cream

Spoon the berries and cream mixture into the well. Don’t worry about a bit of it going overboard.

Cake cap covers the well
Cake cap covers the well

Place the cake pieces pulled out earlier … back into the well, capping it. See that pink whipping cream in the back? (Normally, white. Today, a bit of her favorite color, pink.) Frost it with that, all over. Don’t be too fussy or you’ll have melted whipping cream before you’re done. Just slather it on and spread it around a bit.

When the cake is sliced, the strawberry surprise in the middle appears. I cannot show a photo of the result because the cake is going downstairs for the birthday party, but one can imagine, yes?

Dots, strawberry flowers, pink whip and ribbon
Dots, strawberry flowers, pink whip and ribbon

I had in mind a polka-dot decoration from the get-go, and who says one shouldn’t mix polka dots with flowers? Strawberry flowers hold the candles. Pink of course. Happy Birthday, Hannah.

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