I'm on a bit of a trifle kick these days. Maybe because they are super easy to put together and taste (and look!) better than any ol' sheet cake.
This trifle was prepared for a baby shower for my dear friend Kristin. Not only is she my son's soon-to-be Godmother but she's one of the most amazing mom's I know. I think she was one of the main reasons I stayed sane throughout my pregnancy. She's beyond informed, down to earth, entertaining as hell, and the closest thing I have to a sister.
Now, because this trifle was for a baby shower I had to omit any booze in the cake. However, from experience when making a trifle it's mandatory to add alcohol to the cake. I am not saying this because I am a drunk or anything. As if. Well, sort of. No, really the alcohol deepens the richness of the cake. It helps the cake stand apart in the layers of custardy heaven.
So if you're planning to make this trifle for non-pregger-people, I suggest adding something like Tequila Rose Strawberry Liqueur or maybe Irish Cream to the cake prior to assembly.
First you need to poke the cake thoroughly all over with a fork (after it's cooled completely and still in the pan). Next, slowly drizzle the 1 cup of alcohol over the cake evenly. Let it sit overnight in the refrigerator to marinate and get tipspy.
One last note, this recipe makes a pretty large quantity, in fact I made 2 trifles out of it. However it depends on the size of your dish. If you end up with leftovers like I did, layer then up in a plastic container and freeze it (I'm the Queen of freezing fyi) or give it to someone who you think is sweet.
Strawberry Cake Trifle with Mixed Berry Compote & Strawberry Frosting
For a printable version click here
For the Strawberry Puree
1 bag frozen strawberries (anything around 12-15oz. should be fine. More or less won't matter one bit)
For the cake
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 cups sugar
1 package strawberry Jello (4-serving size)
1 cup butter (8 oz.) softened
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup pureed strawberries (I used frozen strawberries, thawed on the counter then pureed in food processor, fresh would be fine too)
For the Strawberry Whipped Frosting
3 sticks PLUS two Tablespoons (13 oz./375 g) unsalted butter, softened and cut into cubes
4 cups (18 oz./500 g) powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of salt
3 tablespoons strawberry puree
For the Mixed Berry Compote
1 bag frozen mixed berries (15 oz.)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 package vanilla or cheesecake flavor Jello pudding, prepared as indicated on the box (4-serving size)
1 tub Cool Whip
Handful of fresh strawberries for garnish
To prepare the strawberry puree, place frozen strawberries on the counter to thaw (in the bag or on a plate, doesn't matter too much). Mine took about an hour to thaw. Once thawed, place in food processor and puree until smooth.
Measure out 1/2 cup of the puree for the cake and set aside. Measure out 3 tablespoons for the frosting and set aside. The remaining puree will be added to the compote once it's cooled.
To prepare the cake, preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and flour a 9x13 cake pan with butter or vegetable shortening and set aside (I used non-stick spray only and it worked fine).
Sift the flour and baking soda into a medium bowl. Whisk to combine.
Beat sugar, jello (dry) and butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds, then beat on medium-high about 3 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally, until fluffy.
Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Beat in flour mixture and milk alternately on low speed. Beat in 1 teaspoon vanilla and the pureed strawberries. Pour into pan and bake 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool completely on wire rack.
To prepare the strawberry frosting, place butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip butter for 8 minutes on medium speed (# 4 on the KitchenAid). Butter will become very pale & creamy.
Add remaining ingredients, except strawberry puree, and mix on low speed for 1 minute, then on medium speed for 6 minutes. Frosting will be very light, creamy, and fluffy. Add strawberry puree and mix until incorporated.
To prepare the mixed berry compote, place frozen berries in a medium saucepan. Heat on medium until berries are thawed and juices start to bubble. Add brown sugar and stir to combine.
Continue cooking on low-medium heat until juices thicken, about 10 minutes.
Let compote cool completely and add to remaining strawberry puree, stir to combine.
To assemble the trifle, place a layer of cake on the bottom of your trifle dish. You can cut it into squares or gently crumble, either technique works. Cover cake layer with HALF of the berry compote/strawberry puree mixture.
Be sure to spread it well to the edges so all the layers will be visible.
Add HALF of the pudding and spread evenly.
Cover with another layer of cake and the remaining compote mixture.
Next spread a generous layer of the whipped frosting.
And the remaining pudding.
Top with a heaping dollop of Cool Whip and a handful of whole fresh strawberries...dig in!
Strawberry cake recipe courtesy of Gold Medal Flour
Strawberry Frosting courtesy of Sweetapolita