I've been making this cake for years and the strawberry lovers in our family cannot get enough. I suggest using the ingredients listed as a more natural cake or you can substitute a white cake mix, however, you will find the cake much drier and will not stay as fresh. Homemade cakes stay fresher longer and much fluffier texture.
Cake: Mix together buttermilk with baking soda.Set aside. Cream shortening, sugar and 1 tsp. only of vanilla. Beat well.
Add buttermilk and baking soda mixture, mix well.
Sift dry ingredients, and add to creamed mixture. Add boiling water and mix well.
Pour into a greased (with butter)and floured 9X13 pan, (glass best). Bake at 350 degress F (175 degress C) for approximately 35 minutues or until toothpick comes out clean. Do not cool.
Prepare gelatin: Mix strawberry gelatin with 1/2 cup boiling water, mix well.
Take a fork and place holes into cake top (all across) going down into cake top length of fork. Pour hot gelatin across cake evenly. Cool (to speed up cooling put into fridge for about 15 to 20 min.
Prepare strawberries: While cake is cooling snip tops from strawberries and cut in half. When cake is cool place strawberries evenly across top of cake.
Whipped Topping: In a mixing bowl or if you have a stand mixer (this is quicker to use) place heavy whipping cream and mix until peaks begin to form. Add vanilla (1 tsp) and powdered suguar continue mixing until firm peaks forms.
Cover strawberries with whipped topping. Top with a few whole or half strawberries for effect. If cake is not fully cooled recommend cooling completely. Cut and serve.