Strawberries and Cream Valentine Cake
This is a beautiful and delicious Valentine's Day cake, made in a heart-shaped insert of a spring form pan. If you do not have a heart-shaped insert, you can certainly just make it in a 9" or 10" round spring form, but the idea is that you have to be able to remove the sides of it, to display the pretty layers. If you assemble it in a regular cake pan (with straight sides), you will need to divide this between TWO 9" rounds, or two similar-sized (9" or thereabouts) heart-shaped pans, but you will not be able to invert it to see the layers, as you'll end up w/ the squishy Cool Whip layer on the bottom when you flip it! You'll just have to cut 'n serve it straight out of the pan, in order to see the layers, if using regular cake or heart-shaped cake pans.
115-oz angel food cake, cut into 1" cubes
2 pkgstrawberry gelatin, sugar-free
2 cboiling water
10 oztub of frozen strawberries in syrup, slightly thawed
1 pkg(8-oz) light cream cheese, softened to room temp
2 tsplemon juice
1 tsplemon zest
1 cpowdered sugar
2 ccool whip lite, thawed
How to Make Strawberries and Cream Valentine Cake
- Set heart insert of spring form pan on a sheet of aluminum foil. Carefully fold foil up around edges tightly and securely. Be careful not to tear the foil! Place heart insert securely on the flat base of the spring form, and secure rim by tightening side clamp.
- Cut up the angel food cake. Place cake cubes in large mixing bowl. In a separate medium bowl, completely dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Add semi-frozen strawberries to hot gelatin, and stir until fruit is thawed & broken apart. Pour gelatin/strawberry mixture over cake cubes and fold GENTLY until all cubes are coated and saturated. At this point, you can either:
#1. pour directly into heart mold, OR
#2. leave in mixing bowl and chill for just a bit (keep an eye on it!) until it is cool and reaches a barely "wobbly" congealed state, then pour into heart mold. I prefer method #2, as your liquid is less likely to eek out from under the foil around the heart insert and climb up the outsides of the foil.
Whichever method you choose, then place in refrigerator to allow cake mixture to set completely, at least 1-hour.
- While cake is chilling, beat room temperature cream cheese, lemon juice, lemon zest and sugar until fluffy. When cake has set and is good and cold, spread cream cheese mixture over strawberry cake base, all the way to edges. Spread whipped topping over cream cheese mixture, all the way to edges.
Place back in refrigerator for at least another hour, so everything will get really cold and meld together.
- When time to serve the cake, run a sharp knife around inside edges of the heart insert, taking care not to tear the foil-lined bottom. Release clamp on the outside of spring form and remove round spring form rim away from heart mold. Using 2 wide spatulas, gently lift or slide cake from foil to a serving plate. DON'T "LIFT" THE HEART OFF THE BASE -- YOUR CAKE WILL FALL THRU THE BOTTOM FOIL THAT IS AROUND THE HEART!
After the cake is securely on the plate, remove the heart insert from the outside of the cake. Garnish with fresh strawberries, if desired.