My grandfather grew up on a strawberry farm in Maurepas, Louisiana. His mother was a small, industrious woman of hardy Spanish stock, and while she and her husband may have been dirt-poor—at least during those grim, post-Depression years of World War II—she was known as an exceptional cook. She knew how to make a good old-fashioned Cajun meal out of minimal ingredients; her gumbo and jambalaya are still some of our family’s favorite recipes.
My mom not only inherited some of “Mawmaw’s” homemade strawberry flats, but she insists on celebrating her birthday every year with Mawmaw’s strawberry cake. It calls for at least 6 cups of fresh berries, so it may cost a small fortune if you don’t have your own strawberry patch! Still, if you can get your hands on a big bucket of berries, it’s an easy, light, refreshing cake, perfect for spring picnics.
One 2 layer yellow cake (made from scratch or from a boxed mix)
6-8 cups fresh strawberries
Sugar, stevia, or other sweetener to taste
Prepare your cake according to the recipe or the instructions on the box. When the cake layers are cool, slice each one in half so that you now have 4 thin layers.
Slice and rinse your strawberries, then mash them with a potato masher. You want the berries to be juicy, but not puréed; you should have small, soft chunks of berries in the mash. (If the strawberries are a little over-ripe, mashing them will be easier.) Add a little sugar or stevia to taste, then allow the mash to sit in the refrigerator for an hour.
Place one of the cake layers on a plate and make thin holes all throughout with a knife. Pour some of the strawberry mash over the layer, enough to coat the entire layer all the way to the edges and allowing the juice to seep in. Place another layer on top of the first one, poking more holes with the knife before spreading more strawberries. Repeat with each layer, making sure to spread the strawberry juice around the sides of the cake.
When the whole cake is covered in berries, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap so it won’t slide around or lose its shape. Refrigerate for several hours, preferably overnight.
You can serve this cake with ice cream or whipped cream, but it’s lovely on its own!
The featured image is courtesy of Maribeth Barber and used with her gracious permission for Cultivating and The Cultivating Project.
Maribeth Barber is a small-town Southern girl captivated by stories, the beauty and lovingkindness of her Savior, and the power of the contemplative, Christ-centered life. During her years as a homeschool student, she developed a fierce love for history, literature, and film; these passions have inspired her own writing as a novelist and a blogger. She reviews books, movies, and television from the angle of a Christ-saturated imagination at maribethbarber.com while also pursuing publication of her debut novel. A hobbit at heart, she lives with her parents and six of her eight younger siblings on their hobby farm in Louisiana.