ANGELIC FRESH STRAWBERRY CAKE
one 10-inch tube cake
Prepare cake according to recipe or cake mix directions; cool thoroughly. (Or, purchase an already-baked cake from the Kroger bakery) With a serrated knife, cut cake into three equal-size layers; set aside. Prepare strawberries and place in a large bowl. Add sugar and balsamic vinegar or brandy, if desired, mixing lightly. Slightly mash strawberries very lightly. Arrange bottom layer of cake on a cake serving plate. Spoon one-third of the strawberries over top of bottom layer, spreading evenly (see note). Repeat with second cake layer and one-third of strawberries. Top with remaining cake layer. Frost top and sides of cake with sweetened flavored whipped topping of choice or Vanilla or Lemon Buttercream Frosting. Garnish top of cake frosted with whipped topping with remaining sliced strawberries and sprigs of mint and cake frosted with butter cream frosting with whole strawberries and sprigs of mint. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Note: If using butter cream frosting, use half of the sliced strawberries on the first two cake layers.
Vanilla or Lemon Butter Cream Frosting
fills and frosts a two-layer 9-inch cake or frosts a 10-inch tube cake
In a deep medium bowl, cream butter thoroughly. Add 1 cup confectioners' sugar and salt, beating well. Add remaining sugar and 1 tablespoon half-and-half or lemon juice. Beat until smooth. Add remaining half-and-half or lemon juice as needed to achieve correct spreading consistency. Stir in vanilla or lemon peel.
Note: May reduce butter to ¼ or 1/3 cup, if desired; 1 to 2 tablespoon(s) water may need to be added to mixture. Flavor will not be as rich.