Celebrate summer with this impressive piñata style strawberry cake at your next party or backyard barbecue.
In the spring and summer months my go-to dessert is strawberry shortcake. I love the combination of cake with whipped cream and fresh berries! So, I thought it would be fun to create a strawberry-shaped piñata-style version with fresh strawberries hiding inside.
The easiest way to create a strawberry-shaped cake is to bake your cakes in heart shaped pans. I covered my cake in fondant, but if you prefer, you could color frosting red and spread it over the cake. For a really smooth and shiny look, heat the frosting until it's thin enough to pour over the cake. Mini chocolate chips can be used as seeds.
Fresh strawberries hidden inside a cake won't stay fresh for too long, so be sure to add them and decorate the cake the day you plan to serve it. Instead of washing the strawberries under running water, wet a paper towel and brush the dirt off the strawberries. This will help keep the berries fresh.
Spray the inside your heart-shaped pans with non-stick spray. To make sure my cakes came out cleanly, I also lined my pans with parchment paper.
Mix up a pound cake and divide the batter into two pans.
Bake the cakes, then clean the pan and do the same thing again. You need four cake layers. Once the cakes are cooled cut them into even layers, removing any part of the cake that has puffed up in the middle. Don't you just love when there are scraps of cake to snack on?
Now you need to create a well to hold the strawberries. I chose to use a 6-inch heart cutter, but a knife would work just fine.
Set one cake on a piece of cardboard that has been cut into a heart-shape and is 1/4-inch larger than the baked cakes.
To make my cakes have that strawberry shortcake flavor, I whipped two tubs of Betty Crocker Whipped White Frosting with an 8-ounce tub of whipped topping. That made for a nice light frosting that was still sturdy enough to frost the entire cake. I put some of my frosting into a large zip top bag and used that to pipe it around the edges of my cake layers.
Stack the two cutout cakes on top of the bottom layer with frosting in between each.
Pile strawberries into the heart-shaped well. Make sure none are sticking up above the top edge of the cake. Attach the final layer with some frosting.
Carve the cake. This step is optional, but it really gives the cake a natural strawberry shape. It's pretty easy to do. Just carve the top edge curving downward and the bottom edge curving upward.
Cover the cake with the remaining frosting, smoothing it out well. If you aren't using fondant, be sure to tint the frosting red before doing this step.
If you are covering your cake in fondant, smooth fondant will look nice, but if you add indentations to it, your strawberry will have a more natural appearance. You can purchase fondant rollers with a dot pattern at craft stores and they are simple to use. Just roll out your fondant and then gently roll the pattern over the fondant.
Cover your cake with the red fondant. For detailed instructions on covering a cake in fondant, see the How to Use Fondant tutorial.
Now finish off the cake by adding some green fondant leaves. You can attach the fondant leaves to the strawberry with a tiny bit of water. My fondant stuck without using anything. If you want, you can even curl your leaves up a bit to give them a more natural look.
Use a black food-coloring marker to draw on seeds.
Move cake to a cake stand or serving platter.
Serve the cake whole, then slice into it so everyone can see the strawberries hiding inside.