Wednesday, May 8, 2013

strawberry cream cheese angel food cake {recipe}

If I had to choose between eating just the icing or the cake, I would choose icing every day of the week. Icing and I go way back. I learned how to make homemade icing when I was 11 or 12 and after that it was over. There was a reason we never had any powdered sugar left in the house. {sorry, mom} ;)

With this pregnancy I've consistently craved strawberry shortcake for some strange reason. After four pregnancies, I've learned not to question why I have any particular craving and just go with it. :)

The only problem with this craving was that the whipped cream part of the strawberry shortcake wasn't cutting it- I needed real icing. {and by the way, whipped icing on store-bought birthday cakes {!!?!!??} makes me want to cry. Why would they do that to icing?}

So I decided to make my angel food cake like a simple trifle and replaced the whipped cream with cream cheese icing. :D It ended up being perfection. :)

Here's what I did:

I bought an angel food cake at Sam's Club {that was hard, wasn't it?}. They have the best angel food I've had in a long time. I've made it homemade before and didn't like the texture as much as theirs for $5:

I cut it into slices for portioned servings, but I've also torn it into chunks. I prefer the small bite/chunk version because it has a greater ratio of cake to icing, but if you like less icing, this way might be for you. If you have a trifle dish, you could layer the chunks into the bowl and it would be even lovelier, but a 9x13 is perfect for easy serving and keeps it simple to make.

Make your cream cheese icing. I don't follow an actual recipe these days, but here's a highly rated one if you don't have one already. I like mine extra fattening, so I generally use 8 ounces of cream cheese, 1.5 sticks of real butter, and about 4 cups of powdered sugar mixed with a splash of milk and vanilla for my go-to recipe. It should be thick like you see here- if it's runny, add more sugar:

{p.s. using margarine and off-brand or low-fat cream cheese greatly affects the taste and thickness of your icing. If you can, go for real butter and Philadelphia full-fat cream cheese. It's worth it.}

Spread it over your cake slices:

Slice your 1-1.5 lbs. of strawberries straight on to your cake, if you want:

You could spend a few hours making it look pretty by arranging your slices, but I know my family doesn't care what it looks like as long as it tastes good. ;)

Refrigerate your cake for a few hours if you can for better flavor, but it will taste good freshly made too. :) Enjoy it either way. :D {and hope there's enough for seconds!}

It's my new favorite cake {for now, anyway}. :) And the fact that the angel food cake and strawberries are non-fat makes me incredibly happy. I think the light cake and fruit really balances the rich cream cheese icing. That and lighter cake means I can enjoy indulging in the cream cheese icing even more. Ha! :)

Are you more of an icing or a cake person? Or do you eat both equally well? :)
As you might have guessed, I view the cake as merely a vehicle for icing.

Whipped or buttercream icing? And please tell me why you like the whipped version. Maybe there's something I'm missing there? ;)

Do you serve untraditional desserts for birthdays too? 
Last year Noah and Rob both asked for cinnamon rolls! :) Here is Noah on his 7th birthday:

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