Strawberry Shortcake (Recipe adapted from Foodnetwork’s Paula Deen, photo courtesy of Justin Park Photography)
I first had a taste of this recipe when my cousin, Jennifer, made this for her sister’s baby shower. That was way back in July ‘11. Now, the baby is out and about and being the cutest little thingamabobski in the whole world!
This recipe is SO EASY. Once I tried it, I knew I had to get the recipe. I love the concept of taking a boxed cake mix and still being able to make it your own. This recipe is from my cousin, Jennifer. It’s a simple beginner’s recipe if you’re wary about baking for the first time, yet it looks like you spent so much time on it. The cookie part of the shortcake parfait is delicious on its own, and it remains really moist and rich because of the cream cheese. By balancing out that heaviness with some light whipped cream and sweet and juicy strawberries, you’ll experience a match made in heaven. The great thing about these types of trifle (layered) desserts is that you can create mini single servings (my cousin served them up in shot-glass sizes) or fill up a huge glass bowl for larger events.
- 1(8 oz) brick cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 stick butter, at room temperature
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 (18 oz) box vanilla cake mix
- cool whip
- strawberries, sliced (how big or small you want to cut them is up to you. I just thinly sliced them lengthwise)
- Optional: Mint leaves for garnish
- Clear cups to serve
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a large bowl, cream the cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer until smooth. Or if you want an incredibly tiring yet effective arm workout, you could try to do it by hand. It’s really important to have your cream cheese and butter at room temperature because it will make the ingredients much easier to work with, so plan ahead and be sure to let the cream cheese and butter sit out on your counter for several hours.
- Beat in the egg.
- Beat in the vanilla extract.
- Beat in the cake mix.
- Cover and refrigerate your dough for about 2 hours. The reason for this step is because your dough will be very sticky. In order to roll them into balls, it is much easier to let it firm up in the refrigerator. If you don’t have that kind of time, you can definitely skip this step, but be prepared for a sticky mess.
- Roll the chilled batter into tablespoon sized balls, like the size of a ping-pong ball
- Place on an ungreased cookie sheet, 2 inches apart, and bake for about 12-15 minutes.
- The cookies will remain soft and “gooey,” so let them cool completely before using them.
Now you can just stop the recipe here and eat these alone as cookies. Paula Deen rolls them in powdered sugar before serving them. I love how versatile this recipe is because if you want, you can replace the vanilla cake mix with chocolate, confetti, lemon, whatever flavor you want!
- Once your cookies have cooled, it’s all about assembling.
- I cut the cookies in half, like a hamburger roll.
- I place half a cookie on the bottom of my serving cup, add a couple of sliced strawberries, and then some Cool Whip. Repeat.
- You can continue alternating as many or as few layers as you want. I took a piping bag with a star-shaped tip and made the final layer of Cool Whip a little more fancy, and then topped it off with a mint leaf!
- Keep these refrigerated until you serve them!