Yup, that’s quite a title. Thankfully, this cake lives up to its humdinger of a name too. I’ve been eyeballing this recipe for a long time but wanted to wait to make for Mother’s Day. What’s that — you say? Mother’s Day is weeks away. Ummmm … no, it’s not. Mother’s Day is on May 8th or a week from this Sunday. It’s coming up fast so get those cards in the mail, flowers ordered and pick-up the ingredients to make this cake for your Mama.
My Mom and I have a shared love of strawberries. For a short period, we had a small strawberry patch in our garden but it never produced a lot, so eventually my parents replaced it. But those little juicy berries were so tasty, even if there were just a few. Years later, when I moved to LA, I finally was able to get berries just as wonderful.
That’s right. February. Do you know what February is like in Minnesota? It’s flipping cold and there are no sweet and plump strawberries being sold at little roadside stands at busy intersections. Just snow. And wind. And more snow.
When I bought my first basket of freshly picked strawberries in California, I took them into the office and made everyone smell them. In retrospect, I realize that is kind of gross since everyone sniffed my berries, but I was too excited to think about germs to care. When I relayed this story to my parents, they were amused, although they probably thought I was little (a lot) weird.
During their first visit to LA, I bought some berries and handed them to my Mom who was sitting in the backseat of my car. As we drove home, I could hear my Mom sniffing the berries too. The siren call of strawberries is strong.
This cake is reminiscent of a Tres Leche cake as you pour sweetened condensed milk over the poked cake. This keeps the cake super moist without making it soggy. To me, it tasted like strawberry shortcake on steroids. The one thing that did bum me out is mine doesn’t look like a traditional poke cake because the strawberries mixture didn’t really poke through the cake. It ended up being more of a top layer, which I actually liked, but still would like some of the pink color to run through the cake.
Next time, when I make it for my Mom this summer, I plan to add a spoonful or three of the strawberry sauce to the condensed milk to turn it pink/red. Hopefully this will give me the ribbons of pink I want, while keeping the layer of chunky berries I also liked. It’s also topped with a very fluffy and decadent cheesecake frosting. Yum-O!