Money can’t buy everything, but fortunately it CAN buy the ingredients to my newest confectionery concoction, which I lovingly call “Strawberry Rightside Up Vanillimon (pronounced Va-nil-lie-mon) Cake”. Made entirely from scratch, it’s easy peasy, and sure to be one of the best things you’ll ever put in your mouth. The fruity sweetness of this dessert is reminiscent of a pineapple upside down cake, which is why I chose to name it “Strawberry Rightside Up…” I’m not a huge icing fan (I know, I know. It’s a sacrilege), and I prefer fresh fruit as a cake topping. This cake highlights that preference perfectly, and even the people in my house who ARE icing aficionados (i.e. my children), scarfed this cake down unlike anything I’ve seen before. However, after I tried a piece I could see why they couldn’t stop eating it. I’m pretty sure this is a dessert served nightly in heaven, and I think if you’ll try it you will agree. WARNING: THIS CAKE WILL MAKE YOUR CLOTHES AND BELTS SHRINK. IF YOU ARE ON YOUR LAST BELT HOLE, IT IS RECOMMENDED YOU PURCHASE A LARGER BELT UNTIL YOU ARE ACCUSTOMED TO THE EFFECTS. I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY HEALTH PROBLEM CONSUMING THIS CAKE MAY CAUSE. Most common side effects include weight gain, diabetes, insatiable cravings, and sugar highs followed by a crash that makes the 1929 stock market crash look like a gradual glide a butterfly would do to land on a feather pillow that is resting on a bed made of clouds.
Ethel, get the napkins ready. You’ll need to mop your tongue prints off the screen so you can read the recipe.
The cake I used is a simple vanilla depression poke cake (i.e. no milk or eggs in the cake batter, instead I used 12 oz. 7-Up for the leavening to help it rise). I like to make my cake batter from scratch, but to make it super easy you can get a box of yellow cake mix with a can of your favorite lemon lime soda, pop it in the oven and you’ll get a cake so scrumptiously moist and delicious your tongue will jump out of your mouth and give you such a fierce wedgie you will need team of miners in to dig it out. Yes, your body will do anything, including sabotage, to hold on to this deliciousness a little while longer. But I digress…Let’s get to the important stuff, what goes in it and how to make it.
- 1 cup of white granulated sugar
- 1 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 & 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 12 ounce can of your favorite lemon-lime soda
For The Toppings:
- 2 cups strawberries, chopped into small cubes
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all of the cake ingredients together and pour into a greased 9×13 pan. Cook for 30-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. While the cake is baking, prepare the strawberry topping. You’ll be pouring this topping on the cake immediately after the cake comes out of the oven. When the cake has finished baking, poke small holes in the top using a fork. Poke several large holes in the cake as well using the handle of a wooden spoon.
Fork holes and wooden spoon handle holes just to give you an idea.
Strawberry topping directions:
Heat a cup of water with a cup of sugar on the stove in a heavy pan until sugar has melted on medium high heat. Add 2 cups of diced strawberries to pan. Stir constantly until berries are mushy and the mixture has thickened, about 10-15 mins. Pour over cake, cool completely and refrigerate. Can serve with ice cream or whipped cream, but I prefer just the way it is.
Strawberries really are one of the prettiest fruits out there. I love the bright red/dark pink colors of the berries, especially after they’ve been cooked.
What it looks like when finished. Please note this cake will need refrigerating.
If you want to transfer the cake to a dish other than what it was cooked in, once the cake has cooled off, run a knife around the edges to loosen it. Hold the pan firmly with both hands, and in a swift, forceful motion, flip the pan over and dump the cake into the garbage can, because trying to transfer the entire cake whole will destroy it. Seriously, this cake is so moist it is not transferable.
TIPS, TRICKS AND OTHER NOTABLES. Depression cakes (cakes that do not contain eggs or oil) are uber moist. This makes frosting/icing them a crumbly nightmare. If you want to make this cake but plan on foregoing the strawberry drizzle for a more traditional frosting, put the cake in the freezer for 2 hours after baking and cooling (and you won’t need to poke holes in the cake). You want the top frozen so it won’t crumble. Frost the cake quickly before it thaws out. If you are afraid freezing the cake will affect the taste (it might) or just don’t have the freezer space, heat the icing on stove (medium low heat) or in the microwave until it is pour-able. Be careful not to burn the icing. Pour the frosting over the cake and voila!