Presenter: Becky

Introduction:

So, spring and summer are our favorite seasons for many reasons.  Most of which involve cookouts and having an excuse to eat yummy food and drink fruity drinks with our friends and family.  I mean who doesn’t love being able to hangout and have fun without having to worry about wrangling your little ones in a restaurant??!!  You can just let them run around outside tiring themselves out for a long nights rest all while you enjoy adult beverages! I, for one, am all for it!

This was a dessert recipe that was shared with me by one of my amazing SIL’s.  We loved it when she made it, and I have made it several times since.  I made a few tweaks to the original recipe because I am not always a fan of box cake mixes.  I like to doctor them up, because the few extra ingredients it takes makes this cake so moist and delicious, it is well worth it! I decided to call it Cookout Cake, because well, it is a fabulous cake to take to cookouts! Light (not necessarily in calories) and refreshing!

Resources:

Procurement’s:

Cake:

  • 1 box yellow cake mix (any brand is fine)
  • 1 box (3.4 oz) vanilla instant pudding mix
  • 1 c. all purpose flour
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 c. water
  • 1 c. sour cream
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 t. pure vanilla extract

Filling/Topping:

  • 1 can crushed pineapple (20 oz), juice drained
  • 1 pkg. cream cheese (8 oz), softened
  • 1 box (3.4 oz) vanilla instant pudding mix2 c. milk
  • 1 large container frozen whipped topping (12 oz), thawed
  • 2 c berries (I use strawberries, but any mix of berries works)

Operating Procedures:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees

In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients together to make sure there are no lumps. In a separate bowl, dump the wet ingredients and mix until combined. Mix the wet and dry ingredients together, by hand until it is well moistened and then switch to a hand or stand mixer.  If you skip this step, be forewarned you may be covered in dry ingredients! Use electric mixer to mix cake for about 2 minutes.

Transfer cake batter into a greased and floured 13 x 9 deep dish cake pan. It is important to use a deep dish pan because this cake rises and you are also putting 2 more layers of toppings on it, so it ends up being a pretty large cake! Since I usually take this cake to cookouts, I tend to buy a disposable foil cake pan that can be pitched after dessert. Bake cake at 325 degrees for 25-35 minutes, depending on your oven.  You want to bake it until the cake is just cooked, and toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out mostly clean. Keep an eye on it, you don’t want to over cook the cake! My oven tends to be a bit hot, so my cake took exactly 30 minutes. 

While the cake is cooling, drain the pineapple, making sure to get out as much of the liquid as possible.  I usually put the pineapple in a strainer and push down on it with the back of a spoon until no more liquid is coming out.  If you don’t drain ti thoroughly, your filling will be runny.

Next, make the “filling” which is really just the next layer! Put the softened cream cheese in a large mixing bowl and beat with a hand mixer until it is light and fluffy.  Next, slowly add in the milk and mix thoroughly.  If you skip the step of softening the cream cheese, your mixture will NEVER be smooth, it will stay lumpy looking, no matter how long you mix it! It will still taste good, but it just won’t look as pretty.  Then add the pudding mix and beat for 3-4 minutes or until the mixture begins to thicken.  Depending on the temperature in your kitchen, you may need to put it in the fridge for a few minutes for it thicken. When the mixture is thickened, add the drained pineapple and combine.

When the cake is totally cooled, spread the pudding/pineapple on top of the cake layer.  Then “frost” your cake with the thawed whipped topping.  Lay the berries of your choice on the cake.  I usually make rows of strawberries.

 Proposals:

I am usually lazy and just slice strawberries and lay them in rows, but this cake would be adorable decorated for Memorial Day, Fourth or July, or Labor Day, using blue berries and strawberries and decorating it like the American Flag! You also can use this same method with different types of cake flavors and different fruits. The possibilities are endless! Note to self: try a chocolate cake with chocolate pudding and cherries! Yum! I’ll let you know how that one turns out at a later date 😉

Closing Remarks:

This dessert may seem like it is a lot of steps, but they are all easy to do and totally worth it! All the parts of this cake can be made ahead of time, but don’t put the layers together until the day of the party, so that they cake doesn’t get soggy and the layers stay separate. I am telling you, this will become a family favorite that is requested time after time!

Cookout Cake
A delicious and light (not on calories!) cake perfect for spring and summer gatherings!
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Cake
  1. 1 box yellow cake mix (any brand is fine)
  2. 1 box (3.4 oz) vanilla instant pudding mix
  3. 1 c. all purpose flour
  4. 1 c. sugar
  5. 1 c. water
  6. 1 c. sour cream
  7. 3 eggs, room temperature
  8. 1 1/2 t. pure vanilla extract
Filling/Topping
  1. 1 can crushed pineapple (20 oz), juice drained
  2. 1 pkg. cream cheese (8 oz), softened
  3. 1 box (3.4 oz) vanilla instant pudding mix2 c. milk
  4. 1 large container frozen whipped topping (12 oz), thawed
  5. 2 c berries (I use strawberries, but any mix of berries works)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  2. In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients together to make sure there are no lumps.
  3. In a separate bowl, dump the wet ingredients and mix until combined.
  4. Mix the wet and dry ingredients together, by hand until it is well moistened and then switch to a hand or stand mixer.
  5. Use electric mixer to mix cake for about 2 minutes.
  6. Transfer cake batter into a greased and floured 13 x 9 deep dish cake pan (a disposable foil pan is recommended)
  7. Bake cake at 325 degrees for 25-35 minutes, just until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out mostly clean.
  8. While the cake is cooling, drain the pineapple, making sure to get out as much of the liquid as possible, so the filling won't be runny.
  9. Next, put the softened cream cheese in a large mixing bowl and beat with a hand mixer until it is light and fluffy.
  10. Slowly add in the milk and mix thoroughly.
  11. Then add the pudding mix and beat for 3-4 minutes or until the mixture begins to thicken. Depending on the temperature in your kitchen, you may need to put it in the fridge for a few minutes for it thicken.
  12. When the mixture is thickened, add the drained pineapple and combine.
  13. When the cake is totally cooled, spread the pudding/pineapple on top of the cake layer. Then "frost" your cake with the thawed whipped topping.
  14. Place the berries of your choice on the cake.
Five to Nine Creations http://www.fivetoninecreations.com/
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