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Strawberry Refrigerator Cake
*note this cake takes several hours to chill so make sure you allow time
1 pkg. yellow cake mix
4 oz. reduced fat cream cheese
1 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs
Filling and garnish
2 quarts strawberries rinsed, drained on paper towels plus 1/2 cup sliced for garnish
1 cup sour cream
1 container frozen whipped topping 8 oz, thawed
1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
Make the cake: Place a rack in the center of the oven and bake @ 325, lightly mist three 9 inch round baking pans with vegetable oil and dust with flour. Shake out excess flour and wet pans aside.
Place the cake mix, cream cheese, water, oil and vanilla, and eggs in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer on low speed until the ingredients are incorporated 30 seconds. Stop the machine and scrape down with a rubber spatual increasing the mixer speed to medium for about 2 minutes or until smooth. Divide cake batter evenly among the 3 pans, about 1 3/4 cups batter per pan. Place pans in oven, placing 2 on rack and one on rack above if your oven allows. *I baked mine 2 at a time.
Bake the cake layers until they are golden brown and the tops spring back when touched 20-25 minutes. The cake layer on the higher rack may bake faster so test it for doneness first.
Meanwhile, make the filling. Cut off and discard caps of the strawberries and cut into 3-4 flat slices each. Place them in a medium size bowl, and set aside. Place the sour cream and whipped topping and confectioners sugar in another medium bowl and beat with an electric mixer on low for 15- 20 sec. Scrape down the side of the bowl and increase the mixer speed to medium until fluffy for about 1 minute.
Transfer cake pans to wire rack to cool for at least 15 minutes, invert and cool layers for another 15 minutes. To assemble the cake transfer one layer right side up to serving plate. Spoon a heaping cup of the filling onto layer and using a knife spread not quite to the edge. Arrange 1 1/2 cups of strawberries on top of the filling place out to edge showing berries. Repeat with next two layers, leaving at least 1/2 cup of berries for top. Just before serving garnish the top of the cake with 1/2 cup strawberries, chill for at least 4 hours.
Store cake in refrigerator for up to 2 days tightly wrapped in plastic wrap.
It was a huge hit with my inlaws and kiddos, the cream cheese and sour cream just add to the cake and give it a moist flavor.