Cleveland Cassata Cake, Canton Style

This weekend is a new friend and classmate’s birthday. She requested a cake or dessert to celebrate. She mentioned a Cassata cake, a cake original to Cleveland, OH. So, after some research I decided why not. I’ll make a Canton version and bring it to class for everyone to enjoy.

This Cake is a 4 layer white cake with a layer of strawberries and a layer of vanilla custard between each layer of cake. The original Cleveland Cassata cake is covered with whipped cream instead of a frosting. To keep the cake together and to give it more of a sweet flavor I made a cream cheese icing. (Box cake mixes and cream cheese icing makes it a Canton Version. 😉 After I put the cake together and frosted the cake I put it in the fridge for an hour to set so I could transport the cake to class. This was a definite hit! Enjoy!

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Strawberry Cassata Cake

Cake:

2 white box cake mixes prepared between 4 round cake pans. After baked and cooled place layers in the fridge while finishing the strawberries and custard. This also helps when you cut the rounded top off to flatten the cake.

Custard:

6 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups half and half
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla

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Make the custard:
Whisk together all of the custard ingredients in a saucepan, bringing to a boil over medium-low heat, whisking constantly. After it boils, turn down the heat to simmer and continue to whisk constantly until thick. This should take 1-2 minutes, as it turns from a liquid to a pudding-like consistency. Spoon into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap – not tupperware with a lid or anything, the plastic wrap is important! Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or as long as a couple days.

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Strawberries:
3 lb. strawberries
2 tablespoons sugar

Slice the strawberries thinly and place in a bowl. Sprinkle with the 2T. sugar, and slightly mash with a strawberry/potato masher. Just enough to squish them up, but not so much that they become more liquid than slices. Cover the bowl and let it sit for at least an hour (overnight is fine). You’ll end up with a juicy mixture.

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Cream Cheese Icing

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar, plus more as needed

1. In large bowl, beat softened butter and cream cheese with electric mixer on medium speed 2 to 3 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally, until smooth and creamy.

2. Stir in vanilla, then stir in powdered sugar. Add more powdered sugar as needed until frosting is a thick spreadable consistency.

3. Spread or pipe frosting on cooled cake.

Putting it all together:
Start with one layer of the cake. Using a cake wire or knife trim the dome evenly off the top of the cake to create a flat surface. Spoon some of the strawberry liquid evenly around, then the chunkier strawberries, then a generous heaping of the custard. Smooth it out, put down the next layer of cake – squish it down just a tiny bit – and repeat. Cover the entire cake with the whipped cream or cheese icing and place into fridge for at least an hour or over night. I attempted a ombre icing with a dark purple at the bottom to a white on the top. First attempt was decent.

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Refrigerate for at least a couple hours before serving.

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(adapted from yankeedrawl.com)

 

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