(GISELLE BARKLEY / THE STATESMAN)
Sweet treats like cake are tasty, but adding fruits is a great way to give these treats a touch of natural sweetness. (GISELLE BARKLEY / THE STATESMAN)

What better way to celebrate the birthday of one of my dear friend’s parent, than to bake a cake. I am not crazy about chocolate, but if I am making something sweet, I like using white chocolate chips, especially if I am mixing a fruit like strawberries into the recipe.

For starters, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Make sure you have two cake pans and an electronic mixer in addition to a wooden spoon or spatula.

It is easier to mix the batter with the electronic mixer but when adding the white chocolate chips to the mix, it is better to mix them in with a spoon. You can still combine the ingredients without an electronic mixer, but combining all of the ingredients that way may take a little longer.

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If you want to save money, use a box of cake mix so that you do not have to make it from scratch. It will cut down the amount of ingredients needed in the recipe if you use a box of pre-made cake mix. Also, the mixes already come in a variety of flavors.

Ingredients:

1 box of white (optional) cake mix

1 cup of water

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3 eggs

1/3 cup of oil

¾ cups of white chocolate chips

1 to 2 box(s) of strawberries

2 cans of white cake frosting

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Feel free to tailor the flavor of the cake mix to what you like. I used the white cake mix to keep it simple. Empty the box of cake mix into a large mixing bowl.

Then, add the eggs, oil and water into the bowl. When adding the water, start off adding a little at a time.

If you add more than 1 ¼ cup of water into the mix, the batter may not be the right consistency.  Mix the ingredients with the electronic mixer. If there is not enough water mix, the cake batter will be very thick. Make sure to add some more water if this is the case.

Once all four of those ingredients are combined, add the white chocolate chips into the batter. Use a spoon to mix the white chocolate chips so that they are evenly distributed throughout the batter.  Then, grease your cake pan and empty the cake batter into the pans.

If you are following the recipe and use only one box of cake mix having two cake pans will be more than enough. If you want to use more than two pans, double the amount of cake mix, water, eggs and oil. Adding more white chocolate chips is optional.

Once the batter is in the pans, put the pans into the oven and let the batter bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown.

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Keep an eye on the batter as it bakes because cooking times may vary depending on how efficient your  stove is or where the cake pans are placed in the oven.

Now for the icing. Icing and stacking the cake is complicated, so read through the directions before starting these steps.

I bought pre-made icing just because it was easier. As usual, feel free to make your own icing or buy a different flavor.

Once the cake batter is cooked, take it out of the oven and let it stand. If the top of the cake is not flat, once the cake cools, level the top of at least one of the two cakes—you can level off the top face of both of the cakes, but this is not necessary. This will make it easier to stack the two cakes.

Once one of the cakes are level, spread a layer of icing on the face of the cake that you leveled. Do not put too much icing on this cake.

Wash, dry and slice the strawberries. You can make the slices as thin or as thick as you please however, I stick to medium thickness. Place the sliced strawberries on the cake with the icing. This will be the bottom tier of the cake.

To make sure the other cake will stick to the bottom tier, spread a layer of icing on the bottom face of this cake.

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If you leveled the top face of both cakes, stack this cake, the top tier, with the top face facing upwards.

Now that the cake is stacked, ice the rest of the cake. I put star shaped sprinkles on the top of my cake, but you can decorate your cake as little or as much as you desire. You can let the cake rest in the fridge to let the icing harden.

Once the cake is ready, slice the cake and dig in.

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