This is a pretty handsome dessert, isn’t it? Stack Cake, the favorite of the Appalachian region, tastes just as good as it looks. While it’s traditionally made with thin, spiced molasses rounds and stewed dried apples, we decided to swap strawberries for the apples in an attempt to update it. Using cream cheese in the dough added a gentle tang and held up to the moist strawberry filling. But the best part of our remade recipe is forming the cake rounds on a baking sheet instead of rolling them out individually; this drastically cut down on prep time. And cooking the strawberries to a jamlike consistency helped keep the cake moist without it becoming a soggy mess.
STACK THE ODDS IN YOUR FAVOR
Replacing the thick dried-apple filling traditionally used for stack cake with juicy fresh strawberries wreaked havoc. Simply pureed, the fresh berries turned the cake to mush. Cooked until thick and jammy, they concentrated their juices for a moist, but not wet, cake.
SOGGY CAKE: Uncooked berries were too wet.
SLICEABLE CAKE: Cooked berries were perfect.
MAKE STACK CAKE IN A SNAP
Instead of laboriously rolling out half a dozen layers, we divide the dough into six equal pieces and use an easy pat-in-the-pan method.
1. Position a 9-inch parchment round over an 8-inch pan, pressing the paper snugly into the pan edges.
2. Using lightly floured hands to prevent sticking, press a dough disk evenly over the parchment round.
3. Lift the parchment to transfer the rounds to a baking sheet. Two rounds should fit on a large baking sheet.
MAKE IT NOW: Our recipe for Strawberry Stack Cake is free through July 25, 2013.