“Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first.” – Ernestine Ulmer, American writer

Sometimes, you just need DESSERT: something rich and decadent, bursting with chocolate or vanilla or coffee or fruit and full of flavors that linger delightfully on the palette. When this occasion dawns, “healthy” is not an option. It’s admirable to make baked goods and treats healthier, but every once in a while, decadence and daring need to be on the menu! Check out our three options for rich, but easy to make desserts spiked with the tang of strawberries or raspberries. The tart fruit provides the perfect counterpoint to the richness of vanilla, cream cheese and chocolate. No one needs to know how easy they really were.

Vanilla Lover’s Cake with Strawberries
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There’s nothing plain about this vanilla cake! When it’s done the right way, vanilla is warm, exotic and flavorful, not just “white.” This luscious cake is great on its own or accompanied by shortcake-style fresh strawberries. If you want the cake pure white, use clear imitation vanilla (professionals do this
Vanilla Lover’s Cake with Strawberries
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
There’s nothing plain about this vanilla cake! When it’s done the right way, vanilla is warm, exotic and flavorful, not just “white.” This luscious cake is great on its own or accompanied by shortcake-style fresh strawberries. If you want the cake pure white, use clear imitation vanilla (professionals do this
Servings Prep Time Cook Time
16 45 minutes 90 minutes
Servings Prep Time
16 45 minutes
Cook Time
90 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 box Duncan Hines Premium French Vanilla cake mix
  • 3 Eggs
  • 2/3 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1 cup Water
  • 2 teaspoons High-quality Vanilla Extract
  • 1 cup Water
  • 2/3 cup Light Brown Sugar
  • 1 tablespoon High-quality Vanilla Extract
  • 3 tablespoons Light Rum
  • 5 cups Powdered Sugar
  • ½ cup Softened Butter
  • 1 8-ounce package Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1 tablespoon High-quality Vanilla Extract
  • 4-5 tablespoons Light Cream or Milk
  • 1 quart Fresh Strawberries
  • ¼ cup Sugar
Servings:
Units:
Ingredients
  • 1 box Duncan Hines Premium French Vanilla cake mix
  • 3 Eggs
  • 2/3 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1 cup Water
  • 2 teaspoons High-quality Vanilla Extract
  • 1 cup Water
  • 2/3 cup Light Brown Sugar
  • 1 tablespoon High-quality Vanilla Extract
  • 3 tablespoons Light Rum
  • 5 cups Powdered Sugar
  • ½ cup Softened Butter
  • 1 8-ounce package Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1 tablespoon High-quality Vanilla Extract
  • 4-5 tablespoons Light Cream or Milk
  • 1 quart Fresh Strawberries
  • ¼ cup Sugar
Servings:
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Instructions
  1. Hull and slice strawberries. Sprinkle with sugar and set aside.
  2. Heat oven to 350.
  3. Blend cake mix, oil, water, eggs and vanilla on low speed for 2 minutes to combine well. Increase mixer speed to high and blend for 5 minutes.
  4. Butter two 8-inch cake pans and dust with flour. Divide batter between the pans and bake according to package directions.
  5. While the cakes bake, simmer water, brown sugar, rum and vanilla for 10 minutes over medium heat to make the cake soak. Let cool.
  6. Take the cakes out of the oven and let cool for 20 minutes before removing from the pans to cool on a wire rack. Cool completely.
  7. While cakes cool, make your frosting. Blend butter and cream cheese together on high speed until light and fluffy. Add vanilla. Work in powdered sugar, one cup at a time on low speed, alternating with a tablespoon of cream or milk.
  8. Place one layer on a cake plate. Level if necessary. Poke small holes all over with a toothpick and brush generously with the brown sugar syrup. Cover with about 1 cup frosting. Place the second layer on top, repeat the toothpick and syrup step. Frost the top and sides of the cake, adding decorative borders if you like.
  9. Chill cake until 20 minutes before serving. Serve with fresh berries on the side to spoon over each slice.
Recipe Notes

Also delicious with blackberries, blueberries, raspberries or a mix of your favorites!

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White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake
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Cheesecake strikes fear in the heart of many otherwise competent bakers. Relax! The key to great cheesecake is not overbeating the eggs once they are added (stop as soon as they are blended in) and to follow the tips worked through this recipe: make sure the ring of your springform pan is greased, add cornstarch to your batter and put a pan of water in the oven to replicate a bain marie without the work (or risk of soggy crust!). Once you show it who’s boss, cheesecake will be your go to for elegant, decadent desserts.
White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
Cheesecake strikes fear in the heart of many otherwise competent bakers. Relax! The key to great cheesecake is not overbeating the eggs once they are added (stop as soon as they are blended in) and to follow the tips worked through this recipe: make sure the ring of your springform pan is greased, add cornstarch to your batter and put a pan of water in the oven to replicate a bain marie without the work (or risk of soggy crust!). Once you show it who’s boss, cheesecake will be your go to for elegant, decadent desserts.
Servings Prep Time Cook Time Passive Time
12 45minutes 60minutes 60 minutes
Servings Prep Time
12 45minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
60minutes 60 minutes
Ingredients
  • 20 cups Shortbread Cookies
  • ¼ cup Melted Butter
  • 3 8 ounce packages Cream Cheese, softened
  • 3 Eggs
  • ¾ cup Sugar
  • 1 cup white chocolate pieces
  • 2 tablespoons Cornstarch
  • 2 cups raspberry preserves
Servings:
Units:
Ingredients
  • 20 cups Shortbread Cookies
  • ¼ cup Melted Butter
  • 3 8 ounce packages Cream Cheese, softened
  • 3 Eggs
  • ¾ cup Sugar
  • 1 cup white chocolate pieces
  • 2 tablespoons Cornstarch
  • 2 cups raspberry preserves
Servings:
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Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 350. Crush shortbread cookies in a food processor to fine crumbs. Combine with melted butter and press onto the bottom only of an 8 or 9-inch springform pan. Bake crust for 8 minutes. Set aside and let cool.
  2. Place a baking pan of very hot water on the lowest possible rack of the oven. Place the upper rack in the middle.
  3. Beat cream cheese and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat on medium speed until well blended. Melt the white chocolate in the microwave in 30 second bursts, stirring between each one, until melted and smooth. Stir the white chocolate into the batter by hand, and then add the cornstarch and mix gently until blended.
  4. Spray the sides of the springform pan with nonstick cooking spray or rub them with butter.
  5. Spread 1 ½ cups raspberry preserves onto the crust. Pour batter over. Dot remaining jam on top of the batter and swirl gently with a knife. Tap the side of the pan all around to eliminate air bubbles that can cause cracks. Bake for 45-60 minutes (longer for an 8-inch pan than a 9-inch) or until cake wobbles only slightly in the middle when nudged gently. Remove from oven and let cool for at least one hour. Chill until serving. Garnish with whipped cream and fresh raspberries.
Recipe Notes

If you prefer, use 2 cups graham cracker crumbs and 2 tablespoons sugar in place of the shortbread cookies. You can also swap the raspberry preserves for blackberry, strawberry or blueberry if you prefer.

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Raspberry Brownies
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What could be easier? Brownie mixes have greatly improved in quality. If you have a favorite brand that only comes in the smaller size, just double the recipe.
Raspberry Brownies
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Rating: 0
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What could be easier? Brownie mixes have greatly improved in quality. If you have a favorite brand that only comes in the smaller size, just double the recipe.
Servings Prep Time Cook Time
16 10minute 30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
16 10minute
Cook Time
30 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 box Fudge Brownie Mix, family size
  • Eggs, Oil and Water as called for on the box, for cake-like brownies
  • 1 cup Dark Chocolate Chips
  • 1 pint Fresh Raspberries
Servings:
Units:
Ingredients
  • 1 box Fudge Brownie Mix, family size
  • Eggs, Oil and Water as called for on the box, for cake-like brownies
  • 1 cup Dark Chocolate Chips
  • 1 pint Fresh Raspberries
Servings:
Units:
Instructions
  1. Prepare brownie mix as directed on package.
  2. Gently stir in chocolate chips and raspberries.
  3. Bake in a 9 by 13 pan as directed on package.
  4. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream and crushed, sweetened fresh or frozen raspberries.
Recipe Notes

Try it with blackberries!

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