Sometimes, we just need a little SOMETHING. A little FRESH. A little HOMEMADE. A little FRUITY. And we need it NOW! Well, this recipe could NOT be simpler.
The idea of making cookies from store-bought cake mix has been around for a long, long time. So, I decided to go with strawberry cake mix as the base for this recipe. I also decided to go with a layer of prepared frosting for the fruit to nestle in, but you could beat your own cream cheese with a little powdered sugar and whatever extract you desire if you don’t want to go the frosting route. I also thought of using yogurt (I have used lemon curd in the past), but you have to be careful when choosing this layer because you don’t want it to make your cookie base soggy….because…..yuck!
And the rest is your own creativity. You can top off this pretty little tart with whatever fruity combination your heart desires. It seems strawberries always take center stage in tarts like this, but I wanted to give pineapple a chance. I’m really glad I did because……YUMMMM!!!
1 store-bought box of strawberry cake mix
1 large egg
1/2 c. of butter, room temperature
1 can prepared cream cheese frosting
2 – 3 c. assorted fruit, berries, melon, etc.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray bottom and sides of fluted tart pan (with removable bottom) with cooking spray and set aside.
In large bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, combine cake mix, egg and butter. Mix on medium high to high until well combined and mixture resembles cookie dough.
Transfer dough to tart pan. Use your hands or the back of a large spoon to press dough evenly across bottom and up sides of pan.
Use fork to poke several holes in bottom of pan. (It will still puff up, but you can tamp it down after it bakes).
Place in preheated oven and bake at 350°F for 20 minutes (do not overbake). Remove from oven. This is where you would use a cool little wooden tamping tool to gently deflate or press tart base back down (if you don’t have a tamping tool, you could also use the back of a large spoon). Place on wire rack to cool completely.
Once your tart base has cooled, secure a decorative tip to the end of a piping bag (OR, if you don't have a piping bag, a freezer bag with one corner snipped off also works well). Fill said piping bag with frosting and pipe frosting evenly on top. (You could simply spread the frosting evenly instead of piping it. You’re free to do what you want here. No one’s judging, LOL).
This is where it gets fun! Create a fun-filled fruit design to top off your pretty little tart. Also, if you don’t have any fresh fruit on hand but you DO have a can of pie filling, strain out as much of the liquid as possible before pouring it over your tart. Store your masterpiece in the fridge and serve chilled.
(Side note: if you do decide to go the cream cheese and powdered sugared route, you could scrape out the seeds of a vanilla bean to add vanilla flavor. Using vanilla extract in a white frosting will alter the color).