The Maltby Cake

This simply is the best, easiest and most beautiful cake EVER. Serve with a cup of hot rich java and you'll have a fantastic experience friend! I have been making this cake for years at the Hospitality Workshops I teach. I am asked for the recipe weekly, and I guess you could say people fall in love with this little wonder. It is so easy—starts with a boxed cake mix! You must try it. It could be your family cake! 1 vanilla cake mix 1 3.4 oz. package (4-serving size) chocolate instant pudding mix 1 3.4 oz. package (4-serving size) vanilla instant pudding mix 4 eggs (5 if you’re like me and live at a higher altitude), beaten 1 ½ cups brewed coffee, cooled (or water if desired) ½ cup vegetable oil 1 cup dark or bittersweet chocolate chips 1 cup chopped nuts (optional) ½ cup flour (if high altitude) cardboard cake circle the size of cake layers 1 pint whipping cream 1 tsp. vanilla extract, or to taste 1 Tbsp. confectioner’s sugar, or to taste Fresh mint or ferns from florist (wash well) 12-15 chocolate-dipped strawberries (see recipe below) mixed fresh berries Grease and flour two round 8- or 9-inch cake pans. Set aside. Combine cake mix, pudding mixes, eggs, coffee, oil, chocolate chips, nuts, and flower in large mixing bowl and mix lightly—50 strokes by hand or 20 seconds by mixer. There will be some mix that has not blended well. Pour into prepared pans and bake at 350º for approximately 40 minutes, until layers spring back when touched lightly in the middle. Let cool a little, then remove layers to cooling rack and bring to room temperature. While layers are cooling, beat whipping cream until very firm. Add powered sugar and vanilla to taste. To decorate cake, put fern greens or fresh mint around the cake plate. Place one of the cake layers on top, with some of the greens showing. Frost layer with whipping cream. Add next layer of cake and frost all the cake with the remaining whipped cream. Top with chocolate dipped strawberries and fresh mixed berries. Add remaining dipped strawberries around the edges of the cake. If you made the strawberries yourself, you can drizzle leftover chocolate lightly over the cake. Chill in refrigerator until serving time. (I make this cake in the morning for an evening dinner.)
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