First For Women

Berry-Kissed Chocolate Layer Cake



1 (22 oz.) pkg. gluten-free chocolate cake mix, like King Arthur

11⁄4 cups sugar, divided

1⁄4 cup cornstarch

11⁄2 cups milk

11⁄2 cups butter

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2⁄3 cup strawberry jam

11⁄2 qts. fresh strawberri­es,

hulled and thinly sliced

1 Heat oven to 350°F. Prepare cake mix as package directs. Divide batter evenly between 2 greased 9" pans. Bake 28 to 30 min. or until done. Let cool completely. Remove from pans.

2 In saucepot, whisk together 1⁄4 cup sugar and cornstarch. Add 1⁄4 cup milk, whisking until smooth. Add remaining milk. Place over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring. Reduce heat to low. Let cook 1 min. more or until thickened. Transfer to bowl of electric mixer. Cover and let cool.

3 With mixer on medium speed, beat butter 1 min. Add remaining sugar; beat 1 min. Add cornstarch mixture in spoonfuls. Add vanilla extract; beat on low speed 5 to 8 min. or until frosting is light and fluffy.

4 Place first cake layer on platter. Spread with 3⁄4 cup frosting, then jam. Top with second layer. Frost tops and sides of cake. Arrange 2⁄3 strawberry slices in concentric circles around top of cake. Slice remaining strawberri­es into hearts as shown below; arrange around cake bottom.

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