Yesterday was not my day. The first line of this post would have read something cheesy like, “Welcome spring into your home with a pan of delicious strawberries and cream blondies!” But wouldn’t you know that as I was wrapping the top of my pan in plastic wrap, it slipped from my fingers and I managed to catch it against the cabinet doors with my knees. It probably would have looked better if I had let it hit the floor. The gorgeous cheesecake and strawberry swirl was all mushed against the plastic wrap, and as you can imagine, that doesn’t lend to taking beautiful photographs. I made the best of it by scraping the smushed mess off the plastic wrap with a butter knife and licking it clean. It was delicious! I used some fresh whipped cream to disguise the messiness and who knows, maybe it was my day, afterall! Anyway…
Welcome spring into your home with a pan of delicious strawberries and cream blondies! Seriously, you had better hurry because spring is almost here! I can tell by the puddles I’ve been jumping over as I walk to my car in the morning. This morning, the water was actually deeper than the toe of my rain boot. Spring is all about fun colors, dresses, and fresh fruity flavors. Last week I even changed all of the scented candles and plugins from my warm winter vanilla scent to a lively citrus – Folks, I am ready!
This dessert begins as a pan pf strawberry blondies made from a cake mix – simple and delicious. Throw in in a light cream cheese layer…now we’re talking. Add a fresh strawberry jam swirl and violà – we have reached perfection! To be honest, I did not know how it was going to turn out. I kind of made it up as I went along, adding some of this and that to adjust the batter to be the consistency I thought it should be. My swirls weren’t the prettiest thing before I put it in the oven, and I was nervous that it would do something weird as it cooked and end up just looking really gross. It looked great, you know, prior to the aforementioned dropping incident. I actually think they still look pretty darn tasty with a dollop of whipped cream and a fresh strawberry on top. They taste even better than they look!
The blondie layer is rich and has the texture of a dense cake or a cakey brownie. The addition of 1/4 cup of homemade strawberry jam to the batter really transformed it to a more natural strawberry taste, as opposed to the strawberry flavoring taste that the cake mix has naturally; it added some lovely color as well. There isn’t much I can say about the cheesecake layer; it was divine, as all cheesecake is. The fresh strawberry jam swirled with the cheesecake layer was absolutely heavenly! All in all, perfect strawberries and cream blondies! Why yes, I will have a second piece.
- 1 lb fresh strawberries, sliced
- 2-4 Tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp lemon juice or vinegar
- 8 oz cream cheese
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 package strawberry cake mix
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/4 cup oil
- 1/4 cup of prepared strawberry jam
- 3 Tbsp heavy cream or milk
- Puree half of the strawberries using a blender or food processor. Add pureed strawberries and remaining sliced strawberries to a large frying pan. Add 2 Tbsp sugar and lemon juice. If you choose not to puree the strawberries, you should add a couple Tbsp water.
- Heat on medium heat, and let simmer for about 15 minutes, until it reaches your desired thickness. You can add the remaining sugar if desired, some berries are sweeter than others, so adjust according to your taste.
- Let cool completely.
- Beat cream cheese, sugar, egg and vanilla until combined. Set aside.
- Combine cake mix, eggs, and oil in a medium bowl and mix until just combined. Add 1/4 cup of strawberry jam and continue to mix. Add up to 3 tbsp of heavy cream/milk if needed to make the mixture less thick (so it will be spreadable).
- Spread batter into a greased 9x9-inch pan.
- Spread the cream cheese mixture over top of batter, and spoon the the strawberry jam on top of it. Run a knife through the cream cheese and jam to create a swirl pattern. Try to avoid getting the knife in the blondie batter.
- Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center come out clean.