Caylee Hirshfeld bakes her way to first place!

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Caylee Hirshfeld bakes her way to first place!

Caylee Hirshfeld's strawberry triple decker cake wins first place. Her cake consisted of heart shaped strawberries in spirit of the Valentine's Day theme.

Caylee Hirshfeld's strawberry triple decker cake wins first place. Her cake consisted of heart shaped strawberries in spirit of the Valentine's Day theme.

Gabby Allen

Caylee Hirshfeld's strawberry triple decker cake wins first place. Her cake consisted of heart shaped strawberries in spirit of the Valentine's Day theme.

Gabby Allen

Gabby Allen

Caylee Hirshfeld's strawberry triple decker cake wins first place. Her cake consisted of heart shaped strawberries in spirit of the Valentine's Day theme.

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On February 6th, the Oak Leaf had it’s annual bake off with a Valentine’s Day theme. The judges, Mrs. Claywell, Mr. Bain, Chef Adam, Josh Hudson, Mr. Kennedy, Mr. Holman, and Mr. Benedict, assessed the four entries on appearance, taste, and whether or not it fit the Valentine’s Day theme. The first place prize went to Sophomore, Caylee Hirshfeld, for her delicious strawberry triple decker cake. Second place went to Mr. McElhaney’s pink heart sandwich cookies.

See all recipes below:

Triple Decker strawberry cake ingredients:

Solid vegetable shortening for greasing the pans

Flour for dusting the pans

1 (18.25-ounce) package white cake mix

1 (3-ounce) package strawberry gelatin

4 large eggs

1/2 cup sugar

4 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/2 cup finely chopped fresh strawberries

1 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup whole milk

Beat the cake mix and next 7 ingredients at low speed with an electric mixer 1 minute. Scrape down the sides, and beat at medium speed 2 more minutes, stopping to scrape down sides, if needed. (Strawberries should be well blended into batter.)

Pour batter into 3 greased and floured 9-inch cake pans.

Bake at 350° for 23 minutes or until cakes spring back when lightly pressed with a finger.

Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove from pans; cool completely on wire racks.

Spread Strawberry Buttercream Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake. Garnish, if desired. Serve immediately, or chill up to 1 week.

Strawberry Buttercream Frosting ingredients

1 stick butter at room temperature

4 cups powdered sugar, sifted (more if needed)

½  cup finely chopped fresh strawberries and juice (more if needed)

1 cup halved fresh strawberries, for garnish


Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer 20 seconds or until fluffy. Add powdered sugar and chopped strawberries, beating at low speed until creamy. (Add more sugar if frosting is too thin, or add strawberries if too thick.)


Cream filled heart shaped cookies ingredients:

Cream Filling

½ stick unsalted butter, softened

1 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar

¼ cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 to 2 tablespoons whole milk, if needed


Beat butter with a mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low and gradually add sugars, beating until thoroughly combined. Beat in vanilla. If filling is too thick to spread, beat in milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, until spreadable.


White chocolate cherry shortbread cookies ingredients:

12 cup maraschino cherry, drained and finely chopped

12 cups all-purpose flour

12 cup sugar

1  cup cold  butter

12 ounces white chocolate baking squares, with cocoa butter, finely chopped

12 teaspoon almond extract

2  drops red food coloring (optional)

2  teaspoons shortening

A container of white  multicolored sugar nonpareils (and or red edible glitter)


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spread cherries on paper towels to drain well.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour and sugar. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Stir in drained cherries and 4 ounces (2/3 cup) of the chopped chocolate. Stir in almond extract and, if desired, food coloring. Knead mixture until it forms a smooth ball.
  3. Shape dough into 3/4-inch balls. Place balls 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Using the bottom of a drinking glass dipped in sugar, flatten balls to 1-1/2-inch rounds.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until centers are set. Cool for 1 minute on cookie sheet. Transfer cookies to a wire rack and let cool.
  5. In a small saucepan, combine remaining 8 ounces white chocolate and the shortening. Cook and stir over low heat until melted. Dip half of each cookie into chocolate, allowing excess to drip off. If desired, roll dipped edge in nonpareils and/or edible glitter. Place cookies on waxed paper until chocolate is set. Makes about 60.
  6. To Store: Layer cookies between waxed paper in an airtight container; cover. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.


Pink heart cookies ingredients:

2 cups sifted all-purpose flour, plus more for parchment

½ teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon coarse salt

1 stick of unsalted butter, softened

1 cup sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Red and pink gel-paste food coloring

Cream filling (see recipe below)


  1. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Beat together butter and sugar with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in egg and vanilla. Reduce speed to low, and gradually add flour mixture, beating until just incorporated. Remove from mixer and knead until dough forms.
  2. Divide dough into 3 or 4 pieces, depending on how many shades of pink you would like cookies to be. Working with 1 piece of dough at a time, add food coloring, 1 drop at a time, mixing and kneading to combine, until desired shade is reached; the more food coloring you add, the darker the color will be. Flatten each piece of colored dough into a disk, and wrap each in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour and up to overnight. Bring to room temperature about 10 minutes before rolling.
  3. Preheat oven to 325 degrees with racks in top and lower third. Roll out each disk or dough between 2 sheets of lightly floured parchment to just under ¼ inch thick, adding more flour as needed to keep dough from sticking. Cut out 1, 1 ½, and 2-inch heart shapes making sure you have even numbers in each color and size for a total of thirty-six 1- inch, thirty-six 1½-inch, and thirty 2-inch cookies, re-rolling scraps once. Place cookies 1 inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheets, and freeze until very firm, about 15 minutes.
  4. Bake until barely golden brown around edges, about 8 minutes for 1-inch cookies, 10 minutes for 1½-inch cookies, and 12 minutes for 2-inch cookies, rotating halfway through. Let cookies cool completely on baking sheets set on wire racks. Spread or pipe (using a pastry bag and a small plain tip) filling on to bottom side of half the cookies, and sandwich with remaining cookies, pressing gently. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week.

Cream filling






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