Is it true we only have atomic cake in Chicago?

Atomic Cake
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Cake layers
  1. 1 box banana quick bread mix, see note
  2. 1 box yellow cake mix
  3. 1 box chocolate cake mix
Vanilla cream
  1. 1 box (3 ounces) vanilla pudding mix
  2. 2 small bananas sliced 1/4-inch thick pieces (about 1 1/2 cups)
  1. 1 cup hulled, sliced fresh strawberries
  2. ¼ cup strawberry glaze (or jam)
Strawberry Bavarian cream
  1. ½ teaspoon powdered gelatin
  2. 2 tablespoons water
  3. ½ cup hulled, sliced strawberries
  4. 2 tablespoons sugar
  5. ½ cup heavy cream
  1. ¼ cup heavy cream
  2. ⅓ cup semisweet chocolate chips
  3. 1 tablespoon butter
  1. 3 1/2 cups nondairy whipped topping (such as Rich's)
  1. For the cakes, prepare each boxed mix in two 8-inch cake layer pans, following the directions on the packages. You will use only 1 layer per mix. If using banana bread mix, the entire box will make one layer cake in an 8-inch pan. (Use the water method for mixing as listed on the box.) Wrap remaining layers well and freeze for another use. (They will keep up to six weeks.)
  2. For the vanilla cream layer, make the pudding according to package directions. You will need about 1 cup; save leftovers for another use.
  3. For the strawberries, mix the fresh berries and the glaze in a small bowl.
  4. For the strawberry cream, bloom the gelatin in the water in a small bowl until it dissolves, 5 minutes. Cook the strawberries and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently, until berries are soft, about 5 minutes. Puree in a food processor and return berries to the pan. Stir in gelatin mixture. Simmer over low heat, stirring frequently, until gelatin is clear, 2 minutes. Set aside to cool. Meanwhile, whip the cream to soft peaks; gently fold in the cooled strawberry mixture.
  5. For the ganache, heat the cream in a microwave-safe bowl to a simmer, about 45 seconds. Stir in chocolate and butter, whisking until smooth. Allow to cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally, about 50 minutes. Whip with a handheld mixer until light and fluffy, about 8 minutes.
  6. For the topping, whip the nondairy whipped topping in a large bowl with a mixer on high speed until you have stiff peaks, about 6 minutes. Makes about 7 cups.
  7. Assembly
  8. Place a 9-inch cake circle on a cake stand (a rotating one, if you have one). Spoon some of the whipped topping into a pastry bag (or plastic bag with a hole cut at one corner) with a star tip. Settle the banana cake layer on the cake circle. Pipe an edge of whipped topping around the perimeter to act as a dam. Fill the center of the cake with 1/2 cup pudding. Top with banana slices, pushing them gently into the pudding to make a smooth layer.
  9. Settle the yellow cake layer onto the banana filling. Pipe whipped topping around the edge to make a dam. Spread with the strawberries in glaze. Top with strawberry cream, leveling the filling smooth with an offset spatula.
  10. Place the chocolate cake layer onto the filling. Pipe whipped topping around the edge to make a dam. Fill with the ganache, smoothing the top. Cover the sides and the top with the whipped topping. Refrigerate overnight for easier serving.
Adapted from Rachel Bernier-Green
Adapted from Rachel Bernier-Green
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