baking · Dessert · sweet

Strawberry Shortcake Ambrosia

There’s this dessert recipe my mom has been making for decades that she calls “trash cake”.

It’s a coveted dessert in our family and one that I give out to newbie cooks as much as possible.

Trash cake is the single easiest dessert to make for parties and cookouts. All it consists of is torn-up angel food cake, chocolate pudding, and whipped cream. That’s it!

I’m not sure where my mom got the recipe from or how long she’s been making it, but it’s a big part of the food memory section in my brain.

Using inspiration for trash cake I set out to make a strawberry version. There’s no strawberry pudding (or is there?) so I decided to do diced strawberries cooked into a light syrup instead.

The torn-up angel food cake and whipped cream stay the same for this recipe. The only other deviation from the original is I threw in mini marshmallows because it started looking very much like ambrosia while I was stirring everything together.

The mini marshmallows were a genius idea. They added even more textures and flavor to this stunning dessert.

It’s not a looker, if you know what I mean. The dessert looks kind of like a mound of, well, trash. That’s probably where my mom got the name. Despite that, this recipe is a good one for beginner cooks and the taste will likely blow your guests out of the water! I highly recommend taking this with you to your next cookout.


Strawberry Shortcake Ambrosia

  • Servings: 10-12
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

A simple, refreshing dessert to take to cookouts made out of angel food cake, fresh strawberries, mini marshmallows and whipped cream.


  • 3 lbs. fresh strawberries, diced
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 (12 oz) tub whipped cream
  • 2 cups mini marshmallows
  • 1 pre-made angel food cake (round bundt-cake version)
  • Directions

    1. In a large pot, combine diced strawberries with sugar. Cook over medium heat for 3-4 minutes or until a light syrup forms and the strawberries cook down by 1/4. Remove from heat and let cool completely.
    2. Tear angel food cake into bite-size pieces and place in a large bowl. Once strawberries are cooled, add strawberries in half of the syrup. Discard or reserve the other half of the syrup for a different use.
    3. Fold whipped cream in with the strawberries and angel food cake.
    4. Fold in marshmallows. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

    3 thoughts on “Strawberry Shortcake Ambrosia

    1. Amazing recipe despite the rather disparaging nickname! I’m reminded of the Eton Mess dessert in the UK with strawberries and whipped cream — though it uses meringue instead of angel food cake pieces.

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