Strawberry Shortcake Cheesecake

From the Recipe Shoebox. 

by Jen

The ingredients:

1 box yellow cake mix (plus all the ingredients listed on box for the cake)
1 small box vanilla instant pudding mix (optional)
2 packages (8-ounces each) cream cheese, softened
1/2 c sugar
2 Tbsp corn starch
1/3 c sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 container cream cheese frosting (or recipe that follows*)
fresh strawberries
whipped cream
2 round cake pans the same size ( Note: For this cake you will need to use one pan for the cake and one pan for the cheesecake. Yes you will have extra batter of both the cake and cheesecake to fit, so feel free to make other sizes and use whatever pans you want for the extra batter. I actually made some mini cheesecakes and froze them for later. As far as the cake I make some extra cupcakes)

The Directions:
Make cake mix according to package. Add the pudding mix to the dry ingredients if you want to before you add the wet ingredients. Grease and flour a 8 or 9 inch cake pan. Pour cake batter into pan. Bake cake according to the box directions for a round cake. After 5 minutes out of the oven , remove cake from pan and let cool on a rack. While the cake is cooking, prepare the cheesecake batter.

Grease and line other pan with parchment paper. (cut into a circle the same size as the pan) In a bowl beat the softened cream cheese, sugar, and corn starch until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time and then the vanilla. Then mix in the sour cream.

Pour cheesecake batter into the other greased and lined pan about 2/3 full. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes. It is done when the outside is firm, but inside still a little jiggly. If it's starting to get brown on edges, take it out as it is done!You'll notice that I actually over cooked mine because you can see the lovely crack down the middle. But we're covering it up with frosting anyway. Once the cheesecake is done, let cool completely on a rack. When cooled, wrap it with plastic wrap and place in freezer. (only when completely cooled. You can stick it in the fridge for a while if you would like before transferring to freezer). Also once the vanilla cake is cooled, wrap it in plastic wrap and put in freezer. Freeze both until the cake is frozen (or overnight). A frozen cake is easier to cut without leaving behind a bunch of crumbs.

When ready to assemble, wash your strawberries and get out the frosting. Dry and dice some strawberries. Cut away the top of the cake so that it is flat. Frost the top with some frosting and cover with diced strawberries.Place the cheesecake layer on top of the strawberries.

Frost the cake with the cream cheese frosting*. (Or whatever kind of frosting you want. A pink strawberry frosting would taste great too!)Slice and top with strawberries and whipped cream. I would recommend making this for a larger dinner party because the strawberries in the middle could get soggy if left more than a couple days without eating it all. But that may be rather unlikely since I'm sure there will be people asking for seconds.

*My favorite cream cheese frosting recipe: from Juniors Cheesecake Cookbook
NOTE:  I recommend halving this frosting recipe, when making it for this cake. 
3 pkg (8-ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 c butter, at room temperature
6 c powdered sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1/4 c cream

Frosting directions:  Beat cream cheese and butter together until smooth. Add the vanilla and the sugar beating until smooth. Gradually add the cream until the frosting looks whipped and creamy. If necessary you could add a little more cream to make it easier to spread.