Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Fresh Strawberry Cake

I wanted to make a cake for Matt to celebrate the launch of the latest version of the software he works on. (It was a bit of a joke because he telecommutes & everyone else who worked on the product is either in CA or India so I wanted to give him his own launch party.) I also wanted to use the last of our strawberries to flavor the cake. I looked into a lot of strawberry cake recipes online & most called for either strawberry Jello or jam. Then I saw that Whole Foods had a recipe that used fresh pureed strawberries so I went with that idea to make this cake.
Fresh Strawberry Cake
It tasted really wonderfully of fresh strawberries especially with them sliced in between the layers. It was perfect with this whipped cream cheese frosting, almost the flavor of a strawberry cheesecake.

Fresh Strawberry Cake
(adapted from Old-Fashioned Yellow Cake in Small-Batch Baking)

1/2 c all-purpose flour
1 T buttermilk
2 T pureed strawberries (don't worry about getting this super smooth just use a fork to smash them)
1/8 t baking soda
yolk of 1 large egg
1/2 t vanilla
3 T unsalted butter, melted & cooled
1/3 c sugar
Pinch of salt
Pink or red food coloring (optional)

Butter & flour to 4.5-inch cake pans. Preheat oven to 350 F.
Whisk the buttermilk, strawberry purée and baking soda together in a small bowl. Add the egg yolk, vanilla, and melted butter, whisk to combine.
In a larger bowl stir together the flour, sugar & salt. Add the buttermilk/strawberry mixture & whisk until just blended. Stir in food coloring (you can skip this but the color is sort of a gross beige without it).
Divide the batter between the two pans. Bake for 15 min or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Move to a cooling rack & allow to sit for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the edges & invert the pans to release the cake. Allow to cook completely.

Makes 1 two-layer 4.5-inch cake

Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting
(adapted from Tom Parker on Allrecipes)
Many people complained that this frosting was too runny to frost with, I didn't have that problem at all. The trick is to not over beat your cream but stop as soon as you reach stiff peaks. I also cut the amount of cream it originally called for.

2 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 c confectioners sugar
1/8 t salt
1/4 t vanilla extract
1/4 c heavy cream

In a bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar, salt & vanilla together. In a cold bowl, using cold beaters & cold cream, beat the cream until it forms stiff peaks. Fold the cream into the cream cheese mixture.

Make enough to frost 1 4.5-inch cake or 4-6 cupcakes

Assembling the cake

2 - 3 strawberries, sliced (depending on size)

If the cakes are not flat, use a large knife to even them out (& yum eat the pieces you cut off!). Put one layer on your serving plate. Lay the sliced strawberries evenly on the cake in a single layer. Top the strawberries with some frosting. Place the second layer of cake on top. Coat the cake with a thin layer (crumb coat) of frosting & let it & the remaining frosting sit in the fridge for a few minutes. Then frost the cake with the remaining frosting. It would be beautiful decorated with more fresh strawberries.
#176 - Launch Cake
(look at those piping skills, ha!)

12 comments:

Deborah said...

I saw a strawberry cake in Paula Deen's magazine that I was flipping through in line at the grocery store the other day, and I haven't been able to get it out of my head. This one looks just as good!

Sharon said...

This is one of the first strawberry cakes I've seen online that's made from scratch...and with cream cheese frosting! Now, if only I had someone to make it for :) Looks amazing.

Fearless Kitchen said...

This looks fantastic. I love how the fresh strawberries are used!

Elle said...

Looks perfect, and so sweet of you to make him a cake!

Narrow Hands said...

I tried this recipe twice today, and it didn't turn out :(

Was the baking soda perhaps supposed to be baking POWDER? Idk what could have caused it to not turn out :(

kat said...

Narrow Hands - I checked the recipe & it definitely should be baking soda which is activated by the acid in the buttermilk. You didn't say how it didn't turn out. Did it not rise? Perhaps you need a touch more buttermilk or perhaps your baking soda is too old, this last one happened to me before.

Narrow Hands said...

The baking soda being too old is very possible. The cake didn't rise at all. I'll try it again soon.

Ps. I LOVED the icing. It turned out perfect. It's my new "go to" icing recipe. Mmm.

kat said...

Narrow Hands - You can test your baking soda by adding 1/2 teaspoon of it to 3 or 4 tablespoons of white vinegar. If it fizzes a lot its fine, if not its old.

Anonymous said...

This cake is delicious. It didn't rise as muich as I would have liked, leaving a very moist center but was good all the same. Maybe because I used a dairy free "buttermilk" (made with almond creme and vinegar) or put too much in? We didn't do any icing (food allergies in the fam). I searched for 3 hours for a cake recipe using fresh strawberries. So glad i found this one!

kat said...

Anonymous - I would think that the buttermilk was the problem because it's the acid with the baking soda that gives the rise, though I see your "buttermilk" has vinegar in it so I'm not really sure. Baking can be such a science.

Anonymous said...

I see in the directions the cake calls for salt to be added, but I don't see in the ingredients how much salt to add... Do I need it still?

kat said...

Anonymous - It should say a pinch of salt. You could leave it out but it does add to the flavor.

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