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.
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.
(look at those piping skills, ha!)