Friday, March 18, 2011
Triple Strawberry Cake
Last year when I asked Ayla what kind of cake she wanted for her birthday, she responded "Strawberry cake." What? Who has ever heard of strawberry cake? Well, I certainly hadn't. But that didn't stop me.
I set out searching for a great homemade, from scratch strawberry cake recipe on my favorite recipe source: Google. As I weeded through recipes calling for strawberry jello mix or based on a white cake mix, I finally stumbled across one that looked promising on a blog.
Instead of testing it out to see if it was a reliable recipe or not, I placed complete trust in the blogger and made it into cupcakes for Ayla's birthday party. (It never ceases to confound and amaze my husband that I consistently subject myself to public failure by trying out my new recipes on those unlucky enough to ask me to bring a dish to their house or come over to my house for dinner.) They turned out great and our neighbor even asked for the recipe. (See, experimentation and creativity can be a good thing!)
So this year when Ayla asked for strawberry cake again, I was prepared. (Actually, she asked for strawberry, carrot, chocolate cake, but I wasn't brave enough to attempt combining all of those into one cake. My family can thank me later.) I dug out my recipe from last year and headed to the store for some fresh strawberries.
Here is how I made the cake:
Here is a great article on the health benefits. (Okay, I know, most of you will probably just skip this step. I am okay with that.)
I used soft wheat berries from Joseph's Grainery purchased through Olympia Local Foods. I ground the wheat on the lowest setting and what results is very similar to a whole wheat pastry flour that you would buy at the grocery store, except that mine will taste better. Everything just tastes better fresh! And trust me, most people won't even realize that I used whole wheat flour.
To grease a pan, my mom taught me to put my hand inside a plastic bag and then use my plastic covered fingers to grease the pan. I am sure a latex glove would work just as well. I know this is kind of wasteful, but, oh well.
Core & More tool for this. It worked great!
9. Pour into greased and floured pans. Cook at 325° for 25-30 minutes, or until until the tops spring back when gently pressed with your fingertips.
12. Make frosting. (Forgot to take pictures of this part.) I used 1/2 cup butter, 1 lb. powdered sugar, a splash of vanilla and enough leftover strawberry puree to make the frosting the right consistency. Again using my Kitchenaid mixer, I beat it until it was a nice, spreadable consistency.
13. Build the cake. Place the thickest layer on the bottom, add about half of the filling, add second layer, add the rest of the filling then place final layer on top.
14. Frost and decorate. Generously frost the whole cake. I used the last of the strawberries to decorate the cake on the sides and with a number 5 on top.
If you would rather have the recipe in a better format, here you go.
Strawberry Cake (adapted from here):
Grease or butter, for pans
All-purpose flour, for pans
3 cups flour
2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cup pureed strawberries
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon zest
4 large eggs, beaten
4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray and flour three 8-by-2-inch round cake pans, tapping out excess flour; set aside.
2. Prepare the cake batter; in a large bowl, stir to combine self-rising flour, sugar, oil, pureed strawberries, vanilla, lemon zest, and eggs, baking powder and salt.
3. Divide batter evenly between prepared pans, smoothing with an offset spatula. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until the tops spring back when gently pressed with your fingertips, 25 to 30 minutes.
4. Transfer pans to a wire rack to cool 10 minutes. Invert cakes onto wire rack. Re-invert cakes and let them cool completely, top sides up.
2 cups sliced strawberries
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
Combine in pan. Cook over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a boil. Boil and stir for about 2 minutes or until the mixture is thick and no longer opaque.
1/2 cup butter
1 pound powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-3 Tablespoons strawberry puree
Beat butter and powdered sugar until crumbly. Add vanilla and 1 Tablespoon strawberry puree. Beat on medium speed. Slowly beat in more strawberry puree until the frosting is smooth and spreadable.