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:

1. Grind up enough flour for the recipe. What? You don't grind your own flour? Well, you really should. It is so much better for you. 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.

2.Preheat oven to 325°. Grease and flour 3 - 8x2 inch round cake pans. (If you try and squeak by with just 2 pans, it will overflow. Don't ask how I know.)

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.

To flour your now greased pan, dump in a little bit of flour (maybe 2 Tablespoons). Tip it around all directions until the bottom and sides of your pan are thoroughly coated with flour. (This is best done over a garbage can. I normally don't remember this wonderful tip until I get it all over my floor and need to sweep.) After the pan is all coated with flour, pour the rest of the flour into the garbage and tap the pan a few times to get most of the flour off.

3. Wash and de-stem the strawberries. I used my Pampered Chef Core & More tool for this. It worked great!

4. Puree the strawberries. You know, I didn't count how many strawberries I used or measure them. I probably should have, but I just filled up this container. To puree the strawberries, I used my much loved immersion blender. That thing is amazing and made short work of the strawberries. (My friend wrote a post about how much she lover her immersion blender here.)

5. Measure 1 1/2 cups pureed strawberries and add to large bowl. I just dump everything in my Kitchenaid mixer bowl. The recipe said to strain the berries to remove the seeds, but I didn't bother. It seemed like a lot of work and totally unnecessary to me. No one has complained about strawberry seeds yet.

6. Beat the eggs, then add to the bowl. I used 5 eggs from our Ameraucana chicken. (She generally lays about a medium sized egg.) If you are using store bought eggs, the recipe actually calls for 4 large eggs.

7. Add remaining ingredients. Add 3 cups flour, 2 cups granulated sugar, 3/4 cup vegetable oil, 1 tsp vanilla extract , 1 tsp lemon zest, 4 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1 1/2 tsp salt.

8. Mix cake batter. I started it on low speed and then beat it on medium speed until it was well combined and, well, I thought it looked right.

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.

10. When done, remove from oven. Cool 10 minutes in cake pans then invert onto wire racks and reinvert onto more wire racks so that they cool, top sides up. (Yes, there is a third cake, but this is all I could fit in the picture.)

11. Make strawberry filling. Combine 2 cups sliced strawberries, 1/2 cup sugar and 2 Tbsp cornstarch in pan. Cook over medium heat. The berries will cook down and break apart. I didn't bother mashing them at all since I like chunks.

Bring the mixture to a boil. Boil and stir for about 2 minutes or until the mixture is thick and no longer opaque. When it is done, stick it in the fridge to cool.

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.

15. Eat and enjoy. This is all that was left.

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.

Strawberry filling:
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.

Strawberry frosting:
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.


  1. Oh my goodness!! This looks amazing!! Do you have any suggestions on how to make this gluten free? Yummers!

  2. Well, when I was baking gluten free, I found a flour that I liked. It was by "Gluten Free Mama". They have both an almond flour and a coconut flour variety. (Check them out here:

    I would use that to replace the flour and then add in some extra xantham gum or arrowroot powder for good stickiness measure.

    I haven't tried that with this recipe, so it would all be trial and error. What might actually be easiest is to get a gluten free cake mix and modify that...

  3. Um YUM! We need to contact Joseph's again about another bulk order, those wheat berries sold out like crazy! We found a better shipper so the price will be much lower... I just need to get on it! ;)

  4. it was good

    bullet point no5 typo you put no on not one

  5. Glad you liked it! Thanks for the editing, I corrected! :)

  6. This is the first time I saw your blog and it is really cool. That's really delicious! Thanks for sharing such a wonderful Triple Strawberry Cake recipe! I'll definitely try this at home.