For Mother’s Day weekend, I knew immediately what I’d want to bake up. A great strawberry cake. Mommies and berries and pink. They were all three meant to be. My lovely Mom is almost clear across the country, but I dedicate this pretty pink cake to her.
I love that this cake is made with back-to-basics ingredients. No artificial coloring and no boxes of Jello or pudding. Just lots of strawberries. I ended up changing much of the original recipe instructions. For reasons still a mystery, the first bake attempt didn’t work. The second time, it turned out beautifully. The cake is light, fluffy, and tender. It naturally won’t bake up as pink as artificially-colored cakes, but you’re welcome to add a drop or two of red food coloring if you really, really want to
This strawberry-cream cheese frosting is really what steals the show. I’m not a huge buttercream frosting girl (gasp!), but I do adore cream cheese frostings. Cream cheese takes treats over-the-top. Have you met the cheesecake ? This rich frosting has the decadent flavor of strawberry cheesecake, with a smooth and creamy texture that’s perfectly spreadable.
Frosting that’s a treat in itself. Spoon-licking worthy. Finger-licking yum. You get the idea. I am already brainstorming ways to incorporate this dreamy frosting into future desserts.
How would you use this frosting?
FRESH STRAWBERRY CAKE (about 8 servings)
*Fresh strawberries need to macerate overnight
For the Cake:
16 oz very, very ripe, red fresh strawberries (with not much white on them. If a lot of white needs to be cut off, you’ll need more strawberries. The riper the better.)
3 tsp sugar
12 Tb unsalted butter, room temp (lightly indents when tapped, not melty at all)
1 3/4 cup white sugar
4 large eggs, whites and yolks separated – room temp
1/4 cup whole milk, room temp
1 TB vanilla extract
2 1/4 cup cake flour, sifted after measuring
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
For the Frosting:
4 TB strawberry puree (use leftover puree from cake)
8 TB regular butter, firm
8 oz cream cheese, slightly cold
16 oz (1 lb) confectioner’s sugar
For the Cake:
Hull and slice fresh strawbrries. Toss with 3 tsp sugar and cover. Let sit in fridge overnight, until they become macerated and juicy. Blend strawberries with short pulses, just until pureed. Do not over blend.
Preheat oven to 350F with rack on lower middle. Line bottom of two 8 or 9 inch round pans with parchment paper. Grease and flour the paper and sides of pans.
Beat butter and sugar in stand mixer with paddle attachment on medium high, until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add milk, yolks, vanilla, and 3/4 cup of strawberry puree (save remaining puree for frosting, filling, or other use.) Blend just until combined.
In separate bowl, whisk together: sifted cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Fold in the butter mixture with rubber spatula, just until wet/dry ingredients are fully incorporated. Do not over mix.
In a clean bowl, using electric mixer, beat egg whites just until still peaks form. Gently fold egg whites into the cake batter with rubber spatula, softly folding until combined.
Divide batter evenly among the two pans. Give the pans a gentle shake to level out the tops. Bake 20-25 minutes just until toothpick inserted in center has a few tender crumbs attached. Watch carefully so it does not over bake and become dry. Let cakes rest at room temp for 10 minutes and turn out onto wire racks. Let cool completely before frosting.
For the Frosting:
In stand mixer using paddle attachment, beat butter on medium speed until it is light, pale yellow, and fluffy. Add cream cheese and beat until combined. Reduce speed to low and add confectioner’s sugar and beat until combined. Add the strawberry puree and mix just until combined. Place frosting in fridge about an hour before use. Frosted dessert should be kept in fridge until ready to serve. This frosting is best suited for spreading rather than piping, as it is smooth and creamy soft.
Source: Chew Out Loud, inspired by foodiebride (cake only)