I thought I would bake a strawberry cake, this time infusing the cake with fresh pureed strawberries in addition to adding fresh strawberries in between the layers. I have a thing for strawberry cake frosted with cream cheese whipped cream frosting. This type of frosting is so quick and easy to make and so delicious.
I suppose it would have been fine to stop right here at four layers, and leave it as is for that casual, rustic, I-just-whipped-this-up-at-the-last-minute, unfinished look. The thing is, I had all that frosting so I thought I might as well use it up.
Three layers would have been fine too. That would have left me with two layers to spare for another cake for some other project. But, well, I decided to use all five layers. I divided the batter evenly among five 8-inch pans and baked them two at a time.
To finish off the frosting, I chose the easy way out and used an icing comb. I thickly slathered frosting all over the cake and ran the icing comb along the sides for that textured look. I have a few icing combs, most of which I haven’t actually used. For this cake, I used the icing comb in the right photo that looks like a long ruler.
I garnished the sides and top of the cake with sliced strawberries.
I used a few drops of vegetable based pink food color I got from Whole Foods to tint the batter. The color is very subdued. I probably should have used Americolor for a more distinct shade of pink.
The fresh, pureed strawberries in the cake imparted a very subtle flavor. The hubby loved it. I thought it was okay. Actually, it was pretty good.
Baking the batter in three layers instead of five would have worked as well. I would have ended with fewer, but taller layers.
- 1 ¼ cups pureed strawberries
- 3 cups cake flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter at room temperature
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Few drops of pink food color
- 2 packages (8 ounces each) reduced fat cream cheese
- 2 cups white sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 cups heavy whipping cream
- Chopped fresh strawberries for the filling
- Fresh strawberries for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray three or five 8-inch pans with non-stick cooking spray.
- Puree fresh strawberries in food processor until very smooth and free of lumps, enough to make 1 ¼ cups in its pureed form.
- Sift the flour, salt and baking powder.
- On medium speed, with a flat beater attachment, beat the butter until smooth.
- Still on medium speed, gradually add sugar and beat until fluffy.
- Reduce speed to low and add eggs one at a time, beating until blended after each addition.
- Still on low speed, add one third of the dry ingredients and alternate with half of the pureed strawberries. Beat just until blended.
- Add half of the remaining dry ingredients and the rest of the pureed strawberries, continue beating just until blended; and then add the rest of the dry ingredients and beat well just until incorporated. Do not overbeat.
- Add vanilla extract and beat just until blended.
- Add a few drops of pink food color and beat until color is evenly distributed throughout the batter.
- Divide batter evenly among pans. If using 5 pans, bake for about 20 minutes. Adjust baking time if using 3 pans, about 25 – 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cake will slightly shrink from the sides when done and will spring back when slightly touched in the center.
- Remove from oven and place on cooling racks to cool completely.
- When completely cool, run a knife along the sides of the pan and invert the cake layers onto plastic wrap , wrap each layer separately, place in a food container and store in freezer until ready to frost. Tip: If cake layer does not easily slide out of the pan, insert an offset spatula or knife along the sides of the pan all the way to the bottom of the pan, and then very gently and just slightly, lift the bottom of the cake to separate it from the pan. Continue all around the sides of the cake. The cake should easily slide off once inverted.
- Beat the cream cheese until smooth using the flat beater attachment of a stand mixer.
- Gradually add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
- Add the vanilla extract and mix well blended.
- Change flat beater and switch to wire whip attachment. Mix on medium speed for a few seconds.
- Switch speed to low, slowly add the whipping cream.
- Switch to high and whip until frosting reaches stiff peaks.
- Tip: Cream will whip better when kept cold. Keep in fridge until ready to add. A cold bowl and wire whip will also help in whipping the cream.
- Place one cake layer on serving plate. Spread frosting evenly on cake. Evenly spread chopped strawberries, leaving about a ½” gap from all around the cake edges. This is to prevent strawberries from spilling out of the sides of the cake once the cake is fully frosted.
- Spread another layer of frosting over the strawberries. Place next layer on top and repeat filling with frosting, chopped strawberries and more frosting over the strawberries.
- Cover entire cake with the rest of the frosting. Decorate as desired and garnish with fresh strawberries.
- To store, keep in a covered container in the fridge.
Fresh Strawberry Cake