Strawberries were on sale this week. On sale, as in so cheap the supermarket could just as well have given them away, type of cheap. So I bought a ton of strawberries, not just to make this cake but to have plain or to make milkshakes out of. This is a two layer 9” x 13” cake covered with cream cheese whipped cream frosting and garnished with hearts cut out from strawberries.
This is a lot of cake. It’s enough to feed a crowd, and then some. But if you’re looking to make just a regular size cake instead, this earlier recipe for Strawberry Cream Cake just might fit the bill. I had so many strawberries I wanted to use them as much as I could in between the cake layers, hence the large cake.
Basically, I baked two 9″ x 13″ layers, covered the first layer with cream cheese whipped cream frosting, generously topped that layer with chopped strawberries, covered the strawberries with another layer of frosting and then placed the second cake layer on top. Then I covered the entire cake with the same frosting, and roughly made markers on top of the cake to make some kind of design and garnished the top with cutouts from the strawberries.
I sliced the strawberries horizontally in half and used a heart shaped cookie cutter to form the cutouts.
A few years ago I chanced upon a show on TV selling strawberry plants. The pitch was, if you buy the plants, in a matter of months, you’ll be harvesting tons and tons of strawberries, just like the strawberries they had on the show. And they had this huge, basketful of beautiful strawberries… right. Being the impulsive buyer that I am, I ordered a few plants and got them in the mail a few days later. I didn’t waste time planting them in the backyard. I had visions of stepping out into my strawberry patch to harvest baskets upon baskets of strawberries. Hah! It took almost a year before anything happened. And guess how many strawberries I got out of those plants… one!
As if I hadn’t learned my lesson, the next plants I bought on TV were peonies. Yes, in about a year or two the plants will start to bloom and can reach a maximum height of 7 feet tall!!! Well, that was about three years ago. Out of the 10 plants I ordered only two are alive and they are barely over a foot tall. What’s more I have yet to see them produce one single blossom.
It’s not to say all that I’ve planted are duds, not at all. I’ve planted some hydrangeas and hibiscus plants which have grown to be quite lush blooming with really huge flowers. These plants I purchased from a nearby nursery.
Anyway, back to the cake. I got a little distracted with gardening since it’s spring and I’m itching to work in the garden, if only I had more time. Sometimes I wish there were five of me so I could do all the things I want to do. So again, the recipe will make a lot of cake. My earlier Strawberry Cream Cake will make one regular size cake which in itself will already be quite generous.
Because of the fresh strawberries and the whipped cream and cream cheese in the frosting, this isn’t the type of cake I would serve outdoors and have sit while grilling in the backyard, unless everyone’s ready for dessert. This is a cake better served indoors in climate controlled temperatures. So yes, it’s a bit of a prima donna, but aren’t all frosted cakes anyway when it comes to heat, sun and outdoors.
As for storage, the cake should be refrigerated. I have a cake keeper meant to hold sheet cakes, so I placed the cake in the keeper and stored it in the fridge.
Now on to the taste test; the cake was delicious and so was the frosting. What’s even better is that the frosting was easy, quick and less messy to make than regular buttercream since I didn’t have any powdered sugar flying all over the countertop.
All in all, I thought this Strawberry Hearts Cake was pretty lush, as in luscious.
I had to muster some self-control and limit myself to one slice to taste.
- 4 ½ cups cake flour
- 5 teaspoons baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cups butter
- 3 cups sugar
- 6 egg whites
- 1 cup evaporated milk
- ¾ cup milk
- 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 packages (8 ounces each) reduced fat cream cheese
- 2 cups white sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 cups heavy whipping cream
- 2 ½ pounds fresh strawberries
- Wash and drain strawberries.
- Remove leaves and rough chop reserving a few for garnish. Set aside and refrigerate.
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray two 9” x 13” baking pans with non-stick spray.
- Sift together flour, baking powder and salt.
- Stir together evaporated milk and regular milk.
- Beat butter on medium speed using flat paddle attachment until smooth, creamy and free of lumps.
- Still on medium speed, gradually add sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
- Add egg whites one at a time beating well after each addition to incorporate.
- Switch speed to medium low and add ⅓ of the sifted dry ingredients. Alternate with about ½ of the milk mixture and continue to mix. Repeat the procedure ending with the dry ingredients beating only until batter is smooth and creamy. Do not overmix.
- Add the vanilla and mix just until blended.
- Divide the batter evenly between the two baking pans and spread evenly with an offset spatula.
- Bake in oven for 30 minutes or until lightly golden. Remove from oven and place on cooling racks. Allow the cakes to cool in pans for about 20 minutes.
- 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 until fully incorporated.
- Change flat beater and switch to wire whip attachment. Mix on medium speed for a few seconds.
- Change speed to slow, and very slowly add the whipping cream.
- Switch to high and whip until frosting reaches stiff peaks.
- Place one cake layer on serving plate. Spread frosting evenly on cake. Cover layer with chopped strawberries, making sure to leave about ½ inch gap from all around the cake edges.
- Cover strawberry layer whip frosting. Place second cake layer on top. Cover entire cake with the rest of the frosting.
- Decorate cake as desired and garnish top with fresh strawberries.
- Store in covered container and refrigerate.
Strawberry Hearts Cake