Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Fresh Strawberry Cake

I love love love strawberries and so always find myself drawn to dessert recipes which feature them. I came across this recipe a while back and was excited to try it. I made this cake on conference weekend when we had Brad's parents over for dinner.

I enjoyed this cake. The problem, I've found with allot of "strawberry cakes" is that the strawberry flavor isn't as strong or as present as I'd like. Strawberries just seems to lose their punch when combined with flour and cooked. This cake, while delicious, was in the same boat for me. I found myself not only garnishing the cake with fresh strawberries to try and add more strawberry flavor to it, but I also served the cake with an generous spoonful of pureed strawberries.

A few things I did love about the cake was that is was pretty, moist and slightly dense, but not overly so, sweet or heavy. Don't get me wrong, this was a great cake, it just didn't pack enough strawberry punch for me. So if you are looking for a cake recipe with allot of strawberry flavor, like I was this may not be the one for you. The quest continues. I'm tempted to play with the recipe a little and see if adding some strawberry jam in place of some of the pureed strawberries helps amp up the strawberry flavor at all. Or perhaps using a strawberry jam filling atop of the cake and between the layers before adding the frosting.

Fresh Strawberry Cake

3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 3/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 3/4 cups pureed fresh strawberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Prepare 2- 9 inch pans by lining with parchment paper, greasing and flouring pans.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar, Beat in eggs, one at a time until light and fluffy. Add vanilla. Mix the buttermilk into the pureed strawberries. Mix in the flour alternately with the strawberry/buttermilk mixture. Using a spatula, scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Mix all of the ingredients until thoroughly blended.
Pour the batter evenly into two 9 inch prepared pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Fresh Strawberry Frosting
Strawberry Cream frosting
3-4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 to 1/2 cup pureed fresh strawberries (1/4 if you want a stiffer frosting)
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice (optional)
4 1/2 -5 cups powdered sugar
dash of salt
fresh strawberries for garnish

In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, butter and vanilla. Beat together until smooth. Stir in pureed strawberriesand lemon juice. Add 4-5 cups powdered sugar and salt, beat until frosting is smooth and creamy. Add additional powdered sugar until frosting is desired consistency.
Spread frosting between layers of cake. Frost top and sides of cake. Garnish top of cake with fresh strawberries and refrigerate until ready to serve.

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