Sunday, May 15, 2011

Strawberry Cake

When strawberries begin showing up in the grocery stores and at farmer's markets, you know spring has really arrived. Years ago, my younger son, Isaac, requested a strawberry cake for his birthday. Not strawberry shortcake or angel food cake with strawberries, but a fresh strawberry cake. I thought this a delicious idea! What better way to celebrate a birthday than with strawberries? A very happy thought. Fortunately, he has a spring birthday so this can be made. I searched for cake recipes containing strawberries but did not love the options I found. I took a few different recipes and started to play around with them...always a fun venture.

Over the years, I've tweaked and modified the cake (Isaac asks for it every year) and what has emerged is a lovely, fresh, light strawberry cake we all enjoy.

Strawberry Cake (makes one 2-layer cake)

3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/4 cup sifted cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup fresh strawberry puree (made by whizzing fresh strawberries in food processor)
1/2 cup milk
5 egg whites, room temperature

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter two 9-inch round cake pans and set aside. Cream the butter and sugar until smooth. Add the vanilla and mix well. Mix in the cake flour, baking powder and salt. Combine the strawberry puree and milk in a bowl, then add to the cake batter. With clean beaters, beat the egg whites until stiff. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter, then divide batter between the two pans. Bake for 17 minutes. Cool for 20 minutes. Frost with Strawberry Frosting.

Strawberry Frosting:
1/2 cup fresh strawberry puree (whiz those berries again)
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine the strawberry puree, flour and milk in a small saucepan and cook over low heat until thickened, stirring all the time. Let cool. Cream the butter and beat in the cooled strawberry mixture. Beat in salt and powdered sugar until it is spreadable. Stir in vanilla. Makes enough frosting for a 2-layer cake.

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