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Strawberry Cake Recipe Using Fresh Strawberries
This strawberry cake is made from real strawberries rather than using Jello for flavoring like so many other recipes. It is nice and moist, and without the artificial colorings it is a nice delicate shade of pink instead of bright pink. It is filled and topped with real, lightly-sweetened whipping cream, and the sides are covered with cream cheese frosting.
This recipe makes a three-layer, 9" round cake, which feeds a lot of people. If you have a smaller crowd, you can turn it into a two-layer cake instead. Just make two-thirds the amount of cake batter called for, and two-thirds the amount of whipped cream filling/topping. Consider making the same amount of the cream cheese frosting, though, if you plan to use it to decorate.
The recipe calls for fresh strawberries, but you may be able to substitute frozen strawberries for the batter and the whipped cream filling. Simply thaw the berries, drain them well, and pat them dry with a paper towel before you use them. If you want a garnish, however, you will have to use fresh berries.
- 1 pint fresh strawberries
- 6 tablespoons milk
- 9 large egg whites
- 4 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 cups + 6 tablespoons cake flour
- 2 cups + 10 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 18 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 12 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 6 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, for optional garnish
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and lightly flour three 9" round cake pans.
- In a blender or food processor, purée the strawberries. Measure out 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of purée for the cake batter. Set aside the remainder to use in the filling.
- In a small bowl, combine the 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of strawberry purée with the milk, egg, and vanilla. Mix with a fork until well blended.
- Using an electric mixer and a large bowl, combine cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Continue beating at slow-to-medium speed, and add butter one tablespoon at a time. Continue mixing until the butter is well combined and the mixture resembles moist crumbs.
- Add the strawberry mixture to the flour mixture and beat on medium speed for about 1 minute, or until the ingredients are fully and evenly combined. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl, then beat by hand for 30 more seconds.
- Divide the batter evenly among the three pans and smooth out the tops.
- Bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn the cakes out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- Make the whipped cream filling. Put the whipping cream, 3 tablespoons of granulated sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract into a chilled glass bowl. Beat on high speed with an electric mixture until the cream stiffens and peaks form. Set aside 1/3 of the whipped cream for the topping. Fold 1/4 cup of strawberry purée into the remaining 2/3.
- Make the cream cheese frosting. With an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, 1/2 cup butter, and 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract until mixture is smooth. Gradually add the confectioners' sugar, beating until well combined.
Assembling the Cake
Once you have baked the cake and allowed it to cool, made the whipped cream filling, and made the cream cheese frosting, its time to assemble the cake.
Start by placing one layer of cake on a cake board or other platter. If you have one, use a large cake decorating tip to pipe a ring of frosting on top of the cake, around the outer edge. Then, put half of the strawberry-flavored whipped cream filling on the cake, inside that ring. The ring of frosting will help keep the filling from oozing out the sides.
Place a second cake layer on top of the first layer. If you're picky about appearance, you might want use extra frosting in between the two layers as necessary to help make sure the second layer is level on top of the second layer. Again, pipe a ring of frosting around the edge of this second layer and fill it with the rest of the strawberry whipped cream.
Place a third cake layer on top of the second layer, evening it out with frosting if necessary. Use the cream-cheese frosting to coat the sides (but not the top) of the cake. You may wish to pipe a border of frosting around this top layer as well, for aesthetics. Add the unflavored whipped cream as a topping. Garnish with strawberries, if desired.