Strawberry season is coming up here in New York and I’m sharing a fresh strawberry cake with you! I’m sure strawberry season is already happening in the warmer places. Unfortunately, it’s been pretty darn cold here lately. We had a week of warm weather and now it’s been a rainy, cold mess.
Back to this tasty cake. There is nothing like a fresh strawberry cake. I cooked my strawberries down to get a more concentrated flavor of strawberry. I have to give myself a slap on the back for it. It did wonders for this recipe and a necessary thing to be done. Cakes don’t really like a ton of liquid in them. They can easily fall and leave you with a sticky mess. It happens to me often with recipe testing! But don’t worry, guys. I keep on testing until we have the perfect cake. No one likes to try a recipe and find out that it’s a dud. Booooo!
I originally didn’t use food coloring to boost the color of my cake, but I wanted it to have appeal. There something about us, that we think of a pink cake when we hear strawberry cake. At least I do. So, I added a bit of a red red gel paste color to add some pizzazz. It worked!
So, do you see that center layer of cake? I was testing to see how much I should cook down the strawberries. That layer had more juice and behind very dense, but incredibly moist. It was just as tasty and I needed a third layer of cake, so I added it. This recipe is going to resemble the top and bottom layer of the cake though. It will actually look like fluffy wonderful cake and not a pancake. I did a little video with my phone so you have an idea on how thick my cooked strawberries were. I know it can be confusing and I want everyone to have the perfect results!
- 3 cups strawberries, washed, hulled, and halved
- ½ cup salted butter, room temperature
- 1 + ½ cups granulated sugar
- 3 T. vegetable oil
- 4 eggs
- 1 T. vanilla
- 1 + ½ cups cake flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- 2 drops red red gel paste color
- 4 egg whites
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, room temperature
- ½ cup shortening, butter flavored
- 1 T. vanilla
- 3 T. lemon juice (optional)
- Place the strawberries in a saucepan over medium/low heat. Crush the whole strawberries with the back of the spoon. It will help release the juices of the strawberry.
- Let the berries cook down until there it is a very thick berry compote. When you notice the berries to thicken up, start stirring very often and paying close attention to it. It will take about 27 - 30 minutes on medium heat. Mine took 27 minutes. You will want 1 and ½ cups of puree. Nothing more.
- Let the strawberries cool down a bit. Puree in a blender, bullet, or food processor. This will just give a smooth texture to the cake.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 8" baking pans with cooking spray. Add in 2-3 tablespoons of flour and tap it to cover the pan's sides and bottom. Tap out the extra flour into the garbage.
- In a large mixing bowl, add in butter and sugar Mix on medium speed until the mixture is thoroughly combined.
- Add in the vegetable oil and continue mixing until well incorporated.
- Add in the eggs one at a time and vanilla. As soon as each one is incorporated, add another and mix just until each is combined.
- In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking soda, and baking powder.
- Add the sifted mixture into the batter and mix on low.
- Alternately add the flour and strawberry puree, starting and ending with flour. Mix on medium speed until combined.
- Stir in the 2 - 3 drops of gel paste color to get desired strawberry color.
- Divide the batter into two 8" prepared pans. Bake for 30 - 35 minutes or until done. Use a toothpick and insert it into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, the cake is done. If there is batter or moist crumbs on it, let it go for another minute or two.
- Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes and then turn out onto a cooling rack to finish cooling.
- In a double boiler, add the egg whites and granulated sugar.
- Stir until the sugar is dissolved. This is when the egg whites reach about 150 degrees.
- Pour into the stand mixer bowl, and whip with a whisk attachment on high. The meringue needs to come to stiff peaks. If you turn the whisk upside down and the peak stands straight up, you've reached the stiff peak stage.
- Add all at once the shortening, butter, vanilla, and lemon juice. Beat until it all comes together. It will thicken up at this point. If the mixture looks like it curdled, keep mixing. It will come back together.
- Add nice thick layers of frosting on top of each layer of cake.
- Once the cake is stacked, add a layer of frosting to the outside of the cake and top. Scrape the sides to fill it all of the spaces, but bare the care. Leave a nice level layer on top of the cake.
- Use a spatula and add a swirl design on the top of the cake.
You should have 1 and ½ cups of puree. If you have more, continue to cook it down!