Homemade Strawberry Cake | Nik Snacks ~ Nik Snacks

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On 12:40 PM by Nikki @ NikSnacks in , , , , ,    No comments
IT'S STRAWBERRY SEASON! I searched high and low for the perfect strawberry cake recipe AND HERE IT IS.

I wanted the cake to be pink, but not from artificial food coloring; Have a strong, natural strawberry flavor from use of fresh strawberries, not dried flakes or a jam; And most of all, I wanted it to be moist and fluffy. And this is it. Why? Because this is my birthday cake! Celebrating a birthday under quarantine isn't the most ideal of situations, especially for someone who treats the day like a national holiday.

There's ALWAYS a meal out at a restaurant shared with friends, a family gathering at home with cards, quality time spent together with special treats and usually a week-long trip.
2020: My Outdoor Porch
2019: Washington, D.C.
2018: Emerald Isle, NC
2017: Paris, France
2016: I don't remember...
2015: Jury Duty (okay, that one sucked)

None of that this year, unless you count being at home for 7 weeks a luxurious vacation. This year, my plan was decadence at home: crab legs, steamed corn, buttery potatoes, champagne and this cake.

And then I fell ill and could only eat crackers. So my birthday dinner was crusty bread and salad with no dressing.

Oh, well. Eating my birthday feelings was delayed but making this cake after I felt better was more like redemption than celebration. BUT HERE WE ARE AND LOOK AT IT!

I didn't include a recipe for the frosting because I'm positive you have one in your repertoire and if you don't, you can find one elsewhere on the internet. Room-temperature butter, powdered sugar and a splash of milk aren't hard to stir together (wink). I did put Cool Whip in between the layers because I bought a tub for banana pudding and ended up not using it. I felt guilt for having no use for it... until it was time to assemble the layers.

I started with a pound of fresh strawberries, some sugar and some brandy. I cooked it down to a thick paste. It made a little over 1 cup of puree once I blitzed it in the food processor. I reserved a scant 1/4 cup for the frosting, added pink sprinkles to the batter to beautify the appearance of the cake because no matter how ripe your strawberries are, your batter will NOT be the pink you desire.

The part that makes this cake so fluffy, yet stable is the egg whites. The crumb of the cake is perfect and I have to admit: this is the BEST-TASTING CAKE I HAVE EVER HAD. The strawberry flavor is so powerful, the salt comes through and is tamped back down by the sugar and then the strawberry comes back through and levels everything out. I love it. So if you're a strawberry lover, you're in for a treat.

Homemade Strawberry Cake
YIELD: one 3-layer cake

Butter and sugar, for the baking pans
3 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup olive oil
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
1 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
1 cup strawberry puree (recipe to follow is below)
4 oz pink or red sprinkles
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Butter and sugar the bottom and sides of three 8 or 9-inch cake pans with the softened butter, tipping out the excess sugar.

2. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Set aside.

3. In a clean mixer bowl, using clean beaters, beat the egg whites until they form firm, glossy peaks. Do not overbeat until they are stiff and dry. Set aside.

4. Cream together the butter, olive oil and sugar until it is light, creamy, and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

5. Add the egg yolks one at a time, until incorporated. With the mixer on low speed, starting with the flour mixture, add the flour mixture in thirds, alternating with the strawberry puree and heavy cream, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add and beat in the sprinkles and vanilla. Fold the whites into the batter.

6. Pour and scrape the batter into the prepared pans, dividing it equally among them. Knock the pans lightly on the countertop to level the batter and smooth out any air pockets. Bake in the center of a preheated 325°F oven for 35 minutes, or until each cake springs back when touched in the center.

7. Remove the pans from the oven and let cool for a few minutes, then loosen the layers by running a knife around the edges of the pan. Let the cakes cool completely before frosting.

Strawberry Puree
Yield: 1 cup
16 oz. strawberries, hulled and quartered
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup brandy

In a small saucepan, bring strawberries, sugar and brandy to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes until mixture is reduced and thickened to a paste-like consistency. Remove from heat and let cool. Blend to puree. Refrigerate before use.