Strawberry Cake from Sally’s Baking Addiction
We made this cake a while ago for an employee’s last day, and we knew we had to demo it. The cake is fresh and light, and the cream cheese frosting adds just the right tang. This makes a great birthday or celebration cake – or just make it for family and snacking. It’s best with fresh berries, but you can use frozen if necessary. (Like in mid-winter when you need a taste of spring!)
For the Strawberry Puree (do this first!):
1# Fresh Strawberries, rinsed and hulled
Puree the strawberries – you should have about 1 C of puree.
Stirring occasionally, simmer over medium low heat until the puree has reduced by half. It should take about 25-35 minutes, and you should end up with ½ C of puree.
Cool completely before using. (You can make this a day ahead.)
For the Cake:
2½ C Cake Flour
2 teasp Baking Powder
½ teasp Baking Soda
1 teasp Salt
¾ C Unsalted Butter (1.5 sticks), softened to room temp
1¾ C Granulated Sugar
5 Large Egg Whites, at room temperature
1/4 C Sour Cream or Plain Yogurt, at room temperature
2 teasp Pure Vanilla Extract
½ C Whole Milk, at room temperature
½ C Strawberry Puree, at room temperature
Preheat the oven to 350F and grease 2 9” round cake pans.
Whisk the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a bowl and set aside.
Using a stand mixer with whisk attachment, or a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar together on high speed until creamy and smooth. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.
Beat in the egg whites on high speed for about 2 minutes.
Add the sour cream and vanilla and again beat until fully mixed.
On low speed, slowly add the dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated.
Slowly pour in the milk until just combined.
Fold in the strawberry puree, making sure there are no lumps at the bottom of the bowl.
Batter should be fairly thick.
(Add a drop or two of food coloring if you want a vibrant pink cake.)
Pour batter evenly into the two cake pans.
Bake for 24-25 minutes or until the cakes are baked through. A toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean.
Allow cakes to cool on wire racks completely before icing.
For the Icing:
1 C Freeze Dried Strawberries
8 oz Full-fat Cream Cheese, at room temperature
½ C Unsalted Butter (1 stick), at room temperature
3 C Confectioners Sugar
1-2 Tbsp Milk
1 teasp Pure Vanilla Extract
Salt to taste
Process the freeze-dried strawberries in a food processor until you have a powdery crumb. (You should have about ½ C of crumb.) Set aside.
Using a stand mixer with paddle attachment, or a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter on high speed for about a minute or until it is totally smooth and creamy.
Add the sugar, strawberry powder, 1 Tbsp of milk, and the vanilla, and beat on medium until fully mixed and creamy. Add the other Tbsp of milk if you think you need to thin it out.
Taste, and add salt if needed. (You shouldn’t really taste the salt, but it will help enhance the flavors.)
Assemble the Cake:
If necessary, cut a thin bit off the cakes if they are domed – you want them flat for stacking. (Use a serrated knife for best results.)
Place one cake layer on a cake stand or serving plate.
Cover the top with frosting, spreading out to about ¼”-½” thick.
Place the other layer on top and evenly coat the top and sides with the rest of the icing.
If you’d like, garnish with sliced fresh strawberries or freeze-dried strawberry dust.
Refrigerate for about 45 minutes before slicing to set the frosting.