Kitchen Bitch

Cooking in the Kitchen with Sass & Class

A Sure Crowd Pleaser: Strawberry Dream Cake September 26, 2012


This ain’t no ordinary strawberry cake—no gelatin or food coloring here. This is the real deal: fresh and frozen strawberries combine to make an out-of-this-world cake with genuine, fork-licking strawberry flavor and an incredible strawberry cream cheese frosting.

This isn’t a cake you make for just anyone. This is a cake for celebrations. A cake for someone you truly love and want to show just how much you care. And this past weekend I made this cake with my very dear friend Lauren for our friend Tisha’s bridal shower.

And since Lauren and I were throwing the shower (thanks Mom for letting us use your house!), we made lots of other goodies too: Chocolate Chip Scones, Green Eggs & Ham, Spinach and Feta Quiche, Red Quinoa Fruit Salad, and our piece de resistance, Pesto Chicken Salad in Grapefruit Bowls.

And since Lauren and I are both into that sort of thing, we went vintage with our table setting, using vintage table linens, water glasses, and cake plates, and my mom’s gorgeous fine china.

After brunch, all 20 guests sat down with a piece of this Strawberry Dream Cake to watch Tisha open her gifts, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many happy ladies in one place. It’s always a joy to celebrate a friend in the days before her marriage, and it’s even more fun when it involves cake. Strawberry Dream Cake, that is.

Tisha, we love you! XOXOX Mavis aka The KB.

Strawberry Dream Cake

This dreamy recipe appeared in Cook’s Country (June/July 2011). Unlike many strawberry cake recipes, this one doesn’t turn to strawberry gelatin or food coloring. For the Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting I used low-fat Neufchatel cream cheese instead of full fat and it worked perfectly. Low-fat cream cheese has a little bit more tang than the regular version. Serves 16. Click here to download the handy printable.

CAKE
10 ounces frozen whole strawberries (2 cups)
¾ cup milk, room temperature
6 large egg whites, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2¼ cups (9 ounces) cake flour
1¾ cups (12¼ ounces) granulated sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces and softened

FROSTING
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2¼ cups (9 ounces) confectioner’s sugar
12 ounces cream cheese, cut into 12 pieces and softened
Pinch of salt
8 ounces fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced thin (about 1½ cups)

  1. For the cake: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350˚F degrees. Grease two 9-inch round cake pans, line bottoms with parchment, grease parchment, and flour.
  2. Transfer strawberries to bowl, cover, and microwave until strawberries are soft and have released their juice, about 5 minutes. Place in fine-mesh strainer set over small saucepan. Firmly press fruit dry; reserve strawberry solids for frosting. Bring juice to boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until syrupy and reduced to ¼ cup, 5 to 8 minutes. Whisk milk into juice until combined.
  3. Whisk strawberry milk, egg white, and vanilla in a bowl. Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt on low speed until combined. Add butter, 1 piece at a time, and mix until only pea-sized pieces remain, about 1 minute. Add half of milk mixture, increase speed to medium-high, and beat until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Reduce speed to medium-low, add remaining milk mixture, and beat until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Give batter a final stir by hand to make sure there are no clumps.
  4. Scrape equal amounts of batter into prepared pans and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking. Cool cakes in pans on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove cakes from pans, discarding parchment, and cool completely, about 2 hours. (Cooled cakes can be wrapped with plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 2 days).
  5. For the frosting: Using stand mixer with paddle, mix butter and sugar on low speed until combined, about 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add cream cheese, one piece at a time, and beat until incorporated, about 1 minute. Add reserved strawberry solids and salt and mix until combined, about 30 seconds. Refrigerate until ready to use, up to 2 days.
  6. For assembly: Pat strawberries dry with a paper towel. When cakes are cooled, spread ¾ cup frosting over 1 cake round. Press 1 cup strawberries in an even layer over frosting and cover with an additional ¾ cup frosting. Top with second cake round and spread remaining frosting evenly over top and side of cake. Garnish with remaining strawberries. Serve. (Cake can be refrigerated for 2 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.)
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