Saturday, January 16, 2010

Scratch Strawberry Cake

When I needed to make a strawberry cake, I had a heck of a time finding one from scratch. I didn't necessarily need it to use fresh strawberries, I just needed it to not be made from a box of white cake combined with a box of strawberry jell-o. (Do a Google search for strawberry cake recipe and you'll see what I mean.)

I did find a couple of scratch recipes and tried one of them, but found it to be too sweet and not enough strawberry flavor. So eventually I developed my own based on a white cake recipe I had. My first attempt was also too sweet (strawberries are pretty sweet so it's hard to get a good strawberry flavor without being too sweet) and also not enough strawberry in flavor.

I like baking 10-inch cakes so this recipe makes two 10-inch cakes. You can halve it (use 3 eggs if you halve it) to get one 10-inch cake, or  two 8-inch cakes out of a half recipe.

Summer's Strawberry Cake

5 C cake flour
2 Tbsp + 1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp salt
1 1/3 C butter
2 2/3 C sugar
5 eggs
8 oz sour cream
2 2/3 C strawberry puree*
1 Tbsp vanilla
10-15 drops red food coloring (optional **)

Grease and flour cake pans and preheat oven to 350. Sift flour, baking power, baking soda and salt together and set aside. Cream butter and sugar together. Beat the eggs and beat in slowly, scraping the bowl down halfway through. Combine sour cream, strawberry puree and vanilla (and food color if using) in a small bowl. Add flour and strawberry mixture in alternating batches beginning and ending with the flour. Pour into cake pans and bake 30-40 min (depending on size of cake pans).

* Strawberry puree - Take 32 oz of frozen strawberries and defrost. Strain out the juice (set aside the juice to use in your frosting if you desire) and puree the strawberries in a food processor until smooth. After making the cake, you will have about 3/4-1 C of strawberry puree remaining that you can use between the layers of your cake.

** This cake has a brownish color when baked so if you're looking for a pink cake, you'll need to add a little color. When cooking for myself, I don't care about the color of the cake, but for a child's birthday cake, I add a little red food coloring to give it a slightly pink color.

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