I know I said I’m going on a break. But I seriously cannot resist the urge anymore. Besides, I was conveniently baking another cake for an occasion (which you’ll know what it is very soon), so I might as well bake one more since the strawberries were on sale. Doesn’t hurt to have more cake in the house, does it? ;)
I first bake this cake actually a few weeks back – into cupcake sizes (the photos I took of them look kind of weird and hence I’m not going to post it) and brought it for one of my tutorials. We were doing on a project for PINK®, so I thought of baking a pink cake for my group members – you know, kind of like a celebration (of what I have no idea). I started research for recipes online for a pink cake, and all I stumbled upon are cake mixes, gelatine, strawberry jelly etc etc. Those are still cakes, no offence, but I’m totally turned off by the idea of having to use a mix in my kitchen. I can’t derive satisfaction from using a cake mix or artificial strawberry taste in my baking goods.
That’s when I found this recipe. It was fantastic. Not too time-consuming yet interesting to work with. Instead of using the icing suggested in the website, I opted for a strawberry cream cheese frosting. After baking it in cupcake sizes, I now bake it in a 7-inch tin and sandwich them with the same frosting. I think I over-beat the cream cheese and hence resulted in a pretty grainy texture in the frosting and hence I decided not to frost the outer surface of the cake – and well, at the same time I do not wish for the frosting to overpower the taste of the cake itself.
Heeding the advice of the reviewers, I added baking powder and sifted the flour, hoping to incorporate more air into the batter. I’m not sure if that made a difference, but the resulting cake turns out to be fairly light yet still a little bit moist. Though the strawberry taste within the cake itself didn’t come out very strongly, I’m still contemplating whether I should use strawberry essence in my next try, as it’s kind of waste if I buy the essence just for this cake.
I don’t find major differences in using mashed or puréed strawberries. I guess if I’m baking cupcakes I would mash the strawberries instead of puréeing them – extra surprise bites of strawberries when one sinks his/her teeth into the cupcakes. If I’m baking a whole cake, I probably would slice whole strawberries and sandwich them in between the layers (which I did).
I applied a very very thin layer of frosting in between the layers as I’m not a very big sweet-tooth, hence I have leftover frosting which I freeze them. I’m sure they’ll come in handy when I’m frosting my future cupcakes! =)
Okay, here’s the recipe!
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
4 ounces salted butter, softened (or lightly salted)
3/4 cup caster sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 tablespoons strawberry yogurt
1 cup mashed/puréed strawberries (~8-9 ounces)
A few drops of colouring (optional)
Frosting:4 ounces cream cheese, slightly cold
2 ounces unsalted butter, softened
3 cups – 3 1/4 cups icing sugar, sifted
1/4 cups strawberries, mashed and drained (~2-3 ounces)
1 teaspoon lemon juice (optional)
Assembly:10 strawberries, sliced thinly
Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius. Grease two 7-inch round cake pans and line the bottom with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream the butter on low speed, then increase the speed to medium then gradually add in sugar till incorporated, 7 minutes. Add eggs, beating well after each addition for 1 minute. Beat in vanilla. Stir in yogurt and mashed/puréed strawberries then fold in flour mixture. Add a few drops of colouring if desired.Divide mixture between the two tins and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the top springs back when touched and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Let the cakes cool completely.
Meanwhile, make the frosting. Beat the cream cheese with butter on low for 30 seconds then gradually beat in icing sugar until incorporated. Beat in mashed strawberries and lemon juice. Increase speed to medium and beat for 30 to 45 seconds, adding up to 1/4 cups of icing sugar till desired consistency and texture
To assemble, split each cake into half. Spread a layer of frosting over one cake half and lay a layer of strawberries. Repeat and cover the cake with a layer of frosting if desired.
If baking the cake in cupcake-sizes, divide the batter into 1/4-cup-sizes and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the top springs back when touched and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cupcake comes out clean.