I have a list of desserts I would like to make at some point in my life — my “baking bucket list.” Homemade strawberry cake has been on it for ages, and for some reason, I just never thought of baking it. I always thought it would be too hard or too time consuming, but it wasn’t at all. I love it when things are unexpectedly easy — and that brings to my current life.
Over the course of this pandemic, I’ve been experiencing many different emotions. One of the fears I’ve been holding has to do with my future. Where will I be next year professionally? I graduate next May (insha’Allah), and looking at the economic turmoil we’re currently in has been disheartening. However, my internship started this week, and I’m beginning to feel this sense of hope and excitement. I didn’t expect to love my company and role so much, but sitting here, I’ve found something that actually makes me excited — dare I say fun? I never thought the field of finance would be something for me to consider professionally — and that’s where the unexpected comes in. You don’t know, you don’t know how, but sometimes it just sticks. Something makes sense.
Life is unexpected and I never thought I’d be sitting here — in my bedroom — virtually experiencing my first taste of industry life, but here I am. And I hope I love it — just as much as I love this strawberry cake.
The key to baking the most perfect strawberry flavor is this reduced strawberry purée.
This is my absolute favorite shade of pink.
Freeze dried strawberries make the perfect strawberry cream cheese frosting.
Light, fluffy, and soft — it’s also my favorite shade of PINK.
- 1 pound strawberries, puréed and reduced (this will be 1/2 cup)
- 2-1/2 cups sifted cake flour (sift and measure)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1-3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 5 large eggs whites, room temperature
- 1/3 cup full-fat yogurt, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup whole milk or buttermilk, room temperature
- Pink food coloring*
Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 cup freeze dried strawberries, crushed (which brings you to 1/2 cup of strawberry dust)*
- 8 ounce cream cheese block, softened
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Begin by preparing the strawberry purée. I recommend making this a day or two in advance because it can take a couple of hours to cool. To make the strawberry purée reduction, you need to blend 1 pound of strawberries in a food processor or blender — until it becomes a liquid. Once the strawberries are blended, place the liquid in a saucepan on medium heat and allow the liquid to reduce and thicken. This will take about 25 to 30 minutes. Allow to cool until it is room temperature. See image 1 as an example of the cooled product.*
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees and grease and flour pans.
- In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- In a larger bowl, cream together the sugar and butter until the sugar dissolves into the butter.
- Beat in eggs whites into sugar-butter mixture. Next add the yogurt and vanilla until everything is well combined.
- Reducing your mixing speed add the flour mixture. Do not over mix. There will be lumps.
- Slowly add milk and gently mix until just combined.
- Stir in strawberry purée. At this point, you can add a drop of food coloring, if desired.
- Bake in oven for 25-27 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Allow cakes to cool completely in the pans on a wire rack. Once cooled, you can begin making the frosting.
- To make the frosting, beat the cream cheese until it’s soft. Add butter until the mixture is creamy.
- Then, add sugar, freeze dried strawberry powder, 1 tablespoon of milk, and vanilla. The mixture will begin to resemble a pink frosting. You may add more milk to reach desired consistency.
- Begin to frost and decorate cakes as desired. Scroll up to see my decorating process.
- Recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction. Here’s the original recipe; it contains great information and beautiful images.
- You can make the puréed strawberry mixture in advance and refrigerate it until you’re read to use it. Make sure it comes to room temperature before you put it in the cake.
- Make sure all of your ingredients are at room temperature — this will ensure your cake mixes evenly.
- You don’t have to add food coloring. If you don’t, the batter will bake to be a little tanner, but it’ll still be delicious. I recommend gel food coloring.
- If you can’t find freeze dried strawberries, you can omit them from the frosting. Instead, you’ll be left with a delicious cream cheese.