To celebrate Galentine’s Day this year, we gathered together over Zoom to make a special cake packed with strawberry flavor! The cake itself has a strawberry puree blended in that is made from a pound of pure fresh strawberries and the frosting has freeze-dried strawberries blended in to give it that beautiful color and delicious flavor. It was so fun to come together and do our most complex virtual baking session recipe yet since it required a prep step with the puree ahead of time, making the actual cake(s), and also making the frosting to go on top. We had a lovely afternoon together and really got into a state of flow with each of the steps. In classic Baking with Friends fashion there were a couple of spills here and there but nothing we couldn’t handle! It was such a lovely day to celebrate friendship by making this scrumptious and festive cake!
Strawberry Cake Ingredients
- 2 1/2 cups (285g) sifted cake flour (spoon and leveled)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup (1.5 sticks; 170g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 3/4 cups (350g) granulated sugar
- 5 large egg whites, at room temperature
- 1/3 cup (75g) sour cream or plain yogurt, at room temperature
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup (120ml) whole milk, at room temperature
- 1 pound strawberries for 1/2 cup reduced strawberry puree
- optional: 1-2 drops red or pink food coloring
- 1 cup (10-12g) freeze-dried strawberries (you can find these in the dried fruit aisle)
- one 8-ounce block full-fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 1/2 cup (1 stick; 115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 3 cups (360g) confectioners’ sugar
- 1-2 tbsp milk
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- salt, to taste
Make the reduced strawberry puree ahead of time: Puree 1 lb of strawberries (a little over 1 cup). Do not add sugar or anything other than the fresh strawberries. Stirring occasionally, simmer the puree over low-medium heat until you’re left with 1/2 cup or a little over 1/2 cup. This takes at least 25-35 minutes, but could take longer depending on your pan or how juicy your strawberries were. Allow to cool completely before using in cake batter. You can make it the night before and cover and place in the refrigerator overnight, just make sure it’s room temperature when adding to the batter.
Make the cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Grease and lightly flour two 9-inch cake pans (or a 9×13 cake pan).
- Whisk the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Set aside.
- Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the butter and sugar together on high speed until smooth and creamed, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.
- Beat in the egg whites on high speed until combined, about 2 minutes. Then beat in the sour cream and vanilla extract. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl as needed.
- With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients until just incorporated. With the mixer still running on low, slowly pour in the milk *just* until combined. Do not overmix. Whisk in 1/2 cup of reduced strawberry puree, making sure there are no lumps at the bottom of the bowl. The batter will be slightly thick. Stir in food coloring, if desired. (I use 1 small drop.)
- Pour batter evenly into cake pans. Bake for around 24-25 minutes (if you used a 9×13 pan bake for 40 minutes) or until the cakes are baked through. To test for doneness, insert a toothpick into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, it is done.
- Allow cakes to cool completely in the pans set on a wire rack.
Make the frosting:
- Using a blender or food processor, process the freeze-dried strawberries into a powdery crumb. You should have around 1/2 cup crumbs. Set aside.
- In a large bowl using a hand-held or stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, beat the cream cheese for 1 minute on high speed until completely smooth and creamy.
- Beat in the butter until combined. Add the confectioners’ sugar, strawberry powder, 1 Tablespoon milk, and vanilla and beat on medium-high speed until combined and creamy.
- Add 1 more Tablespoon of milk to slightly thin out, if desired. Taste, then add a pinch of salt if needed.
Assemble and frost:
- First, make sure the cakes have cooled down.
- Using a large serrated knife, slice a thin layer off the tops of the cakes to create a flat surface. Discard (or crumble over ice cream!).
- Place 1 cake layer on your cake stand or serving plate. Evenly cover the top with frosting. Top with 2nd layer and spread the remaining frosting all over the top and sides.
- Refrigerate for at least 45 minutes before slicing. This helps the cake keep its shape when cutting– it could slightly fall apart without time in the fridge.
- Cover leftover cake tightly and store in the refrigerator for 5 days.
Recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction.