Cake 31: Strawberry Cake from Scratch, Chocolate Frosting

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I got the most phenomenal, large strawberries from Whole Foods this week. Thusly, a strawberry cake. You would be astonished at how many strawberry cake recipes call for a white cake mix, and also how many strawberry cake recipes call for either strawberry Jell-O or gelatin. I’m a vegetarian and don’t use gelatin. Also, this blog is about making cakes from scratch. So I did some research and worked out this recipe for a strawberry cake recipe from scratch, without gelatin, and without boxed cake mix. Normally I would go au natural with the cake, but I wanted a brilliant pink color so it would contrast strongly with my chocolate frosting, so I added a few drops of red food coloring, one at a time until I got the color I wanted.

Strawberry Cake Recipe Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups fine cake flour, sifted
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon strawberry extract or strawberry liqueur
  • 1 cup milk or vanilla soy milk, room temperature
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup fresh strawberry puree (from about 18 ounces of strawberries blended in a food processor until smooth, and then a few spoonfuls of sugar to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • A few drops of red food coloring

Strawberry Cake Recipe Directions

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Sift together the flour and baking powder in a bowl. To get fresh strawberry puree, cut the stems off of the strawberries, blend in a food processor until smooth. Pour into a bowl and stir in a spoonful of sugar until dissolved, adding sugar to taste. In your kitchen mixer, beat the softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Crack the eggs one at a time into a bowl before adding to the cake recipe in case you have to fish out pieces of shell. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each. Add the fresh strawberry puree and strawberry liqueur and blend well.  Gradually add the dry ingredients mixture and vanilla soy milk a bit at a time, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Zest about a teaspoon of lemon into the mix, and give the lemon a quick light squeeze to add lemon juice to the batter – be careful not to over-do it and not to get seeds in the batter. Mix just until blended. Prepare two 8″ or 9″ round cake pans and pour the strawberry cake batter in. Bake in your 325-degree oven for about 30 minutes or until the cake springs back when gently pressed and your tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting Recipe Ingredients

  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened at room temperature
  • 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 5 tablespoons milk

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting Recipe Directions

In a metal bowl over a pan with simmering water, creating a double boiler, melt the chocolate chips or chopped chocolate, stirring constantly until smooth. Remove from heat and let it rest about 15 minutes. In your kitchen mixer, beat the softened butter until creamy, alternating adding the powdered sugar and milk a little at a time. Add the melted chocolate and continue beating until smooth. Frost your two-layer strawberry cake from scratch and garnish with a large, fanned strawberry! Sorry I consistently fail to show you a well-decorated cake, but you get the idea! I just don’t have the cake decorating talent.

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Heather is an advertising professional in Kansas City. She is a vegetarian food-lover who finds joy in cooking, baking and finding new restaurants in new cities. She leads a pack of animals, including her beagle Ford, her shepherd-collie-retriever mix, Otto, and cat, Ahab.

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3 Replies to “Cake 31: Strawberry Cake from Scratch, Chocolate Frosting”

  1. I know for your cake you mentioned, “The flavor’s good, but it’s such a thick, flat cake.” My Mom bakes a homemade Strawberry Cake for my birthday every year. I’m not sure what she does, but her’s turns out light and fluffy. I’ll have to find out her secret and share it with you!

    The Chocolate Buttercream sounds delicious! I’ve never made buttercream icing before, but I definitely want to try!

  2. Made this but saw your comments on flatness and flavor so instead of 1 cup fresh puree I condensed the berries on the stove (just like we did for the mousse at your dessert tasting)and added one cup of the very concentrated berries and it was perfect. Put your white buttercream icing on it and viola…perfect!!

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