The Best Strawberry Cake + A Wedding Anniversary Ode to Star Wars
The best strawberry cake - flavored and colored by fresh strawberries and iced with strawberry cream cheese frosting. Perfect for a spring birthday or wedding.
Keyword: best strawberry cake, homemade strawberry cake, strawberry cake
Author: Whitney Reist
For the strawberry puree
2poundsvery ripe strawberriesthey should be deep red and smell fragrant, washed and cut in half.
For the cake
¾cupbuttermilkat room temperature
6large egg whitesroom temperature
½cupstrawberry pureeat room temperature
2 ¼cupcake floursifted
1teaspoonfine ground salt
12Tablespoonsunsalted butter1 ½ sticks, at room temp
For the frosting
8ounce1 package cream cheese, at room temperature
12Tablespoons1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
Place milk, butter, and egg whites out at room temperature 1 hour before making the cake.
Make the strawberry puree: combine strawberries and sugar in pot over med heat and cook until the strawberries start to burst and simmer. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the strawberries have reduced to 1 ½ cups, about 20 min. Cool to room temperature.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees and prepare three round 9 inch cake pans. Grease the insides with butter and coat with flour. I find it best to coat with flour over the sink; you may also find it helpful to use rounds of parchment paper in the bottom of your cake pans.
Right before you get ready to mix your ingredients, set out the butter and cream cheese for the frosting.
In a small bowl, combine ½ cup puree, milk, and vanilla. Mix with fork until well blended.
In separate bowl, add sifted cake flour, baking powder and salt and mix with a whisk to combine.
In bowl of stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream softened butter and sugar, about 4 minutes. Scrape down the sides of bowl as needed to get all of the sugar creamed into the butter.
Add the egg whites and blend on low until well incorporated, about a minute.
Alternately in 3 additions for the liquid and 2 additions for the dry, add liquid mixture and dry mixture on med-low speed, beginning and ending with liquid. Scrape down the sides of bowl and mix until all ingredients are just combined. The batter will be slightly lumpy and will look like homemade strawberry ice cream mix.
Divide the batter evenly among the pans and smooth tops.
Bake for about 17-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cakes rest in pan for about 10 minutes before turning out onto wire racks. Let cakes cool completely before frosting.
While the cake cools, make the frosting. With the whisk attachment of a mixer, cream together the butter and cream cheese on medium speed until combined. Add the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time and mix on low speed until all of the sugar is added and mostly incorporated. Turn the mixer up to medium-high speed and beat until the frosting is fluffy, about 1-2 minutes. Add 2-3 tablespoons of strawberry puree (depending on consistency of frosting) and mix until just combined. The frosting will be a faint shade of pink.
To assemble cake: Frost top of each later with frosting, then add thin layer of strawberry purée between the middle two layers. Frost the very top layer with cream cheese frosting only, then frost the sides of the cake.
Tip: I find it helpful to reserve ¼-1/3 cup of frosting for touch-ups. It helps to put the cake in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or so to firm up the frosting, then take it out and use the remaining frosting for touch-ups.