Strawberry Cake, take 2

When I had first started teaching myself how to bake, back at the start of this site (when it was still called The Happy Hufflepuff), I had made a strawberry cake that I was very, very happy with. I actually do still enjoy that recipe from time to time, a soft sponge made with puréed strawberries and frosted in classic cream cheese frosting.

But since last year, I’ve been revisiting a few of my old recipes (like the apple crumble cake from the previous post) and trying to apply some more learnings I’ve picked up in the decade since I first started this blog. What better time to refresh and update old recipes than when we’re stuck at home on what seems like an endless lockdown anyway?

I have a list on my phone of the recipes I most want to update, and this cake was on there. But it became absolutely necessary for me to do it last weekend when I had accidentally ordered around 2.2kg of strawberries from a local farm up in Cameron Highlands! I had not registered the amount (700g) due to the low-low price of the berries, and ended up ordering 3 sets! Good thing my sisters-in-law all live within the same community and saved me buy taking 1 box each.

That still left me with 700g of strawberries that I needed to use up fast – those things go bad so quickly, I didn’t want to end up having to throw them out. So Strawberry Cake jumped to the top of my list. The main difference in this recipe and the one I posted 10 years ago is that the strawberries in this cake are not just puréed, but also further reduced to truly bring out the flavour of the berries while also lowering the amount of liquids in the batter – of which there is still plenty. I’m really happy with how this turned out, my only note is that I may fill the cake layers with either lemon curd or chocolate ganache in future – to give the cake itself a bit more dimension. Maybe a lemon mascarpone cream…

Strawberry Cake Recipe

  • 350g fresh strawberries
  • 180ml whole milk
  • 260g cake flour
  • 2 tsp baking power
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 170g unsalted butter
  • 350g caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 75gsour cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Optional: 1 drop pink gel food colouring
  1. Purée the strawberries with a food processor, then transfer to a saucepan and let it simmer over a medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. After about 20 minutes, you should have reduced the purée to about 1/2 cup’s worth of strawberry purée. Transfer this to a container and allow it to come to room temperature (or chill in the fridge for about 30 mins to achieve the same if you’re in a hurry)
  2. Whisk the reduced purée with the whole milk and set aside
  3. Preheat the oven to 180C and prepare your cake tins (either 3×6” or 2×8”)
  4. In a medium sized bowl, sift the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and whisk to combine then set aside
  5. In the bowl of your stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on high until it’s pale and fluffy, then turn the mixer on low and add the eggs one at a time, allowing the eggs to combine after each addition
  6. Add 1/3 of the flour and let it just combine
  7. Add the vanilla and sour cream and beat to ensure it’s incorporated well
  8. Add another 1/3 of flour, just combining it to ensure no dry flour spots remain
  9. Add the strawberry milk mixture, and pink colouring if you’re using it
  10. Then add the remaining flour and give the batter a chance to come together but do not over mix
  11. Pour the batter into the prepared baking tins and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a tester inserted at an angle comes out clean of crumbs. Allow the cakes to cool in the tins for 5 minutes (no more, or they’ll overcook and shrink), then remove onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  • 400g egg whites
  • 500g caster sugar
  • 850g butter, cubed and at room temperature
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 150g good quality strawberry jam (I used Bonne Maman)
  1. Place the egg whites and sugar in a heat safe bowl (I just use the bowl of my stand mixer cos it’s heat safe and saves me another bowl to wash up) and set it in a saucepan with about an inch of water (ensure the water doesn’t touch the bottom of your bowl) and bring the water to a simmer over a medium heat
  2. Stir the egg whites and sugar occasionally to ensure the sugar dissolves completely. You can test this by dipping a finger into the mix and rubbing your finger and thumb together to check for any granules – but I also like to have a little insurance I stick my thermometer in there to ensure it’s come up to at least 60C so I know the egg whites are cooked
  3. Once all the sugar is dissolved, move the bowl to your stand mixer, add the whisk attachment and whip on high until the bowl feels cool to the touch and you’ve got stiff peaks in your meringue. Because it’s super hot in Malaysia, I sometimes try to hurry the cooling process along by putting ice packs around the mixer bowl
  4. Once the meringue is cool, add the butter a cube at a time (I cannot stress this enough – if you add butter to warm meringue this is NOT going to work). Keep adding the butter and letting it continue to whip. About halfway through adding the butter, you’ll think to yourself that it’s all going to pot… cos it’s gonna look like a curdled mess. Keep going, it will all come together.
  5. Once all the butter is added and you’ve achieved a beautifully smooth SMB, add the vanilla and strawberry jam and whisk on high for about a minute to ensure everything is combined.
  6. Then all that’s left to do is to assemble your cake! Like I said before the recipe – you can choose to fill the cake with anything you like, something lemony or creamy and light, or something dark and bittersweet like a chocolate ganache.

Sorry this recipe is a day late from when I said I’d post it! But I hope it works well for anyone who has a whole bunch of strawberries they need to use up fast!

Love,
Nabs

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