Friday, April 6, 2012

The Challenge: Strawberry Birthday Cake.

Last week Tyler stopped by the house to pick up a router...or a jigsaw...or something like that.

He and his newly shaved moustache were so awkward I could hardly look at him. That thing was hurting my eyes.

Anyway, his birthday was coming up this week so while he was here I asked him what kind of cake he wanted. For no reason other than to annoy me, he requested a strawberry cake. 

"A strawberry cake?" I said, "Do you even like strawberry cake, you diabetic?" 

"I'm just trying to give you a challenge - something you've never made before," he said. 

Well, fine. But I warn careful what you wish for.

I didn't have a clue how to go about making a strawberry cake. I have never had a strawberry cake and I have never come across a strawberry cake recipe.

I hadn't even started googling around for a recipe when one day this week I opened one of my favorite blogs, EatLiveRun, and guess what was staring back at me? Strawberry cupcakes with strawberry frosting - copied from The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook. I printed the recipe, clicked over to Amazon, bought the book, and went in search of fresh strawberries.

The recipe is meant to be for cupcakes but I've been thinking that the good ole fashion cake has been getting a raw deal lately. Everyone's all cupcake crazy and the poor cake has really taken a back seat. I think birthdays = cake so I'm bringing back the art of cake making! Watch out world, we're getting crazy here.

I was expecting to go on some wild goose chase in search of strawberry flavoring, so imagine my surprise when I found myself buying two containers of fresh strawberries.

I followed the recipe almost exactly, but really went out on a limb and used a food processor instead of a blender to puree the strawberries.

I also learned how to separate the egg white from the yolk. I was almost successful too! This cake requires 6 eggs, so you get lots of practice. It also may be worth investing in your own chicken.

I also managed to completely destroy my kitchen in the span of 15 minutes, but it's cool because that is why I keep The Canadian around.

The final cooking time is up for debate, but the cakes came out perfectly golden. 35 minutes maybe?

The frosting is hands down the most delicious and fluffy frosting I have ever made. Possibly the best I have ever tasted.

It too involved fresh strawberries taking a trip through the spinner. It also involved 4, count them 4, sticks of butter, plus sea salt, lemon juice...

 And 8 (8!) cups of powdered sugar.

When you're dealing with that much powder its always good to try and contain the mixer chaos with a dish towel, right? Am I the only one that does this?

Even Maple liked it... and don't ever eat at my house. Sanitary conditions can't be guaranteed.

But really, the frosting is unbelievable. Make it immediately and put it on everything in sight.

So there you have it folks, the perfect strawberry cake and strawberry frosting.

Side note: After a quick chat with the cafeteria ladies at school today we decided that I should go with the recipe as it's meant to be - strawberry on strawberry. However, there was some talk of attempting these:

~ Chocolate cake / strawberry icing OR
~ Strawberry cake / chocolate icing OR
~ Strawberry cake / cream cheese frosting OR
~ White cake / strawberry frosting OR
~ any other combo you can think of.

The possibilities are endless. Whichever you try, make sure it has strawberry frosting.


Here's the recipe I tweaked just a bit:

Strawberry Cake and Fresh Strawberry Frosting (tweaked from The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook)

For cake:

3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cup pureed strawberries
1 tsp lemon juice (only because I didn't understand what lemon zest was and the manager at the grocery store thought it was body soap)
2 sticks margarine
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
4 egg whites

For frosting:

8 cups powdered sugar
4 sticks margarine
2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup pureed fresh strawberries


For cake - Preheat over to 350. Sift together flour, salt, baking powder in medium bowl and set aside. In separate bowl, whisk strawberries, eggs, lemon juice and set aside. In mixer, cream together butter and sugar. Slowly add in a bit of dry ingredients and then egg mixture. Alternate adding, but start and end with dry ingredients. Beat until combined. Pour batter evenly into two well-greased 8 inch pans. Bake for ~30-35 minutes.

For frosting - Cream margarine. Slowly add in powdered sugar, lemon juice, pureed strawberries and salt. Beat on high until light and fluffy.

After cakes completely cool, place one thick layer of frosting on top of bottom layer and add top cake. Generously frost the cake. Don't worry - you'll have enough frosting left over for dipping the extra strawberries!


  1. Thanks for sharing the recipe! I was planning to make a strawberry cake but don't know how to start. Thanks again.

  2. '(only because I didn't understand what lemon zest was and the manager at the grocery store thought it was body soap)'

    Nice recipe but are you serious? Two people failed to understand what lemon zest was in the terms of food, that is rather shocking to me.

    In the food world zest is the outer rind of the citrus fruit which is often grated, you only needed to buy normal lemons.