Fresh Strawberry Cake is a delightful ode to the essence of summer, a dessert that encapsulates the pure, sweet flavour of ripe strawberries in every bite. With its moist and tender crumb and a strawberry-infused frosting, this cake is a celebration of simplicity in baking. Loved for its versatility, it’s equally at home at casual gatherings and elegant affairs. Our exploration unveils the history, the art of selecting the best strawberries, and the key ingredients that make Fresh Strawberry Cake a cherished and timeless treat, bringing the taste of sunshine to any occasion.
For the Cake:
- 250g (9 oz) fresh strawberries, hulled and chopped
- 240g (8.5 oz) all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- A pinch of salt
- 115g (4 oz) unsalted butter, softened
- 200g (7 oz) granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 240ml (1 cup) whole milk
For the Strawberry Frosting:
- 250g (9 oz) fresh strawberries, hulled and pureed
- 225g (8 oz) unsalted butter, softened
- 500g (18 oz) icing sugar (powdered sugar)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Prepare the Strawberries:
- Hull and chop the fresh strawberries for the cake and the frosting. Set aside a few whole strawberries for decoration if desired.
2. Preheat the Oven:
- Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F). Grease and flour two 8-inch (20 cm) round cake pans.
3. Make the Cake Batter:
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and a pinch of salt. Set this dry mixture aside.
- In a separate larger bowl, using an electric mixer, cream together the softened butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla extract.
- Gradually add the dry mixture to the wet mixture, alternating with the milk, beginning and ending with the dry mixture. Mix until just combined.
- Gently fold in the chopped strawberries.
4. Bake the Cakes:
- Divide the cake batter evenly between the prepared cake pans.
- Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cakes comes out clean.
- Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for about 10 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
5. Make the Strawberry Frosting:
- In a blender or food processor, puree the chopped strawberries for the frosting until smooth.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the softened butter until creamy.
- Gradually add the icing sugar and beat until well combined.
- Mix in the vanilla extract and the strawberry puree until the frosting is smooth and pink.
6. Assemble the Cake:
- Place one of the cooled cakes on a serving platter.
- Spread a layer of strawberry frosting over the top of the first cake layer.
- Place the second cake layer on top and frost the top and sides of the entire cake.
- Decorate with whole strawberries if desired.
7. Serve and Enjoy:
- Slice and serve your delicious homemade Fresh Strawberry Cake. Enjoy the delightful blend of moist cake and sweet strawberry goodness!
This step-by-step guide will help you create a beautiful and mouthwatering Fresh Strawberry Cake, perfect for any occasion that calls for a taste of summery sweetness.
Creating a flawless Fresh Strawberry Cake requires attention to detail and a few handy tricks:
1. Choose Ripe Strawberries:
- Use perfectly ripe strawberries for the best flavour and colour. They should be fragrant and vibrant.
2. Pat Dry the Strawberries:
- After washing the strawberries, pat them dry with a paper towel to remove excess moisture. This prevents the cake from becoming soggy.
3. Room Temperature Ingredients:
- Ensure that your butter, eggs, and milk are at room temperature for smoother mixing and better incorporation.
4. Don’t Overmix:
- When combining the wet and dry ingredients for the cake, mix until just combined. Overmixing can lead to a dense cake.
5. Use Fresh Lemon Juice:
- If desired, add a teaspoon of fresh lemon juice to the strawberry puree for the frosting. It enhances the strawberry flavour and adds a subtle zing.
6. Level the Cake Layers:
- Before frosting, ensure that the cake layers are level by trimming the tops if necessary. This ensures a stable and even cake.
7. Frosting Consistency:
- If the strawberry frosting is too runny, add more icing sugar to thicken it. If it’s too thick, add a splash of milk to achieve the desired consistency.
- Let the frosted cake chill in the refrigerator for about an hour before serving. This helps the frosting set and makes it easier to slice.
9. Store Properly:
- Store any leftover cake in an airtight container in the refrigerator to maintain freshness. Bring it to room temperature before serving for the best flavour.
10. Get Creative with Decoration: – Consider decorating the cake with fresh strawberry slices, lemon zest, or edible flowers for an elegant touch.
11. Experiment with Variations: – Don’t be afraid to experiment! You can add a layer of whipped cream or a drizzle of white chocolate for a unique twist.
12. Enjoy Promptly: – Fresh Strawberry Cake is at its best when enjoyed shortly after preparation. The strawberries may release moisture over time, affecting the texture.
With these tips in your baking arsenal, you’ll be well-equipped to create a Fresh Strawberry Cake that’s a celebration of summer’s bounty, both in taste and presentation.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Can I use frozen strawberries for this cake?
- Fresh strawberries are recommended for the best flavour and texture. If you must use frozen strawberries, thaw and drain them well before use, and be prepared for some variation in texture.
- How do I store Fresh Strawberry Cake?
- Store the cake in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Bring it to room temperature before serving to enhance its flavour.
- Can I make the cake layers in advance and freeze them?
- Yes, you can bake the cake layers in advance, let them cool completely, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap, and freeze them for up to a month. Thaw before frosting.
- Why is my cake dense or dry?
- Overmixing the batter can result in a dense cake. Ensure you mix just until the ingredients are combined. Also, be cautious not to overbake; it can lead to dryness.
- How can I prevent my strawberries from sinking in the cake batter?
- Tossing the chopped strawberries in a little flour before adding them to the batter can help prevent them from sinking.
- What if I don’t have fresh strawberries for the frosting?
- Fresh strawberries are best, but you can use frozen strawberries that have been thawed and pureed, or strawberry jam, as a substitute.
- Can I make this cake without frosting?
- Absolutely, you can enjoy the cake without frosting for a simpler treat.
- How do I make the frosting less sweet?
- You can reduce the sweetness of the frosting by adding less powdered sugar and adjusting to taste.
- Can I use a different type of frosting?
- Yes, you can explore different frosting options like cream cheese frosting or whipped cream for a variation in taste and texture.
- How do I prevent the cake from sticking to the pan?
- Grease and flour the cake pans or use parchment paper to line the bottoms for easy removal.
- Can I use strawberry extract or essence instead of fresh strawberries?
- You can use strawberry extract, but it won’t provide the same fresh flavour and may have a more artificial taste.
- How long will Fresh Strawberry Cake stay fresh?
- Freshly baked, the cake can stay fresh for 2-3 days if stored properly. Refrigeration can extend its shelf life.
These frequently asked questions provide insights into the preparation, storage, and variations of Fresh Strawberry Cake, ensuring your baking experience is as enjoyable as the delicious end result.
- Nutrition Facts for One Slice (1/8th) of Fresh Strawberry Cake
- Calories: Approximately 300-350 calories per slice
- Protein: Around 3-4 grams
- Fat: Approximately 12-15 grams
- Saturated Fat: About 7-9 grams
- Trans Fat: Varies based on ingredients used
- Carbohydrates: Approximately 45-50 grams
- Dietary Fiber: Around 1-2 grams
- Sugars: Approximately 30-35 grams
- Cholesterol: Typically, Fresh Strawberry Cake contains a moderate amount of cholesterol due to the butter and eggs used in the recipe.
- Sodium: Approximately 150-200 milligrams
- Vitamins and Minerals:
- Calcium: Provides a small amount of calcium.
- Iron: Contains a minimal amount of iron.
- Vitamin C: Provides a moderate amount of Vitamin C, thanks to the fresh strawberries used in the cake.
Note: These nutritional values are approximate and can vary based on the specific ingredients and portion size used. Fresh Strawberry Cake is a delightful dessert but should be enjoyed in moderation as part of a balanced diet.