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Archive for the ‘Cake’ Category

choccakeandslice

I had a three week break between my temporary job with the American Cancer Society and my new full-time job that I started Monday. I’m not going to lie…I must admit that I enjoyed my brief stint as a housewife. The best perks were having plenty of time to work out (daily run and yoga classes!) and having time to cook and bake to my heart’s content!

Last week I was really craving a chocolate cake. I had a block of cream cheese in the fridge and so I decided a chocolate cake with chocolate cream cheese frosting would be perfect. I used my all-time favorite chocolate cake recipe, the Hershey’s “Perfectly Chocolate” Chocolate Cake, and a based the frosting off of a recipe that I found on The Cupcake Project.

It was a delicious combination. The Hershey’s cake is so moist and the chocolate cream cheese was to die for. It was kind of reminiscent of chocolate cheesecake for me. Brandon and I both enjoyed this cake for dessert multiple nights last week and also shared a few slices with family. I will most definitely be using this flavor combination again!

choccake

Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
(Recipe sources Hershey’s and The Cupcake Project)

Ingredients:

FOR THE CAKE
2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup Hershey’s Cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

FOR THE FROSTING
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese at room temperature
1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick) at room temperature
3 cups sifted powdered sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder

Directions:

FOR THE CAKE
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 8-inch or 9-inch round baking pans.

In the bowl of a stand mixer stir together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla and beat on medium speed for about two minutes. Pour in boiling water and continue to mix until incorporated, batter will be thin. Evenly distribute batter between the two prepared pans.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Start checking the cakes around 25 minutes as oven temperatures may vary (and no one likes an overdone cake)!

Cool in pans for about 10 minutes then run a knife around the edges and gently remove from pans and place on wire racks to cool completely.

FOR THE FROSTING
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat all ingredients on medium high speed until light and fluffy.

To frost cake, place first layer down and frost top, leaving about a 1/2 inch border. Place second layer on top and frost top and then sides.

Yield: 8-12 servings

choccakeslice

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applecake1

One of my all-time favorite cakes is Apple Spice Cake. I loved when my mom baked them growing up. My favorite two desserts that she made were apple cake and banana pudding. I always requested them and my chances that she’d make them got a lot better when I moved away from home :).

Now that the weather is getting cooler and apples are coming into season I found myself craving an apple cake. The recipe my mom uses calls for a lot of vegetable oil and I decided to try a new recipe that featured butter instead. I researched recipes for a while and found this recipe from Cooking Light that sounded great and had received awesome reviews since it was originally printed in 1997. Now, I kind of disagree that this is a light recipe but if they say so…I guess I’ll let myself feel better about it. But how can a cake be light when the recipe includes a stick of butter and cream cheese?

All that matters is that this cake is so good I ended up baking it three times last week. Once for us, once for my sister-in-law (who is expecting her second soon!) and once for my mom. The cake received outstanding reviews from everyone. My sister-in-law texted me the day after it was dropped off and said she’d already had two pieces for dessert and one for breakfast. And she used it as a bargaining tool to get our niece to eat her meals. She said that Emerson loved it so much she would tell her she could have one bite of cake if she ate a bite of her dinner. And I’m very happy to report that my mom approved of the new recipe and even asked for it. So it was a success all around.

The directions call for baking this cake in a springform pan and it gives it a great height that you can’t get from a standard cake pan. I changed the recipe up a bit by changing the mixing method and adding extra cream cheese, nutmeg and chopped pecans. I think the pecans are a must in this cake.

This Apple Cinnamon Cake stays moist for days and is definitely a fall crowd pleaser.I admit that I ate it for breakfast and dessert! It’s delicious served warm with ice cream!

Apple Cinnamon Cake
(Recipe adapted from Cooking Light)

Ingredients:

1 1/2  cups  sugar, plus extra for cinnamon sugar mixture for pan
8 ounces (1 block) 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
1/2  cup  butter (1 stick), softened
1  teaspoon  vanilla extract
2  large eggs
1 1/2 cups  all-purpose flour
1 1/2  teaspoons ground cinnamon, plus extra for cinnamon sugar mixture for pan
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons  baking powder
1/2 teaspoon  salt
1  teaspoon  ground cinnamon
3  cups chopped peeled Fuji apples (about 2 large)
1 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped
Cooking spray

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together a little bit of cinnamon and sugar (about 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and 3 tablespoons sugar). Grease a 9-inch springform pan with butter wrapper or cooking spray. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture and tap sides to evenly distribute. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder and salt. Whisk together well to incorporate. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, place 1 1/2 cups sugar, cream cheese, butter and vanilla. Mix on medium high speed until lightened in color and fluffy, about 4-5 minutes. Reduce mixer speed to low and add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour mixture to cream cheese mixture a little at a time, beating at low speed until well blended.

Mix in apples and pecans. Pour batter prepared pan. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until cake pulls away from the sides of the pan. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Yield: 12 servings

applecake

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pumpkincupcakes

Happy October everyone! It’s breast cancer awareness month!

Some of you know that Brandon and I recently moved to Charlotte, North Carolina. I accepted a temporary position with the American Cancer Society working on their Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk. For the last four months I’ve been recruiting teams for Making Strides and raising awareness about the event in our community.

Despite being event staff, our office still wanted to raise money for the event. We organized a bake sale the week before the walk and it was a huge hit in our building. Everyone was very excited about the goodies and about raising funds for breast cancer. We were so amazed by the generosity that was shown.

bakesaleteam

I decided to make pumpkin cupcakes to give everyone a little taste of fall. While researching recipes these Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting from Smitten Kitchen sounded awesome. They were delicious and received great feedback. I even had a co-worker ask for the recipe to make for Thanksgiving dessert.

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer was held on September 26 in Charlotte and I’m happy to report that we had over 4,000 walkers and raised over $265,000 for the fight against breast cancer! Making Strides Against Breast Cancer is held in communities nationwide. Check out the Web site here.

And here is the recipe for the pumpkin cupcakes…

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
(Recipe source Smitten Kitchen, who adapted the recipe from David Leite)

Ingredients:

FOR THE CAKE
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 cup firmly packed dark-brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk mixed with 1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups canned solid-pack pumpkin (100% pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling)
Cupcake liners

FOR THE FROSTING
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup

Directions:

FOR THE CAKE
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pan with 18 liners.

In a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugars on medium speed until fluffy and lightened in color, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and salt salt in a medium bowl.

Reduce mixer speed to medium low and add eggs 1 at a time, scraping down the sides after each addition. Alternate adding the flour and milk mixtures, beginning and ending with the flour. Beat in the pumpkin until mixture is smooth. Fill cupcake liners about 3/4 full. Rap the filled pans once on the counter to release any air bubbles. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool on racks completely before frosting.

FOR THE FROSTING
Beat all ingredients in a stand mixer on medium speed until fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Frost cupcakes.

Yield: 18 cupcakes

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pumpkinchocchipbar2

Every year at about this time the food blogging world goes crazy for pumpkin. Seriously…it’s everywhere, all everyone can talk about. I’m not quite in the fall mindset yet because a) I just love summer so much and all the fresh fruits and vegetables that come with it and b) it’s still 85 degrees here!

The big news this year is the canned pumpkin shortage in some parts of the country. I’ll admit that when I was at the grocery last weekend I couldn’t help but look to see if they had pumpkin in stock. Don’t worry – we’re fine here in Charlotte! No pumpkin shortage for us. I picked up a can and caved and decided to bake these Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars that I spotted from Martha Stewart.

I’ll admit, begrudgingly, that these were awesome – especially fresh out of the oven. They have a cake like texture and are very moist. They were great served warm with ice cream on top!

And I’ll also admit…you’ll be seeing another pumpkin post from me soon!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars
(Recipe heavily adapted from Martha Stewart)

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon pumpkin-pie spice
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1/4 cups brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup canned pumpkin puree (make sure you’re using 100% pumpkin and not pumpkin pie mix)
1 package (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9 x 13 baking dish by lining it with aluminum foil, shiny side down, leaving about a 1-inch overhang on the edges. Grease foil (I like to use the wrapper from the butter).

In a bowl, mix together flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and sugars on medium-high for about 3 minutes, until lightened in color and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla until just combined. Beat in pumpkin puree. Reduce speed to low and slowly mix in flour mixture until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips.

Pour batter into prepared pan and spread to ensure it’s even. Bake until the edges begin to pull away from the foil and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. About 35-40 minutes.

Let cool in pan. Once cool, lift foil from pan and cut squares.

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figupsidedown

I really wanted to bake something with the figs that I picked on Monday (see my fig pickin’ story and my Grilled Pizza with Fresh Figs, Prosciutto, Caramelized Onions and Blue Cheese here). I was not in the mood for a pie or tart and kind of had my heart set on baking some sort of cake so I Googled “fresh fig cake.” Surprisingly, there is not an abundance of fig cake recipes but I did find one Fig Upside Down Cake that sounded like just what I had in mind.

This cake was very simple to put together and so delicious warm out of the oven with a scoop of ice cream. The “upside down” topping of brown sugar, butter and honey caramelizes with the figs to create a caramelized fig preserves type flavor. The cake is moist and buttery and still tasted great the second day warmed up a little.

Fig Upside Down Cake
(Recipe source nola.com)

Ingredients:

12 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, divided
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons honey
10 fresh figs, stems removed, cut in half (I needed more like 15)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 large eggs
1/2 cup whole milk

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch cake pan with 2-inch sides (I used an 8-inch pan and it worked fin). Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper and butter the parchment.

Melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in the microwave. Stir in the brown sugar and honey until smooth. Pour the sauce into the prepared cake pan. Arrange figs, cut sides down, in concentric circles over the sauce. Set aside.

Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer or with an electric mixer, beat the remaining 8 tablespoons butter with sugar and vanilla until lightened in color and texture, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating until well combined after each. Turn mixer to low speed and add dry ingredients and milk in 3 parts, beginning and ending with flour. Spoon the batter evenly over the figs.

Bake until golden and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, 45 to 55 minutes (mine only took 45 so start checking early). Transfer the cake to a rack and cool in the pan for at least 30 minutes.

Run a knife around the sides of the pan to loosen the cake. Place a serving platter on top of the pan and invert the cake. Gently lift off the pan and remove the parchment paper. Serve warm. Extra delicious with ice cream.

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coconutlimecake

My mother in law’s birthday was last week and of course I volunteered to bring the birthday cake to our dinner party.  I love making cakes but it doesn’t make a lot of sense to make a whole cake for just Brandon and me.

I wanted to make a summery flavored cake. We have coconut and key lime lovers in the family so I decided that a coconut cake with a lime curd filling would be just the thing.

I used a Paula Deen recipe for the cake and frosting and adapted a lemon curd recipe from my blog for the lime filling. I must say that I was especially impressed by the Seven Minute Frosting for this cake. I had never made this type of frosting before and it was a nice change to my usual buttercream or cream cheese frosting. Brandon and I both thought it was reminiscent to marshmallow fluff, in a good way!

I was pleased with the way this cake turned out and it got good reviews at the party. I think my mother in law was also thrilled to be the guest of honor instead of the party planner.

Coconut Cake with Lime Curd Filling
(Recipe sources: cake and frosting – Paula Deen, lime curd filling – adapted from this lemon curd on my blog)

Ingredients:

FOR THE CAKE
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 eggs, at room temperature
3 cups self rising flour, sifted
1 cup coconut milk, stirred (not lite)
1 teaspoon vanilla

FOR THE LIME CURD
2 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice (juice of about 2 limes)
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lime peel

FOR THE FROSTING
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3  cup water
2 egg whites
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups sweetened shredded coconut

Directions:

FOR THE CAKE

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 3 (8-inch) cake pans. (I used the butter wrappers from the cake to grease the pans)

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter on medium speed until fluffy. Add sugar and continue to cream for 6 to 8 minutes, until mixture is fluffy and lightened in color. Add eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition. Add flour and coconut milk alternately, beginning and ending with flour. Add vanilla and beat until just mixed.

Divide batter equally among prepared pans (about 2 cups per pan). Level batter in each pan by holding pan a few inches above counter, then dropping it flat onto counter. Do this several times to release air bubbles and create a more level cake.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until done. Start checking cakes at around 22 minutes. Cool in pans for 5 to 10 minutes before inverting cakes onto cooling racks to cool completely.

FOR THE LIME CURD
Whisk eggs, sugar and lime juice in heavy small saucepan. Add butter and lime peel. Stir over medium-low heat until curd thickens to pudding consistency, about 8 minutes. DO NOT LET MIXTURE BOIL – it will curdle (trust me, I had to throw a batch out!) Transfer to small bowl. Press plastic wrap onto surface of curd and chill at least 2 hours.

FOR THE FROSTING
Place sugar, cream of tartar, salt, water and egg whites in the top of a double boiler. Using a hand held mixer, beat mixture for about a minute on high speed. Place pan over boiling water and make sure that the boiling water does not touch the bottom of the top pan. Beat constantly on high speed with for 7 minutes. Beat in vanilla at the end and combine well.

TO ASSEMBLE THE CAKE
Place the bottom layer on a plate or cake stand. Spread top with half of the lime curd, leaving about a 1/2 inch border around the edges. Place second layer on top of the first and spread the remaining lime curd over the top. Place third layer on top of second and frost top and sides with frosting. Press coconut into the top and sides of frosting.

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I saw pina colada cupcakes last year and have been waiting for the perfect occasion to make them (yeah, maybe that’s a little sad but I get excited about things and add them to my “to make” book)! I thought the presentation was so cute! Well, the perfect occasion finally presented itself with my co-worker Courtney’s Stock the Bar shower. Everyone loved these cupcakes (taste and presentation) and they complimented the shower theme perfectly!

Now, I will admit that the first batch of cupcakes I made was a complete failure. And by complete failure I mean had no hope of being salvaged. I abandoned my original recipe (source will not be disclosed) and tried this one from Beantown Baker. They turned out great. In fact…I think I’ll enjoy the very last cupcake after I finish this post!

Pina Colada Cupcakes
(Recipe adapted from Beantown Baker, originally from Annie’s Eats)

Ingredients:

FOR THE CUPCAKES
2 cups sifted cake flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 3/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup milk, at room temperature (I used whole milk)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon coconut extract
4 egg whites
2/3 cup shredded coconut

FOR THE FROSTING
2/3 cup fresh pineapple chunks or canned crushed pineapple
8 ounces cream cheese (one block), at room temperature
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

GARNISH
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
Maraschino cherries with stems, drained and dried
Straws, cut down to a shorter size

Directions:

FOR THE CUPCAKES
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line cupcake pan with liners (the recipe makes about 18 cupcakes).

Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of an stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat  butter on high speed until creamy, about 30 seconds. Gradually add the granulated sugar and continue beating, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl, until lightened in color and fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes.

Reduce mixer speed to low and fold in the flour mixture in three additions. Alternate the flour and milk, beginning and ending with flour. Mix until just blended. Still on low speed, add in the vanilla, coconut extract and shredded coconut. Transfer batter to a large mixing bowl and set aside. Wash and mixer bowl (alternatively, if you have a hand mixer you can use this and skip transferring the batter).

In the mixer bowl fitted with whisk attachment (or using a hand mixer on high speed), beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Using a rubber spatula, fold ½ cup of the egg whites into the batter until smooth. Carefully fold in the remaining egg whites until smooth and blended (do not  over mix). Fill cupcakes pans about 2/3 of the way full with the batter.

Bake for about 15 minutes, until the cupcakes are golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from the pan and let cool on the rack to room temperature.

FOR THE FROSTING
If you are using fresh pineapple you’ll want to puree the chunks in a food processor a bit. If you’re using crushed pineapple, this step is not possible. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat cream cheese and butter on high speed until light and fluffy, about 4-5 minutes. Mix in powdered sugar and beat until well combined. Mix in pineapple and beat on low speed to combine.

TO ASSEMBLE CUPCAKES
Spread a thick layer of frosting over the top of each cupcake. Sprinkle with a generous layer of shredded coconut and top with a cherry. Insert straws. Enjoy :)

pinacoladacupcakesgroup

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This carrot cake popped up in my Google reader a few months ago. I starred it and have been waiting patiently for the perfect opportunity to make it. Easter dinner seemed like just the occasion. This cake was as wonderful as I hoped it would be and received great reviews from everyone around the table – even our one-year old niece! It was so moist and flavorful. I will definitely be making this cake again. Be forewarned though – it is huge! Make sure you have a crowd to feed for this one.

Tropical Carrot Cake with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting
(Recipe heavily adapted from Dinner and Dessert)

Ingredients:

FOR THE CAKE
1 cup macadamia nuts, toasted and roughly chopped (I used pecans)
3 cups all purpose flour
3 cups sugar
1 tbsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1-1/2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
4 large eggs
2 tbsp vanilla
1-1/2 cups vegetable oil
1-1/2 cups shredded peeled carrots
1-1/2 cups diced fresh pineapple or drained crush canned pineapple (one 20 oz. can)
1/2 cup sweetened cream of coconut, such as Coco Lopez

FOR THE FROSTING:
3 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, at room temperate
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup heaving whipping cream
1/4 cup sweetened cream of coconut, such as Coco Lopez
1/2 tsp salt

FOR THE TOPPING
1 cup coconut, toasted (optional for decoration)

Directions:

FOR THE CAKE
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place one oven rack one-third from the bottom of the oven and the second two-thirds from the bottom. Toast nuts on a baking sheet in the oven for about 7-9 minutes, stirring halfway through or in a saute pan on the stove top over medium heat, stirring frequently. When they begin to darken in color and smell aromatic they are ready. Set aside to cool.

Line the bottom of three 9-inch cake pans with parchment paper rounds, grease with butter, and dust with flour (or spray with Baker’s Joy).

In a medium bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together oil and sugar on medium speed. Add eggs in one at a time, incorporating well after each addition. On a low speed, add in vanilla, cream of coconut, pineapple, carrots and cream of coconut. Slowly mix in flour mixture and beat on low speed until fully combined.

Evenly distribute the batter between the prepared cake pans. Stagger the pans on the oven racks so that no layer is directly over another (if you have a double oven, I recommend using both for baking the cakes and not using the stagger method). Bake for 30-35 minutes, checking the cakes after about 27 minutes. They are done when they turn golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the cakes in their pans on racks for 5 minutes, then invert them onto the racks and cool completely, about 30 minutes.

FOR THE FROSTING
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the cream cheese and powdered sugar on medium-high speed for about 1-2 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the whipping cream, cream of coconut, and salt; beat until combined.

FOR THE TOPPING
You can top your cake with toasted coconut for decoration. If you’d like to do this, spread the coconut in a thin layer in a baking sheet. Toast in the oven at 350 degrees, stirring frequently, for about 5-7 minutes. Check on it frequently – it will burn quickly (trust me, I know!). The coconut is ready when it is golden brown.

TO ASSEMBLE THE CAKE
Place one cake layer on a serving plate or cake stand. Spread a thick layer of frosting on top, leaving about 1/2 inch around the edges.  Add the second layer and repeat. Top with the third layer and cover the top and sides of cake with an even layer of frosting.

Yield: 14-16 servings

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strawberrycake

A few weeks ago, I saw this cake on Good Things Catered. I was awed by how beautiful it was and as I read through the recipe I thought, “huh, this is something I could make.” No crazy fondant or decorating – just simple strawberries and lady fingers.

This weekend we hosted a baby shower for our friends Cristen and Graham in our home. Cristen and Graham love strawberry cake and I knew this was just the cake for the shower. I think what sold me was being able to tie the pink ribbon around it – how cute! This is kind of sad but I was looking forward to making this cake all week. I set my alarm for 7:30 on Saturday morning so I could get up and get baking!

The cake was wonderful and got rave reviews – for both its appearance and taste. I will definitely be adding this cake to the “special occasion” recipes.

Lady Strawberry Cake
(Recipe source Good Things Catered for the Cake and Annie’s Eats for the Buttercream)

Ingredients:

FOR THE CAKE
2 1/4 cup cake flour, sifted (I did not have and could not find cake flour. I substituted all purpose by adding 2 tbsp of cornstarch in the bottom of each cup and filling the rest with all purpose. I used 1/2 a tbsp for the last 1/4 cup.)
1 cup strawberry puree, room temperature (I pureed strawberries in the food processor with a couple tablespoons of sugar)
1/4 cup milk , at room temperature
6 large egg whites, room temperature
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
12 tbsp unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), softened (not melted)

FOR THE FROSTING
20 tbsp (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened (not melted)
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted (I used closer to 3-3 1/2)
1/8 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp heavy cream

FOR THE GARNISH
1 package of Lady Fingers (or you can make your own – see recipe link above for instructions)
1 package of fresh strawberries, sliced

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of two 8-inch cake pans with wax or parchment paper. Grease sides of pan and flour.

In a bowl, combine strawberry puree, milk, egg whites and vanilla. Whisk until combined.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, add sifted flour,  sugar, baking powder and salt. Mix to combine. Continue beating and add butter. Mix until mixture resembles moist crumbs. Add liquid ingredients and beat at medium speed for about 1 minute or until combined. Stop mixer and scrape down bowl. On low speed, beat for 30 more seconds.

Divide batter evently among pans and smooth tops. Place pans in preheated oven and cook 25-30 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Remove pans from ovent and let rest for 10 minutes. Turn out onto wire racks and let cool completely, about 2 hours.

For buttercream, in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat butter at medium-high speed until smooth, about 20-30 seconds. Add sifted powdered sugar and salt, beat at medium-low speed until most of the sugar is moistened, about a minute. Scrape down the bowl and beat at medium spped until the mixture is fully combined, about another 15 seconds. Scrape down bowl again and add vanilla and heavy cream. Beat at medium speed until fully incorporated, about 10 seconds and then increase the speed of the mixer to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down the bowl as necessary.

To assemble cake, place first layer on a plate and top with a thin layer of buttercream, leaving about 1/4 inch border around the edges. Place a layer of sliced strawberries over the top of the buttercream layer. Place the second layer on top of the first and frost with remaining buttercream. Place lady fingers around the sides of the cake, pressing lightly to anchor. Working from the outside in, layer remaining strawberry slices in concentric cricles until you reach the middle. Place one whole strawberry in the middle.

Tie a ribbon (color of your choice) around the lady fingers.

And here is a picture of the sliced cake, please excuse the quality – this was the lone post-party slice that was left. It was late, I was tired and more interested in getting in bed than getting a great shot!

strawberryslice

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