Strawberry Cake – A Little Slice of Heaven

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2021. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Strawberry Cake This Strawberry  Cake was originally designed for my Frostings and Fillings Zoom class. It illustrated the American Buttercream in the middle and whipped cream as the finish.  A combination of my favorite White cake that appeared in From 1 Recipe Comes Multiple Cake Layers and the incomparable Strawberry Buttercream, intensely flavored with powdered freeze dried strawberries, comes this elegant cake fit for any celebration, especially Mother’s Day.

High Ratio Cakes

This cake is a high ratio cake that goes together literally in minute.  The texture is soft and moist.  I love high ratio cakes because they are so easy to make but not all cakes can be converted to this method, sometimes referred to as  reverse creaming creaming.  I have no idea why someone decided to call it this but there you are.  A high ratio cake calls for the sugar to be the same weight or more than the weight of the flour used in the recipe.  It is important to remember that a cup of granulated sugar is 200 grams or 7 ounces, all purpose flour is 140 grams or 5 ounces and cake flour is 125 grams or about 4 3/4 ounces.  The flours are unsifted when weighed.

Strawberry Buttercream

This truly is a party in your mouth.

The recipe calls for freeze dried strawberries which can be found at Trader Joe’s as well as other stores.  One 1.5 ounce package equals a full pound of strawberries without the juice making them ideal to introduce into a frosting.  They need to be powdered in a blender or food processor with about half the powdered sugar.  Do not substitute dried fruit, it must be freeze dried.  The result is amazing.

While the red food coloring can be omitted, the buttercream will not look very exciting.

Make Ahead Notes

Much of this cake can be made ahead.  The layers can be made and frozen or better yet, they can be filled and frozen.  Thaw, covered, overnight in the refrigerator and finish with whipped cream.  The entire cake can be made and refrigerated the day ahead.

White Cake

For How to pictures go here.

4 large egg whites (128 grams or 4 1/2 ounces)
1 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract*
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups sifted cake flour (300 grams or 10 1/2 ounces)**
1 1/2 cups sugar (300 grams or 10 1/2 ounces)
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened (170 grams or 6 ounces or 1 1/2 sticks)

*The flavoring can be 2 teaspoons almond extract, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, half vanilla and half almond extracts as you please.

**Note the flour measurement calls for you to sift it before weighing or measuring.  Place a 1 cup dry measure on wax or parchment paper.  Sift the flour into the cup until it is overflowing.  Using a metal spatula, sweep off the excess flour.  Repeat 2 more times.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two 9×2” round cake pans with parchment. Spray the center only of each paper.

In a bowl, lightly combine the egg whites, 1/4 cup milk, almond extract and vanilla.  Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl combine the dry ingredients and mix on low speed for 30 seconds to blend. Add the butter and remaining 3/4 cup milk. Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Increase to medium and beat for 1 1/2 minutes. The batter will be thick and luxurious. Gradually add the egg mixture in thirds, beating about 30 seconds each time.

Divide the dough between the two prepared pans (555 grams or 19 1/3 ounces each).

Bake for 18 to 22 minutes until a tester comes out clean.   They will be lightly golden brown on top.

Strawberry Cake Buttercream

For how to pictures go here

1 – 1.5 ounce package freeze dried strawberries
1 3/4 cup powdered sugar (200 grams or 7 ounces)
1 stick butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
3 to 4 tablespoons milk
Red Food Coloring

Place the strawberries in a blender or food processor.  Blend or process until all the strawberries are powdered.

Place the strawberries, powdered sugar, butter and almond extract in a mixing bowl.  Add 3 tablespoons of the milk.  Mix on low until blended; turn the mixer on medium high and beat several minutes, scraping often, to increase the volume and lighten the buttercream.

Add the additional milk, a bit at a time if needed to facilitate the mixing.  Add the red food coloring as needed to get a pleasing color.

It is important to frost the cake several hours before serving as the strawberry buttercream needs time to develop its flavor.  But when it does it is beyond wonderful!

Yield:  1 3/4 cup or 370 grams or 13 ounces.

Note:  1 package freeze dried strawberries yields 1/2 cup powdered.

Amaretto Wash

1/3 cup water
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons Amaretto or any almond liqueur*

*If not using the Amaretto, increase the water by 3 tablespoons and add 1 teaspoon almond extract off heat.  Follow the directions below.

Combine the water and sugar in a small pan.  Bring to a boil.  Wash down the sides with a pastry brush dipped in cold water.  Boil for 1 minute.  Remove from the heat and stir in the Amaretto.

Whipped Cream Frosting

For how to pictures go here

2 1/2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup unsifted powdered sugar (95 grams or about 3 1/4  ounces)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine all in the bowl of a mixer.  Mix on medium until it begins to thicken and then raise to high and beat until fairly stiff.

Assembly of the Strawberry Cake

2 layers white cake (recipe enclosed)
Strawberry Buttercream, below, see enclosed recipe
Amaretto Wash, below
Whipped Cream Frosting, below
Fresh Strawberries, optional

For how to pictures of finishing a whipped cream cake, to here

Turn the layers upside down and brush each layer with half of the Amaretto Wash.

Spread the Strawberry Buttercream on one layer and set the second layer washed side down on top of the buttercream.

Reserve about 1/3 of the whipped cream frosting.  Set aside for decorating.

Apply about 2/3 of the remaining Whipped Cream Frosting to the side of the cake.  Finish the top with the remaining 1/3 of the cream.

Comb the sides if desired.

Fit a pastry bag with a 1/2” tip and pipe swirls around the top edge of the cake with the reserved whipped cream.

Store in the refrigerator.

More strawberry recipes for you to enjoy:
Chocolate Strawberry Pie
Strawberry Salad with Basil Vinaigrette
Cream Biscuits with Strawberry Balsamic Jam

Pastry has not only been my profession, but my passion. If there is anything in particular you would like to see or any questions about baking or pastry, please let me know. Be sure to subscribe so you don't miss a post!
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20 thoughts on “Strawberry Cake – A Little Slice of Heaven

  1. Michael DeLorenzo

    I made this for Mother’s day for my wife and our family, and it turned out wonderful. Using Target freeze dried strawberries I didn’t see a need to brighten the color further. Thanks for this recipe and all the others I have made.

    1. hfletcher Post author

      Hi Michael, what a thoughtful gift on Mother’s day. I have a hunch that one company packages a lot of freeze dried strawberries.
      Glad your family enjoyed it.

  2. Kemi

    Hi Helen, this seems like the perfect mother’s day cake. I had in mind to make your coconut cream cake. The chiffon cake and on the ingredients it says non fat dry milk. Can I substitute that with just dry whole milk? Thanks

    1. hfletcher Post author

      Hi Kemi, yes that should be fine. The Coconut Cream was one of our best sellers. A wonderful classic cake with tons of coconut.

  3. Carol L deSousa

    Hi Helen
    I love cakes made like this. I would like to add fresh strawberries someplace besides on top. Where do you suggest? Will you be offering more online classes?
    Thanks
    Carol

    1. hfletcher Post author

      Hi Carol, I replied via email before I got to the comment page. If you didn’t receive the email, let me know

  4. Ellen Witscher Trovillion

    Thanks. So a little confused—one 1.5 oz pkg or 1.5 pkgs—you need 2.25 oz?

  5. ellent124

    for the buttercream what size is a package? it specifies only 1 1/2 pkg. freeze dried strawberries. Can you tell us in oz or grams please?

    1. hfletcher Post author

      Thanks Ellen, I corrected the copy. In the text above I mention a 1.5 ounce package but left it out in the directions.

  6. Hillary

    Can you clarify weighing the flour before sifting or after sifting? Earlier in the recipe you say that you weigh the flour before sifting but in the actual recipe you say to weigh the flour after sifting.

    1. Peter Gordon

      The purpose of weighing is to eliminate the potential error of measuring by volume. The weight stays the same before or after sifting. Therefore, it doesn’t matter if using weight if you sift before or after. Note that sifting also aerates the flour along with eliminating clumps so you do want to sift it.

      1. hfletcher Post author

        I understand that Peter. But some people don’t weigh their ingredients and it does make a difference of almost an ounce per cup if you measure by
        volume. I write for people who do and don’t weigh.

        1. Peter Gordon

          Helen; I never doubted that you understood perfectly. Greatly enjoy reading your newsletter and look forward to it.

          1. hfletcher Post author

            Hi Peter, After I posted that comment, I worried it sounded snarky and I certainly didn’t mean it as such. I read your comment before I got to Hillary’s. Thanks for the kind words.

    2. hfletcher Post author

      Hi Hillary – The unsifted flour reference at the top of the article is because a high ratio cake requires an equal or larger amount of sugar, by weight, to flour. This reference is to high ratio cakes in general and not to this particular recipe. I recommend sifting cake flour because it clumps up and the clumps don’t always smooth out which is why the recipe says to sift it first.. A cup of unsifted cake flour weighs 125 grams but a cup of sifted cake flour weighs 100 grams so you can see there is almost an ounce difference between the two. However, if you’re weighing the flour it doesn’t matter – it only matters if you are measuring by volume.

  7. sallybr

    what a wonderful coincidence! This weekend I made high-ratio cakes (3 layers of 8 inch) because in a moment of lunacy I accepted the task of making a very special cake for a colleague – high school graduation of her 16yo daughter. Color scheme is pink and gold (sigh). Anyway my recipe has about the same ratios, but it is bigger – I increased it further by 50% to bake 3 cakes instead of 2, and one of them sunk slightly in the center – I am wondering if making too large a batch prevents thorough mixing. Becauase I could not deal with the sunken creature, I baked another batch, smaller, and then they turned out all perfect. I need to have the cake ready Friday evening, and needless to say I am in permanent hyperventilation mode…. but I will decorate it with pink and gold macarons, so that’s exciting! (sorry for the long comment)….

    it is true, the batter is luscious to work with, I am totally into high-ratio cakes now. Very easy too

    1. hfletcher Post author

      Hi Sally, it is interesting you had the sinking in the center problem. I have had it sink slightly on occasion but usually not. No idea why. The original recipe is from Rose Levy Beranbaum so maybe we should ask her. What do you think?

      1. sallybr

        yes!!!!! if you have access to her – I follow her on IG, but the few instances in which I tried contacting her she never replied back, so I am not sure she would…

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