Make This Strawberry Cake (Made with Fresh Strawberries!) for Mother’s Day9 maja 2019
Looking for the perfect Mother’s Day gift? Despite what the advertisements say, your mom doesn’t need a mug to be reminded that she’s #1. Instead, show her how much you love her with a pretty pink cake made from the freshest strawberries the season has to offer.
What Makes This the Best Strawberry Cake?
It starts with fresh strawberries, not gelatin. Most strawberry cake recipes use strawberry-flavored gelatin to give the cake its fruit flavor, but this cake has fresh strawberries baked right in. You’ll simmer the fresh berries with salt and sugar to make a ruby-red sauce, mashing the berries as they cook until they’re thick and jammy. A splash of balsamic vinegar intensifies the fruit’s sweet and floral flavors.
What Gives This Cake Its Naturally Pink Hue?
I hate to break it to you, but the color of most strawberry cakes probably comes from a bottle. But the rosy hue of this cake is created naturally, thanks to freeze-dried strawberries. Once a specialty item, freeze-dried fruits are now widely available — look for them at Target and Trader Joe’s and most grocery stores. You’ll use a food processor to grind the freeze-dried strawberries into a very fine powder that incorporates seamlessly into the dry ingredients.
You may also be surprised to learn that in addition to helping the cake rise, baking soda also plays a role in maintaining the cake’s pink color. In the same way that cooking red cabbage with acid keeps the cabbage red (and not a drab blue-gray), adding acid to the cake batter helps stabilize the berries’ color pigment.
How Do I Make Sure My Cake Is Tender, Not Dry?
Most cake batters are made by creaming together butter and sugar until lightened in color and fluffy — a mixing method called the creaming method. This strawberry cake is assembled with the reverse creaming method, in which the sugar is mixed with the dry ingredients first, then creamed with the butter. This coats the flour in fat, resulting in less gluten formation when the wet ingredients are added — and giving you a tender cake with a fine, velvety texture.
What’s the Best Frosting for Strawberry Cake?
Classic American buttercream — a simple mix of whipped butter and powdered sugar — is the perfect finishing touch for this cake. For extra strawberry flavor and a pretty pink color, mix in some of the same fresh strawberry sauce used in the cake. Buttercream, no matter the style, can be cloyingly sweet, so you’ll also add freshly squeezed lemon juice and salt to balance the sugar and amplify the strawberry flavor.
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