Strawberry Cake with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

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I stumbled upon this recipe on Facebook. I “like” Saveur, (and a million other things) and this popped up on my news feed. The little blurb above the recipe mentioned that this was a “favorite soul food dessert”. Now, I’m no stranger to soul food, but I’ve never seen or heard of strawberry cake in my travels. Caramel cake? Yes. Coconut cake? Yes. Even 7up Cake? Yes, but not strawberry. I need to see what this cake was all about.

I had most of the ingredients on hand with the exception of strawberry extract. Honestly, I’ve never heard of strawberry extract and was hoping it would be easy to find at the market. It wasn’t. But I did find a new frosting flavor packet thingy and decided to go with that. I figured there was going to be a slim-to-none chance of me using strawberry extract again.

Once I started putting the batter together, I also realized that I didn’t have enough strawberry jam. But I did have strawberry-rhubarb jam, so I substituted. The only odd thing I really found with this recipe, was the amount of food coloring. It calls for 3 tablespoons. That’s a lot whether you’re using gel color or the small liquid containers from the market. I have gel, so I used it, but I didn’t measure and accidentally put in an incredible amount. I’m sure you’re completely blinded by the photos. When I took the cake to work to share, everyone thought it was red velvet!

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Overall, I kinda liked the cake. It was very interesting to me. The cake itself, was very moist with a hint of strawberry flavor and very sweet. But the cream cheese frosting provided the perfect “tang” for the cake. The frosting almost tasted like strawberry yogurt. The only thing different I would do is maybe substitute the milk for buttermilk. I have it in my head that buttermilk makes everything better.

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I shouldn’t have said that there was a slim-to-none chance of using strawberry extract again, because this recipe is going in my binder.

Strawberry Cake with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

Note: I used 6 ” cake pans instead of 9″, and used the rest of the batter for cupcakes.

Ingredients:

  • 16 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened, plus more for greasing pans
  • 3 cups flour, plus more for pans
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup seedless strawberry jam
  • 3 tbsp. red food coloring (optional)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1-lb. box confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1 tsp. strawberry extract

Method:

Heat oven to 350°. Grease and flour two 9″ round cake pans; set aside. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside. Whisk together milk, jam, and 2 tbsp. food coloring in a small bowl; set aside. Beat together sugar, oil, vanilla, and eggs in a mixer on medium-high speed until pale and smooth, 2–3 minutes. In 3 additions, alternately add dry and wet ingredients to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with dry; mix until combined. Divide batter between prepared pans and smooth tops; bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle of cakes comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes, unmold, then cool completely.

In a large bowl, beat butter and cream cheese on high speed of a mixer until smooth and fluffy, 1–2 minutes. Add remaining food coloring, confectioners’ sugar, and strawberry extract; beat until smooth. Place one cake upside down on a cake stand, and spread 1/3 frosting over top. Cover with second cake, top side up; frost top and sides of cakes with remaining frosting; refrigerate for 1 hour before serving. Serve at room temperature.

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