I have been meaning to make this cake for SUCH a long time – I love making things that aren’t cake into cake, and I really like strawberry milkshake. Like really. Winner.This cake is just one of those cakes that you fall into a coma after, the strawberry flavour is strong and sweet. And for once I’m not offsetting that, no siree. This is a birthday cake of the highest order, it’s pink, it’s super sweet, it’s light, layered, creamy and fruity. Stick a candle in it and you’ve got a party.
And you know, this was a birthday cake, my little sisters to be precise, she turned 18. Those are hats on those animals – I got the idea from here, so cute. Let’s not judge guys. Hats on animals is the only way to celebrate 18 really. We all ate this the day after, a bit worse for wear, with aching feet, bleary eyes and happy. And then my dog ate some, and she was happy. And we were not. Bad Delta.
The Cake – Adapted from Sweetapolita
350 g caster sugar
1 (85 g) package strawberry flavored gelatin
2 tablespoons of milk powder
227 g unsalted butter, softened
4 eggs (room temperature)
300 g sifted plain flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
10 g kosher salt
240 ml whole milk, room temperature
1 teaspoon of vanilla paste
60 ml strawberry puree made from frozen strawberries
2 tablespoons of strawberry jam – room temperature
375 g unsalted butter, softened and cut into cubes
500 g icing sugar
15 ml cream (full fat)
7.5 ml pure vanilla extract
big pinch of salt
3 tablespoons strawberry puree made from frozen strawberries (if you want the frosting seed-free, you can put the puree through a sieve before adding to frosting)
Making the Cake
About an hour before you start remove frozen strawberries (about 2 handfuls) from freezer and place in a single layer in a flat dish to thaw slightly. Place into food processor and puree the strawberries until smooth. Stir to ensure it is nice and smooth and not icy. Stir through the jam. Measure out 1/4 cup for cake and 3 tablespoons for frosting, and freeze the remaining puree for another use.
Preheat oven to 180°C. Butter, and flour three round 8-inch pans, tapping out the excess. Set aside.
Combine and stir the milk, strawberry puree, and the vanilla. Set aside. Sift and whisk dry ingredients together in a medium bowl, and set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the sugar, gelatin, milk powder `and butter on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one by one, mixing well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl with spatula.
Add the wet & dry ingredients to the creamed mixture by alternating–beginning and ending with dry ingredients and mixing just enough after each addition to incorporate, but not over-mix.
Divide the batter in three, spreading it evenly with a small offset palette knife. If you have a kitchen scale, weigh each pan filled with batter, to ensure 3 even layers. Bake 25-30 minutes or until a cake tester comes clean when inserted into the center. Be so careful to not over-bake. Check cakes at 20 minutes, but not before, and once you feel it’s almost ready, set the timer for 2 minute intervals. Let cool on racks for 10 minutes before loosening the sides with a small metal spatula, and invert onto greased wire racks. Gently turn cakes back up, so the tops are up and cool completely.
For the Frosting
In the bowl of an electric mixer whip butter for 8 minutes on medium speed. Butter will become very pale & creamy.
Add remaining ingredients, except strawberry puree, and mix on low speed for 1 minute, then on medium speed for 6 minutes. Frosting will be very light, creamy and fluffy. Add strawberry puree (can be cool, but not frozen or icy) and mix until incorporated.
I made my frosting half vanilla milk and half strawberry, simple split the frosting in half before you add the cream and strawberry puree and add the cream to one half and the strawberry to the other. EASY!