If you're as crazy about strawberries as I am, then you must make this cake. Strawberries have long been at the top of my list of favorite fruits, and eating them in desserts is one of my favorite things. I recently spied this recipe for a strawberry layer cake with whipped strawberry frosting on Sweetapolita and was blown away by the taste. Not only does it have real strawberry puree in it, but for an added flavor and color boost it also has strawberry Jell-O! I have made strawberry cakes before with only the real strawberry puree and the taste is very delicate. The Jell-O takes the strawberry flavor and punches it up to a 10. And I just love the pretty reddish-pink color. A great thing about this recipe is that it uses frozen strawberries for the puree so you can make it year-round. On the Sweetapolita website, she uses three 8-inch pans. I didn't have three so I made my cake with two 9-inch pans. Of course it takes a little longer than the recipe states to bake if you're using the larger pans. Also, there will be a bit of mixture left over, so you can make cupcakes.
For the cake:
1 & 3/4 cups granulated sugar
1 (85g) box strawberry flavored gelatin (Jell-O)
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
4 eggs at room temperature
3 cups sifted cake & pastry flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk, room temperature
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup strawberry puree made from frozen strawberries (puree should be closer to room temperature, not frozen or icy)
For the frosting:
3 sticks plus 2 tablespoons (375g) unsalted butter, softened and cut into cubes
4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon milk
1 & 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
pinch of salt
3 tablespoons (45 ml) strawberry puree made from frozen strawberries (to make frosting seed-free, you can put the puree through a sieve before adding to frosting).
1. Remove frozen strawberries (about 2 handfuls) from freezer and place in a single layer in a flat dish to thaw slightly. Put into food processor and puree the strawberries until smooth. Stir to ensure it is nice and smooth and not icy. Measure out 1/4 cup for cake and 3 tablespoons for frosting.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius). Line two 9-inch pans or three 8-inch pans with parchment paper, then butter and flour them, tapping out the excess. Set aside.
3. In a medium bowl, combine and stir the milk, strawberry puree and vanilla. Set aside. Sift and whisk dry ingredients together in a medium bowl and set aside.
4. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream the sugar, gelatin and butter on medium sped until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
5. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
6. Add the wet and dry ingredients to the creamed mixture by alternating: beginning and ending with dry ingredients and mixing just enough after each addition to incorporate, but no over-mix.
7. Divide the batter evenly into the prepared pans. Bake 25-30 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean when inserted into the center. Check cakes at 20 minutes, but not before. If baking in 9-inch pans, increase the baking time and check on the cakes every 5 minutes. Cool on racks for 10 minutes before removing from pans.
For the Frosting:
1. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, whip butter for 8 minutes on medium speed until very pale and creamy.
2. 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. Frost cake. I topped my cake with freeze-dried strawberries.