We have all the birthdays in my family right about now. And everyone seems to want their own cake. I made that Sierra Mist pound cake for Little Miss last week before she went off to camp, and my dad had a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting that I’ll be posting here shortly. My husband? He asked for a homemade strawberry cake with chocolate frosting. Of course!
Strawberries and chocolate go together like peas and carrots. Or peanut butter and jelly. And this is a natural fit, though finishing this strawberry cake with a cream cheese frosting instead? Well, that’s just a different kind of decadence, right?
But of course I’m going to give my husband what he wants, especially after having spent a month in China away from all of us. Part of the fun of cakes for my family seems to be coming up with unique flavors that are a little outside the standard. Homemade strawberry cake? Well, sure if you want to use Jell-O or other mixes. But that’s just not my style.
Besides, we went strawberry picking, and I still have a whole bunch of strawberries in the freezer that I need to use. Nope, my homemade strawberry cake is truly homemade strawberry cake. It may not be photo perfect pink, but I didn’t want to add any dyes to it either. That doesn’t mean you can’t add some red to your cake to make it pop more – and there’s nothing wrong with that – but I skipped it in my cake, and it still turned out pretty and delicious.
More importantly, my husband got to have the homemade strawberry cake he wanted and was surrounded by family as he blew out his candles.
Homemade Strawberry Cake
Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees and grease your 8 inch cake rounds. Cut out parchment circles to fit inside and line the cake pans with them.
Chop your strawberries. I used half the strawberry mixture for my cake batter and I saved the remainder to spread atop the chocolate ganache over the first cake layer to give it a little more fruity pop. If you don’t want to do this, halve your cooked strawberry ingredients – or save it in your fridge to use as a strawberry topping over pancakes or ice cream.
In a heavy saucepan, add your strawberries, 2 tablespoons of sugar, water and lemon juice. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring periodically to ensure nothing scorches. Boil for about five minutes until the strawberries have broken down and the liquid has thickened. Let it cool while you make the cake batter.
As with traditional cakes, you’ll want to cream your butter and remaining sugar. Add your eggs one by one, beating well between each addition to incorporate air. Add the baking powder, salt, and vanilla, then mix well. Add your flour and stir on low speed until just mixed.
In a measuring cup, measure out your milk and add a half cup of your strawberry puree. Add this to your cake batter and stir until just incorporated.
Pour into your two prepared cake pans and place in your 350 degree oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes. When the cakes are lightly cracked at the top and just slightly browned, they’re done. Don’t let them get overcooked, so check with a cake tester, too. Let cool for fifteen minutes before inverting to cool the rest of the way.
Make your favorite ganache frosting recipe. Prep your cake decorating by placing strips of parchment paper on your decorating plate or stand. You want them to fit under your cake only by an inch or two to make them easy to slide out when you’re done. Place your first cake upside down in the center of your plate.
Spread the ganache over your first layer.
If you choose – and I highly recommend it – spread the remaining strawberry puree over your ganache layer.
Place the second cake over the first one with the right side up so that the two flat sides are towards each other. Add more ganache frosting to the top of your cake in the center and spread out from there.
Continue to push it out and down the sides then around your cake to frost. Add a decorative design to the top for fun, then carefully remove your parchment paper lining to give you a clean edge around the bottom of your cake.
Serve immediately or store covered on your counter for two to three days. And be sure you make a wish when blowing out your candles!
- 1 c strawberries, sliced
- 1 1/2 c plus 2 T sugar, divided
- 1 T water
- 1 t lemon juice
- 1/2 c butter, softened
- 2 eggs
- 1 T baking powder
- 1 t salt
- 1 t vanilla
- 2 c flour
- 1 c milk
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease 2 8 inch cake rounds and cut parchment circles to place inside them.
- Add your strawberries, water, 2 tablespoons sugar, and lemon juice to a heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Once it boils, let it cook for about 5 minutes until the strawberries have broken down and the liquid has thickened. Set aside to cool.
- Cream your butter and the remaining 1 1/2 cups of sugar. Add eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition.
- Add the baking powder, salt and vanilla and mix again. Add the flour and stir on low until just incorporated.
- Add milk to a liquid measuring cup, along with 1/2 cup of the strawberry puree. Pour into the batter, stirring until just incorporated.
- Pour into the prepared pans. Place into the preheated 350 degree oven and bake 25-30 minutes until a cake tester comes out with just a few crumbs. The top should be lightly cracked and just turning a bit brown.
- Let cool for 15 minutes then turn out onto a cooling rack to cool fully.
- Place a layer upside down on a platter to decorate. Spread some chocolate ganache frosting over the layer, then top with the remaining strawberry puree.
- Place the second layer right side up over the first layer. Place more frosting in the center of the cake and spread from the center toward all the edges. As it falls over the edges, spread around the sides until the cake is fully frosted.
- Serve immediately. This can stay covered on the counter for 2-3 days.