I don’t know how it happened, but somehow we have already come to the end of strawberry season (insert distressed emoji here.)
Seriously how can this be!? It seems like it was just yesterday that fresh, local strawberries were showing up to the Farmers Market in glorious abundance and just a few weeks later our local strawberries are increasingly hard to find. My heart breaks…
Last week, I received a special request from the lovely Jamie asking me to bake her mom a strawberry cake for her birthday on July 2. Of course I was delighted to oblige, but because I am something of a procrastinator, it seems that I waited much too long to buy fresh strawberries to make this cake. So the night before her birthday I found myself running around town like a little tornado, seriously struggling to find a local source that wasn’t completely sold out of their stock these delicious little berries.
Note to self… stop procrastinating!
Thank goodness for Langley Farm Market – I am telling you this is my favourite local produce store of all time. Honestly the number of times that they have saved my but when trying to shop for last minute ingredients is worthy of some kind of reward. Not only did they have fresh local strawberries in their market, but they were absolutely amazing strawberries! So perfectly sized, red and so incredibly sweet – they were exactly what I was after. If anybody from Langley farm is reading this post… you da best!
Normally, I make this recipe in cupcake form, so I was unsure about how It would translate into a layer cake, but I am so happy with how it turned out. The cake itself is a spin off of my classic butter cake recipe with a hint of strawberry puree in the batter to give it that fresh, strawberry flavour and I topped it off with a Strawberries & Cream Frosting that could seriously just be eaten by the spoonful on its own – no cake necessary.
For fun I left the edges of the cake naked because I have never played around with a naked layer cake before and I think i can officially say that I am in love with the naked look. Not only because I love the look of it, but because it is honestly so much easier (and faster) to decorate – who knew?
This particular recipe is a small cake recipe as it only makes enough for a two layer 7×7 inch round cake. So if you are hoping for a larger 9×9 or 10×10 inch cake, simply double the recipe and you will be good to go!
In this case, Jamie only needed enough for 6 people and this cake will serve 8 – which means there will be two pieces leftover for breakfast cake the next day,, and let’s be real, who doesn’t want a little leftover breakfast cake? 😉
Here is the recipe with instructions on how to decorate with the naked look that I did here – I hope you enjoy 😀
Nothin’ but Strawberry Layer Cake
Makes 1 7×7 inch round 2 layer cake
Approx 8 servings
Things you need…
1/2 cup butter, room temp
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, room temp
1/2 tbsp vanilla
1 tsp lemon zest
1/2 cup whole milk
1/4 cup fresh strawberry puree
(from about 1/2 cup sliced strawberries)
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
Strawberries & Cream Frosting
1/2 cup butter
4 oz cream cheese
4-5 cup icing sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
2-3 tbsp strawberry puree
Assembly & Decoration
3 whole strawberries
8 x strawberry quarters
White chocolate for shaving & drizzling
How to make…
Preheat your oven to 325. Grease & flour 2 8×8 inch round cake pans – set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, sugar and lemon zest until very pale and fluffy. Add the eggs in one at a time, beating well and scraping down the sides of the bowl between each addition; whip until fluffy. Add in vanilla extract and beat to combine.
Whisk together whole milk and strawberry puree until combined; set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add half of the dry ingredients to the butter & sugar mixer beating on low just to combine. Next, mix in the milk/strawberry mixture on low until just combined. Add final half of the flour mixture and beat on low until there are no lumps, being careful not to over mix.
Evenly distribute the batter between the 2 prepared cake pans and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean or the tops of the cakes spring back to your touch. Allow to cool completely to room temperature before frosting.
Strawberries & Cream Frosting
While your cake is cooling, prepare your frosting.
In a large bowl, beat together the butter and cream cheese with your whip attachment until creamy and there are no lumps. slowly add in 4 cups of icing sugar, one cup at a time until combined. Add in vanilla and 2 tbsp of strawberry puree. Beat on high until the frosting is pale and very fluffy.
If your frosting seems too runny – add another 1/2-1 cup of icing sugar. If you frosting seems a bit too stiff, add an additional 1 tbsp of strawberry puree and beat again until fluffy.
Place the frosting in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Assembly & Decoration
Remove your frosting from the refrigerator and beat on high for 1 minute to re-whip.
If your cakes turn out with large domes on the top, carefully slice them off with a very sharp knife so that they are relatively flat.
Place the first layer with the top down and spread about 1/3 of your icing on top using an offset spatula to spread it to the edges and level it off.
Place the second later on top of the icing layer with the top facing up – gently press down to secure. Again, using your offset spatula, spread another 1/3 of the icing on top of the cake spreading out to the edges.
Place a chunk of white chocolate into the microwave and melt on low until fluid. Use a spoon to drizzle the melted white chocolate over your 3 whole strawberries. Allow to cool slightly – placing in the refrigerator to speed up the process.
Fill a piping bag with your remaining icing and with a star tip, pipe 8 rosettes around the edges of the cake. Top each of the rosettes with a slice of strawberry, and shave white chocolate on top. Place the three strawberries with the white chocolate drizzle in the center of the cake.
Place cake in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Remove from the fridge about 20-30 minutes before serving.
This cake is super easy to whip up and yet it looks and tastes like you spent all day preparing it. I found that the naked look suited this Strawberries and Cream frosting perfectly and like I said – it just makes the decorating that much simpler 😉 Like I said before – this recipe also makes great cupcakes if you are looking for an alternative to the full cake.
Enjoy the last of your local strawberries while you still can this weekend with this cake – it is the perfect summer dessert to serve at your next event and your guests are sure to love it. Just make sure you have enough leftover for some breakfast cake the next morning 😀
Happy Strawberry Baking!