Thursday, June 2, 2011

My New-Old Gadget and The Best Ever Strawberry Layer Cake

To keep you from skipping to the end of this post, here is a sneak peak of what all my jibber jabber leads to:

 When I made it back to NOLA 2 weeks ago, I received more than one request to make a batch of Sprinkles Strawberry Cupcakes that had been spotted on my blog by a few family members. I was happy to oblige- only one problem- I needed a food processor to puree the strawberries. At home (in Austin) I have this tiny and cheap version. It gets the job done, eventually...

Mom said not to worry- she DID have a food processor. WHAT?! She had been hiding it from me all this time?! I felt betrayed. My close friends and family know I've been eyeying this delicious little darling for quite some time.

Cuisinart Prep Plus

So what is the delay you might ask? All of my kitchen cabinets are currently refusing to house anymore tenants. I'm hoping to add this permanent resident after I move to a new apartment later this Fall. I figured I could wait until then. Then this brand-new-but-also-very-experienced and vintage-looking version founds its way out of my mother's cupboards for the first time in 24 years.

Let's be clear- its not like she NEVER used it. She tried to make me baby food. Once or twice. Apparently that didn't go over too well. Did I mention it was a wedding present? Even though it looks aged, "she" is actually a very nimble worker! My mom said I was welcome to take her back to Austin since she was not getting any exercise in her kitchen. The only hiccup on the way back was the small extra screening it required in the airport security line. I guess most people do not bring 30 year old kitchen appliances in their carry-ons. I know what you're thinking- did you really think I would pack the blade attachemnts in my carry-on too? I'm not that silly. Those made the journey safely wrapped in bubble wrap in my checked bag.

Eventually, I'll probably get my newer version and return this one to my mom's house so I can have one to use while I'm home. Oh- and no- the other kitchen tenants have not moved out. This little old lady is currently residing in my closet. Hey- she likes shoes.

Scroll back up. See all those strawberries in there? They made a very delicious cake- the BEST EVER Strawberry Layer Cake to be exact.

Ta Da! I just doubled the recipe for the Sprinkles Strawberry Cupcakes since I wanted to make a more formal cake and it was perfect for a 2 layer cake. I will re-post the recipe below so you don't have to use your math skills today! But I'm serious about this one. Everyone said it was the BEST cake they'd ever eaten. It has the perfect amount of strawberry flavor and sweetness. Its light and airy and perfect for summer.

The Best Ever Strawberry Layer Cake

For the cake:
  • 2/3 cup fresh strawberry puree, (about 1 1/3 cup strawberries roughly chopped- thaw if frozen)
  • 3 cups AP flour, sifted
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp coarse salt
  • 1/2 cup whole milk, at room temperature (I used half skim milk and half cream, since that's all I had)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 4 large egg whites, room temperature
  1. Set out all ingredients until they are at room temperature. Preheat oven to 350. Line 2 8 or 9 inch cake pans with a circle of parchment paper (to avoid chew edges) and spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Puree strawberries in a small food processor until smooth. You will need 1/3 cup puree for the batter- set aside. Save remaining for the frosting. 
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. It is important that the flour is measured after it is sifted, not before. 
  4. In a small bowl, mix together strawberry puree, milk and vanilla. Set aside.  
  5. In a mixer bowl fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter on medium-high until light and fluffy. About 2 minutes. Gradually add sugar until well combined and fluffy. 
  6. Reduce speed to medium and slowly add egg and egg whites until just blended. The egg whites make the batter nice and fluffy. 
  7. Reduce speed to low. Add half of the flour mixture until just combined. 
  8. Add the milk mixture until just combined. 
  9. Add remaining flour mixture until totally combined. Make sure you are stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.  
  10. Divide batter evenly among cake pans and smooth tops. Tap on counter to settle. Bake for 25-30 minutes until tops are just dry to the touch and toothpick comes out clean.
  11. If you are in a hurry for them to cool, cool them on a wire rack for 5 minutes then place in the freezer/fridge while you clean up and make the frosting.  You will need to cool completely before frosting.
For the frosting:
  • 4 TBSP STRAINED strawberry puree (about 1 cup roughly chopped strawberries, roughly chopped)
  • 4 sticks (2 cups) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 pinches of course salt
  • 7 cups confectioners sugar, sifted (measure the sugar AFTER its sifted)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Puree strawberries. Press through mesh strainer to remove seeds. Set aside 4 TBSP of seedless puree. This takes a few extra minutes, but its totally worth it! You do not want the seeds in the frosting.
  2. Beat together butter and salt at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. 
  3. Reduce speed to low and slowly add confectioners sugar a little at a time until well combined.
  4. Add vanilla and strawberry puree. Mix until just combined, scraping sides as needed. Do not over mix or the frosting will incorporate too much air. It should be dense and creamy like ice cream.  
  5.  Place one cake upside down on the cake plate (usually the bottom is more even) and place a large dollop of icing on top. Spread frosting as evenly as possible. Ideally, you would freeze for at least 15 minutes, but I did not have time.
  6. Place second cake upside down on top.Repeat icing the top, pushing extra icing onto sides. Slowly rotate the cake, smoothing out the sides and the top, filling in holes as you go. If you have time, flash freeze again.
  7. Once it looks as good as its going to get (I had hungry people waiting on cake), spoon remaining frosting into icing bag with desired tip (in this case, a ziploc bag with the corned cut off). Do not fill the bag more than 3/4 full or it will come out of the top too! Pipe around the top and bottom to make your cake look pretty. Your guests will be impressed that you thought of this. You can take the credit. 
  8. Keep cake refrigerated. It will last for a few days, if in an empty house. :)

Oops- mine got a little melty in the middle since I did not freeze in between layers, but nobody complained!

I really thought it was a pretty cake so I took a few more photos.


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  1. I use a small chopper like yours, too, but it does get the job done. Way to go on finding such a "vintage" appliance! The cake looks delicious! I'd like to invite you to share it on A Well-Seasoned Life's Sweet Indulgences Sunday.

  2. Thanks for the invite Kim! I just linked up :)

  3. Mmmmm this looks SO GOOD!! Definitely making it with some fresh strawberries very very soon!

  4. Awesome cake ... I want to try this out as soon as possible. I'm happy to follow u'r blog and can't wait to see the rest of it!

  5. ooooo...I so want to try these with all the ripe berries of the season. The cake AND the frosting look absolutly drool-worthy! Great job!

  6. I want to get a food processor just so I can try this recipe! It looks so tasty :) and I love those sprinkles cupcakes!

  7. Thanks Taylor! I really hope you try it!

    Trisha- Thanks so much for following! :) You are too sweet! Please let me know if you try this cake- its awesome!

    Donna- They are definitely drool worthy. I even saved the extra frosting in my fridge to eat another time! haha :) Thank you.

    Sam- Haha you should! You can get a cheap small one like mine for $10-15 at Wal-mart or sometimes even Walgreens! Sprinkles are my fav too! :)

  8. Thank you BestBonni. I really think it tastes even better in cake form!


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