This was one of my last creations with strawberries during season this year. My girlfriend's birthday was coming up and she asked me to make strawberry cupcakes, so i got my fresh strawberries at the farmer's market and searched the web for the best recipe, came across a fresh strawberry cake by Confections of a Foodie Bride that seemed perfect. She adds a few ideas on different things to do with the cake , but i decided on the easy way. And since the strawberries were so ripe, i didn't cook them to add flavor or color, just soaked them in sugar, pureed and added to the cake. And had enough puree leftover for another round of cupcakes and for a strawberry trifle later on!
24 oz very ripe strawberries, hulled + 2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup milk, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/4 cup cake flour, sifted
1 3/4 cup sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
6 cups confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon cream
2 tablespoons strawberry puree
fresh strawberries for garnish
Toss strawberries and 2 tablespoons sugar and let it sit 1 hour, until juicy. Place strawberries in a food processor and puree them.
Reserve 3/4 cup puree for the cake and 2 tablespoons for icing. Refrigerate leftover puree in a air tight container for 1 week for a later use. Or if making cupcakes, cut a hole in the middle of each cupcake and fill up with strawberry puree.
Preheat oven to 350F and grease and flour 2- 9 inch pans. or line 2 cupcake pans with cupcake liners.
In a bowl, combine strawberry puree, milk, egg, vanilla and mix until blended.
In a bowl of a stand mixer, add flour, sugar, baking powder and salt and mix to combine. Beating at low speed, add butter and mix until resembles moist crumbs.
Add wet ingredients and beat until evenly combined, scraping down sides of the bowl, about 2 minutes.
If strawberries are not in season and you want a pink cake, you might consider adding 2 drops of pink food coloring or 1 tablespoon of reduced beet juice(it won't change taste).
Pour batter into prepared pans or liners.
Bake for 25 minutes for the cakes and about 18 minutes for the cupcakes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on pan and turn onto wire rack until cooled completely.
For the buttercream:
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter until softened. Add sugar, a cup at a time until combined. Add vanilla, cream and strawberry puree and mix until combined, if you feel like it needs more sugar, go ahead and add another couple of cups.
Ice the cake as you like it, using either buttercream or strawberry puree in between cakes, garnish with fresh strawberries.