Quiet week over here on le blog. So much going on butttttt I got some time in the kitchen and had to share. I have been trying to recreate a strawberry cake that I made while I was pregnant with Zoe but have had NO luck. At the time I had first started dabbling with baking with different "healthier flours" and the balance of the moisture from the berries made this a rockstar. But in my pregnant stupor (and having a preemie baby shortly after baking said cake) I forgot to write down my tweaks to the recipe and could not replicate. Until this week!
Yay for the overfloweth of CSA berries that got me motivated to try one more time.
Annnnnnd if it's whole wheat it's good for you, right?
I try and bake with Z, at least once a week and I love this time with her. Even though it can get messy and she constantly is sticking her hand in the bowl, to "taste it mama" or "can I touch it mama", it warms my heart knowing that these are our special memories. We don't get them this little forever, so I'll soak up the messy help while I can.
Side note: I had to go out and buy more berries to decorate the cake because Zoe ate so many!
I had wanted to stick to a plain vanilla buttercream frosting, and just decorate with the berries to keep it Patriotic but Zoe wanted pinkkkkk frosting, and well mama had to oblige. Want to keep it white but still add berries, make the frosting and then carefully fold in a handful of berries. Now go take out the unsalted butter and let it sit out before you get started, room temp butter is CRUCIAL.
The whole wheat flour is perfection in this cake but if it scares you, try going half and half. Also I halved the sugar that I usually use for a cake but did this knowing the frosting would be super sweet and balance it perfectly. Prefer a sweeter cake? Add one more cup of sugar.
As for cake pans, these are ones I bought 4 years ago and make an incredible difference. Now back to this cake!
3 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
1½ Cup Sugar
1½ T. Baking Powder
¾ t. Salt
¾ cup Coconut Oil (to melt pop in the microwave for 30 seconds)
1½ cup Berry Puree (I used a mix of strawberries, raspberries, blueberries)
½ cup unsweetened applesauce (you can also use a stick of butter)
1 tsp Vanilla
1 tsp Lemon extract
4 Eggs beaten
1 cup berries
2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
4-5 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 tsp vanilla
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Grease and flour 3 8" round cake pans. (I use this spray from Target) and distribute the batter evenly by using a 1/2 cup measuring cup.
3. In the bowl of the mixer, whisk to combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
4. Add the coconut oil (heat up in microwave to liquify and remember that all ingredients should be room temperature so they don't solidify the oil),
5. Now add the berry puree, applesauce, vanilla, and lemon extract to the dry ingredients and whisk until combined.
6. Add the eggs, if using, to the batter and whisk until smooth. Once the batter is smooth, do not continue mixing so the gluten doesn't over-develop.
7. Divide the batter evenly between the cake pans (I use a measuring cup to keep them completely even, do not fill to the top).
8. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the tops are firm to the touch and cake is cooked through (use a toothpick to check on batter).
9. Let them cool for 5 -10 minutes and remove cake from pans, scraping the edges with a knife to loosen the cake, if necessary, and cool on wire racks.
10. While they cool, you can make the frosting!
11. With a mixer, cream the butter together with 4 cups of powdered sugar.
12. Mix until completely smooth, then add the vanilla.
(I blended berries to get a nice pink frosting)
13. Add berries and fold with a spatula until completely mixed in. (if you'd like to keep the frosting white, CAREFULLY fold in berries or just add berries in between each layer)
14. Add remaining powdered sugar to your desired consistency.
15. Be sure cakes are completely cooled before frosting.
16. I went with a more "naked cake" but you can easily cover the entire cake, just use less frosting in-between the layers and smooth over outside of cake.
17. Add a spoonful of frosting to the cake plate to hold down the first layer of the cake.
18. Add a large spoonful to the top of the first layer of cake and spread out evenly to the edges.
19. Add the second layer of cake to the smoothed frosting. Repeat to the other layers.
20. Top the cake with lots of berries on the frosting. Not to reader: Mama is no cake decorating queen and toddlers can devour lots of berries so have extra for snacking...
Just want to use one berry? Do it. Like I said this was originally a strawberry cake which I have promised to make again this summer, so go for whatever your favorites are. It will not disappoint.
Enjoy the long weekend my friends, and may we all take a few moments to remember that this day is about a lot more than BBQ's and cake.