Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Strawberry Yellow Cake

I have a confession to make. I am not a good cake-baker. Those of you who know me, you have seen lots of desserts come out of my kitchen...but if you think about...very few cakes. And even fewer layer cakes.

This is because I make an ugly cake. I have decided, since attempting this cake, that this is a project I need to work on. Ugly cakes are good for some things (I have a friend that has the ugliest possible cake for her birthday-on purpose), but I should be able to make a beautiful layer cake.

I will share this recipe with you, in the hopes that you will be able to make it pretty. The cake tastes delicious, except P said "I don't really like strawberries". This means he will not really eat much of the cake, which means unless I want to gain 10 pounds, we will not eat the whole cake. Sad. But if you like strawberries, you will like this cake.

The batter:

I used a recipe from King Arthur Flour.

2 cups sugar
3 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, soft
1 1/4 cups milk, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 large eggs

Preheat the oven to 350°F.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt

Add the butter and beat with an electric mixer at low speed, until the mixture looks sandy. Ugly cake problem #1: I added two sticks of butter by mistake, not 1.5 sticks. Oops.

Combine the milk and vanilla and add, all at once. Mix at low speed for 30 seconds, then increase the speed to medium and beat for 30 seconds. Scrape the bottom and sides of the mixing bowl.

With the mixer running at low speed, add 1 egg. Increase the speed to medium and beat for 30 seconds. Repeat this procedure with the second egg. Continue adding the eggs, scraping after each addition, until all 4 are added.

After the last egg is added, scrape the bowl once more, then beat at medium-high speed for 30 more seconds.

Add to pans, I used 9" round pans. Ugly cake problem #2: I lined with parchment paper instead of greasing and flouring (I was out of shortening). This resulted in a weird looking shape.

Bake for 27 minutes for 9" layers.

The cake is done when it's golden brown around the edges and a toothpick inserted in the center will come out clean. Cool on wire rack 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely.

Strawberry filling:
Mix 2 cups strawberries, sliced into quarters and 1 T strawberry jam.

I used the recipe for buttercream frosting on the back of the sugar box. It was really runny, and not that great. I will search for another buttercream recipe. Ugly cake problem #3.

To assemble:
Place one cake layer on plate. Spread with thin layer of frosting, top with layer of strawberries.

See odd ugly-cake shape due to parchment paper?

Top with other cake layer.

Ack! Odd shape, and I think thicker than normal due to my butter addition.

And now, due to the runny frosting, I present my Ugly Cake!

I will work on this. I promise. But, aside from the looks, it does taste good! If you like strawberries.

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