Strawberries & Cream Cake

The colour of love and the shape of a heart…at least to me, a hopeless romantic. Is there anything than speaks of romance in the spring more than this beautiful red bulb of a fruit?

I love strawberries on its own and sometimes even with cream if slathered on pancakes or scones, but as a cake it is delightful, light, fresh and tarty, which to me is the perfect taste of springtime. Different bakers have their personal interpretations and signature recipes of what they each deem as ‘strawberries and cream’ cakes, some adept at those golden, buttery Victoria sponge cakes generously layered with strawberry cream and jam, and others choosing to spotlight the rich and luscious strawberry-flavoured cake itself.

That’s also the recipe I much prefer, when I let the strawberry-incorporated cake take centre stage like a pink ballerina graced by the curtsying fluffy white clouds of plain cream within its layers. Only that in this recipe, I made a slight adaptation and blended fresh strawberry fruits into the usually plain white whipped cream. I thought the strawberry taste ought to be the star through and through, and not only did I find they sit so well together, this combination pays the best tribute to one of my all-time favourite classic fruit-incorporated cakes.

strawberries & cream
strawberries & cream

A word of warning though, the whipped cream tended to be rather runny when fresh strawberries were added. Perhaps this was because I had used thickened cream rather than pure cream which would’ve whipped to a stiffer peak than the former. If you only have thickened cream on hand, a tip would be to stiffen it using some pure icing sugar, though note that the cream will be considerably sweeter.

the naked layer strawberries & cream
the naked layer
strawberries & cream

piping the cream on top
piping the cream on top

I’ve also included my recipe of strawberry buttercream for those who may prefer a different texture, and for use in ‘strawberries and cream’ cupcakes. Instead of creamy puddings or trifles, this is a great way to indulge those who love cream as a dessert imperative. It’s also kid-friendly! Enjoy spring time.

luxurious layers of strawberry on strawberry
luxurious layers of strawberry on strawberry
watch the slices disappear and hear the busy forks do the talking for this cake
watch the slices disappear and hear the busy forks do the talking for this cake

Strawberries & Cream Cake:

250g unsalted butter (softened to room temperature)
375g castor sugar
4 eggs (large)
500g all-purpose flour (sifted)
1 T baking powder(sifted)
250g fresh strawberries, blended 
200g milk, room temperature
3 tsp vanilla extract
1 /4 tsp red or pink gel colouring paste 

Strawberry Whipped Cream Frosting:

1 C castor sugar.
600 ml thickened cream whipped to a stiff peak
150g fresh strawberries, blended
*125g pure icing sugar
1/4 tsp red or pink gel colouring paste 
*optional-helps to stiffen whipped cream slightly

Whip the cream along with the castor sugar.
It should be very thick and stiff before adding the strawberries. Add the colouring paste. Note: Add some pure icing sugar to stiffen it further if mixture is too runny.  


Strawberry Buttercream Frosting:
375g unsalted butter
500g pure icing sugar, sifted
1 T milk
150g fresh strawberries, blended
1/4 tsp red or pink gel colouring paste 

Whisk the butter till pale and creamy.  
Add the icing sugar, strawberries, milk and colouring paste and whisk till fluffy before using.  

Directions for strawberries & cream cake:

Heat your oven to 180 degrees.  Line with greaseproof paper and flour three 8” baking tins.  

Beat the softened butter and sugar with a whisk attachment on your stand mixer till pale and creamy.

Add the eggs gradually one at a time and beat into the butter-sugar mixture. 

Blend the strawberries in a blender or food processor. Using a wooden spoon, fold in the blended fresh strawberries, then the vanilla extract and the colouring paste. 

Alternate the milk and the flour and finish with the flour last.  Begin by sifting the baking powder into the flour and then sift the flour again into a separate mixing bowl.  Then using a folding spatula, fold a little of the flour gradually into the strawberry batter by alternating between a little of the milk, then flour, then milk, followed by the flour till all is used up. Ensure the batter is well mixed but be careful not to over-mix or overwork the batter as this will affect the rising of the cake during baking.

Transfer cake batter into the 3 baking tins equally. (I tend to use a ‘1 Cup’ measuring spoon to do this as equally as I can).  

Bake at 180 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or till done.  Let the cakes cool in their tins for about 20 minutes at least before removing from tins to cool further on a wire rack. When cooled, level the tops of the 3 cakes. For best results, cover in cling wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight before frosting.

To frost layers, spoon the frosting onto each layer, spread then smoothen with a frosting knife, then sandwich one layer on top of the other. Place the rest of the frosting into a piping bag with a large tip of your choice. I used a star tip to pipe a large swirl all around the outer edge of the top layer. You could decorate further by topping the piped swirls with sliced strawberries.

Chill overnight before serving.

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