Strawberry Cake. There is no artificial colouring or flavouring used to get the beautiful pink hues in this delicious, made from scratch, strawberry cake.
There are a lot of recipes out there for brightly coloured, pink strawberry cakes and to be honest, I haven’t liked many of them. When you search around on the web for Strawberry Cake, or see beautiful examples on Pinterest, I’m very often disappointed to find that they are mostly flavoured and coloured by adding strawberry jelly powder and/or food colouring to the recipe.
With so many people having sensitivity to food colouring, especially those in the red spectrum, I wanted to try to come up with a pretty pink cake recipe to share in time for Mother’s Day in about a week’s time. I will not say that I was immediately successful in my attempts at a strawberry cake; one of them was so heavy and dense that it went straight into the garbage bin.
I tried using straight strawberry puree which did not colour or flavour the cake enough. I needed to concentrate both the colour and the flavour of the strawberries before I added it to the cake batter and the frosting.
I decided to make a slowly simmered and greatly reduced simple strawberry jam for this purpose and when pureed, it worked very well in both the cake and the frosting. I think the strawberry frosting is pretty essential to this cake as it really does help to carry that authentic strawberry flavour.
To get the best colour possible, I actually did leave the strawberries out on the counter for a few days to get as ripe as possible and let their colour darken, without going bad. When strawberries are in season again and we get them at Lester’s Farm U-Pick, here in St. John’s I think I’ll pick a basket of them specifically to make this cake; you know, the one’s that get left behind and are a deep dark red. They would be perfect.
So, whether you have this strawberry cake at your Mother’s Day celebration or as a birthday cake for a special kid in your life who loves pink, know that you can achieve great flavour and colour by completely natural means.
2018 Winter update: I recently made this cake using some frozen strawberries that I bought at Costco. I’ve been told that many of the whole frozen strawberries that we buy are actually riper than the fresh ones that go to market.
That kind of makes sense to me because obviously they would have a much shorter shelf life in the fresh market. Better to flash freeze them and sell them that way. This also means that they have a deeper colour which I found worked well with this recipe.
Lone story short, don’t hesitate to use frozen strawberries at any time. You’ll still have a delicious cake in the end.
Like this Strawberry Cake recipe?
To keep up with the latest home style cooking & baking ideas from Rock Recipes plus daily recipe suggestions from decadent desserts to quick delicious weekday meals, be sure to follow Rock Recipes Facebook Page and follow us on Instagram.
- 3 cups very ripe sliced strawberries
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup butter
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 eggs
- 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup cake flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 1/4 cups whipping cream
- 3/4 cup strawberry jam puree
- 6 cups icing sugar powdered sugar
- 1 cup room temperature butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup strawberry jam puree
- a little milk if necessary
You will need to prepare this puree in advance so that it has time to cool before being added to the cake batter.
In a small saucepan combine the strawberries and sugar and bring them to a gentle simmer.
Continue to simmer stirring occasionally for a half hour or so until the volume of the berries has reduced by at least half.
Allow the berries to cool before pureeing with an immersion blender or with a few pulses in a standard counter top blender. You will need a total of 1 1/4 cups of this puree for to make both the cake and the frosting. Any excess can be stored in a covered container and used as jam for your morning toast.
Grease and flour two 8 or 9 inch cake pans. Line the bottoms with circles of parchment paper for easy release later. (You can also bake this cake in a large bundt pan which has been generously greased and then floured. The bundt pan may take extra time, just let the toothpick test be your guide.)
Cream together the butter, sugar and vanilla extract until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Sift together the all purpose flour, the cake flour, the baking powder and baking soda.
Mix the strawberry puree with the whipping cream.
Add the flour mixture to the creamed butter mixture alternately with the cream and strawberry puree mixture. folding well after each addition.
Always begin and end with the dry ingredients. As a general rule add the dry ingredients in 3 equal portions and the liquid ingredients in 2 equal portions.
Bake at 325 degrees F for 40-45 minutes or until wooden toothpick comes out clean.
Let the cakes rest in the pans for 5-10 minutes before turning them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Cream together the butter with half of the icing sugar, then add the strawberry puree a couple of tablespoons at a time, alternately with some of the remaining icing sugar. Beat until smooth and spreadable.
The moisture content in the strawberry puree will probably vary from batch to batch so you may need a little more icing sugar if the frosting is too soft or add a tablespoon or two of milk if it is too thick. You want a nice soft, spreadable consistency.
Frost the cake with the finished icing and garnish with fresh strawberries.
Prep time does not include the additional time for the jam puree to cool.
If you want to bake this in a bundt pan follow the instructions given. If you want to poor a chocolate ganache glaze over the cake, just heat 1/4 cup of whipping cream in the microwave for a few seconds to get it slightly warm then add it to 1 cup of dark chocolate chips in a double boiler until the chocolate is smooth.
Rock Recipes a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Our product recommendations are almost exclusively for those we currently use or have used in the past.