Strawberries excite me from a design standpoint. With their red flesh and green stems, they perfectly obey complementary colour theory. They are also triangular, making them more fascinating and photogenic than most fruit. I’m giddy each year when the sun comes out and strawberries are in season. It’s only March, so I’m being overeager. This cake just feels like Summer though, and it’s simple to make. It also has no food colouring since you can use freeze-dried strawberry power to naturally make this as shockingly pink as possible.
Makes one 6″ cake
- 2/3 cup milk
- 3 egg whites (from large eggs)
- 1 large egg
- 1 2/3 cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 8 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 vanilla bean, scraped
- 1 1/2 cups salted butter, room temperature
- 6 cups icing sugar
- 1/3 cup whipping cream
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 cup chopped strawberries
- 1/4 cup freeze-dried strawberry powder (or freeze-dried strawberries put through a food processor)
For the cake
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 6″ cake pans. Lightly whisk egg whites, whole egg, scraped vanilla bean and one third of the milk in a small bowl. Set aside.
Sift the dry ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the butter in pieces and blend on low speed for 30 seconds, then add the rest of the milk and continue mixing on low until incorporated (do not overmix). Increase speed, scrape down bowl of stand mixer and beat on medium for 1 1/2 minutes.
Add the egg and milk mixture slowly in three batches, beating for 15 seconds between each addition. Pour the batter evenly into the two pans.
Bake for approximately 40 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean when inserted into the center.
For the icing
Beat the butter in a stand mixer on medium, until light yellow and fluffy. Slowly beat in the sugar, 1/2 cup at a time. Beat in the cream, vanilla, and strawberry powder until smooth and consistent in colour. Add the chopped strawberries and beat for a few seconds more. Frost cake!