Lemon Poppy Seed Pound Cake

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Red Velvet Strawberry Cake

Submitted by Heather

Last week it was my husband's birthday.  I will never live down the time that, instead of making him a lovely, homemade cake/pie/dessert, I bought him an apple pie at Costco for his birthday celebration.  Never mind that we were moving the next day.  Or that apple pie is actually his favorite dessert.  It didn't live up to expectations.  So, here and there the "Costco pie" is mentioned and I've known better than to ever think of making that grave mistake again.  What looked to be a big, beautiful, lattice-topped pie didn't deliver in the flaky-crust,-tasty-apple-filling department.  Actually, I think I'd be better off just making him a cake mix or giving him a bowl of ice cream, than buying a pie or cake for his big day.  

He often tells me not to stress myself out making him a cake.  He doesn't realize, though, that I don't get stressed out.  I look forward to finally making something fun and different and special.  It's an excuse to try making something delicious and beautiful. And I think this cake did both!

I got the idea from iambaker.com, where she shows off a beautiful cake she made...the week after having a baby, while her house was full of guests!  Wow.  Since my youngest is just over one year old and I wasn't recovering from childbirth, I felt like I'd try to take it up a notch.  So, instead of using cake mixes, I made the cakes from scratch.  Yes, it took more time than cake mixes would take, but if you have the time it's probably worth it. The whole cake was really tasty and was gone in a matter of hours.  The kids inhaled it and the birthday boy seemed very satisfied.

This would also be a great cake to make for the Fourth of July.  Instead of strawberries on top or in the layers, you could use blueberries and have a very impressive and patriotic cake.

Note#1: If you want the layers to look prettier when you cut the cake, I would suggest leaving the berries out of the layers of the cake and serving them on the side.  You could even make a strawberry sauce to drizzle on the cake or to fill the layers.

Note #2: I must warn you that the red velvet cake flavor gets kind of lost in this dessert.  I really love red velvet, so I was looking forward to eating it, but with all the other flavors going on, it didn't really stand out.  In fact, I had to eat a layer by itself in order to actually taste it.  So, while it did make a very impressive looking layer, and was a moist and delicious addition to the cake, don't expect to taste its unique flavor in this dessert.  Just trying to be honest so you're not disappointed!

For the Red Velvet Cake layer:
Use the recipe on our blog, found here: Red Velvet Cupcakes
Divide the batter into two 9" greased cake pans and bake for 20-25 minutes at 350, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

For the white cake layer:
I used a recipe I hadn't tried before, but that was very good.  It was called Vanilla Buttermilk Cupcakes and I found it on melskitchencafe.com.  Instead of cupcakes, I put the batter into cake pans.

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup granulated white sugar
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
Preheat oven to 350 for light, aluminum or silicone pans or 325 for dark, nonstick pans. Grease 9" round cake pans and set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until fluffy, about 2 minutes, scraping down the bowl as needed. Mix in eggs and egg yolk one at a time and then mix in the vanilla. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the wet ingredients. Combine. Add 1/4 cup of the buttermilk. Mix. Add another 1/3 of the dry ingredients. Mix. Add the final 1/4 cup of the buttermilk. Mix and then add the final 1/3 of the dry ingredients. Mix until combined and the batter is smooth. Divide the batter between two 9" cake pans.
Bake for about 20-25 minutes (depending on the heat of your oven), until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out with moist crumbs. Don’t overbake!

To Assemble:
Once your cakes are baked and cooled, which you may want to do the day before, it's time to chop the strawberries and whip the cream!  I used about 2 pounds of strawberries.  I chopped the ones for in between the layers, and sliced the ones for on top, just to make it a bit prettier.

You can use just plain whipped cream for filling the cake or, as I did, get a little bit crazy and make a cream cheese frosting and lighten it up with whipped cream.  I made the frosting that goes with the red velvet cupcakes:

8 oz. cream cheese
5 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2½ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

Beat cream cheese and butter well, add vanilla and then add confectioner's sugar and beat well.  Fold in 2 C. of whipped cream (that's whipping cream that has been whipped, just to be clear) with 2/3 C. of cream cheese frosting.  Fill the cake layers, adding as many chopped strawberries as you'd like.

Cover the outside of the cake with sweetened whipped cream and garnish the top with strawberries.  YUM!

Happy Fourth of July!

Sources: White cake layer adapted from Vanilla Buttermilk Cupcakes from melskitchencafe.com, idea for cake from iambaker.com

1 comment:

  1. Whoa! That looks so good! If I stacked a cake like that it would be leaning after the 2nd layer. Nice job!