Friday, August 7, 2009

Strawberry Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Strawberry Cake with Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting

Sometimes I get really random urges to bake something. These urges usually come late at night and once I get the idea in my mind, I can't let it go. The week before my move, I had one such urge. I had some strawberries in the fridge so I went looking for recipes. I remembered the strawberry cupcakes I saw on Food Librarian. Like me, Mary always seems to be baking at odd times of the day and night, and her results are always phenomenal! Believe it or not, I am one of the few people who doesn't like Sprinkles cupcakes (I much prefer the Crumbs brand), but I do remember having this cupcake last year at JenFinn's birthday and I wasn't completely repulsed by it. Those were homemade as well so maybe that is the secret. I decided to pair them with a cream cheese frosting because I had some cream cheese I didn't feel like transporting and I added a vanilla bean because things are usually twenty times better with a vanilla bean thrown in. I definitely enjoyed the cake, but I wish there had been more of a pop in the strawberry flavor. The frosting was fantastic, though I may use a bit more cream cheese in it the next time. Since I just *happened* to have some toasted coconut laying around, I topped my mini cakes with it.

Strawberry Cake with Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting

Strawberry Cake
(From Sprinkles via Everyday Food)

Makes 12 cupcakes or 3 4.5-inch cakes

2/3 cup whole fresh or frozen strawberries, thawed
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 cup milk, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
2 large egg whites, room temperature

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 2 or 3 4.5-inch cake tins or line a muffin pan with liners.

Place strawberries in a small food processor; process until pureed. You should have about 1/3 cup of puree, add a few more strawberries if necessary.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a small bowl, mix together milk, vanilla, and strawberry puree; set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter on medium-high speed, until light and fluffy. Gradually add sugar and continue to beat until well combined and fluffy. Reduce the mixer speed to medium and slowly add egg and egg whites until just blended.

With the mixer on low, slowly add half the flour mixture; mix until just blended. Add the milk mixture; mix until just blended. Slowly add remaining flour mixture, scraping down sides of the bowl with a spatula, as necessary, until just blended.

Divide batter evenly among prepared cake pans or muffin cups. Transfer pan to oven and bake until tops are just dry to the touch, 25 to 35 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack and let cupcakes cool completely in pan before icing.

Vanilla Bean Frosting
(Adapted from Week of Menus)

1/2 cup of unsalted butter, softened
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 whole vanilla bean, split and vanilla beans scraped out
1 1/2 -2 cups confectioner sugar

Cream butter and cream cheese together on medium speed until texture is uniform. Add 1 cup of confectioners sugar and beat on low speed until sugar is all incorporated. Add 1 more cup and again mix on low speed until sugar is all incorporated. Add scraped vanilla beans and mix on medium speed for 8 minutes, occasionally scraping down sides until it is creamy.

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Justin said...

i have a bag full of strawberries for something else, but now i'm rethinking my plan... and i usually find the same thing about strawberries in cake, that the flavor is a little muted.

Erica said...

I just finished lunch and now I'm hungry again haha. The coconut on top of this cake looks so pretty. Baking is just the best! Enjoy your weekend

The Food Librarian said...

This looks great...except the dental floss coconut. Hee hee. Yes, I'm always baking at strange times!!

Hope you are all settled in! Have you tried Falafel King in Westwood? It was my favorite when I was a student.

Creative Classroom Core said...

I LOVE strawberry cake, but have never tried it with cream cheese frosting - sounds like a perfect combination to me!

The Cooking Photographer said...

Hi Esi!

This little cake looks sooo cute!! I love that it uses fresh strawberries too. I've saved it for later.

You do bake at odd times. I used to do that when I was younger, but not I want sleep more than anything else lol!

I'm guessing you are all moved. I hope it went well.


The Duo Dishes said...

Interesting that you like Crumbs over Sprinkles...and also interesting that the cake is not super pink. :) That's a welcome surprise as many strawberry cakes we've seen go towards that color spectrum. This would be a pleasant surprise.

Esi said...

Justin, you may want to use more of the strawberry puree for a more pronounced flavor. I say, even up to double the amount.

Erica, thanks! Enjoy your weekend too.

Mary, thanks for the suggestion, I will have to check it out!

Laura, it's mostly just on weekends that I bake at odd times, but yes, I am weird like that. Slowly getting settled in to my new place.

Ben, oooh, blueberries would be great! Plus I am sure you would get a lovely color.

Duo Dishes, yep. I stand by my "I hate sprinkles" lol. No crazy food dyes here and I like it that way :)

vanillasugarblog said...

when we had our heat spell I could not eat during the day, I would always get hungry at night. they say that your body core cools down and then your need for nourishment comes back. whatever.
I can bake cake at any hour of the day or night and eat it too.
Trader Joe's has a new mini mint choco ice cream sammies. Don't buy them! You will eat them all, just like I did.

Diana said...

Not completely repulsed, huh? Sounds like someone is ready to hitch a ride on the Sprinkles band wagon...

Anonymous said...

Oh that looks so cute and pretty! Loving the toasted coconut flakes on top!

Reeni said...

This combo sounds scrumptious!! Love the cream cheese frosting and toasty coconut.

Christine said...

You know, Esi... most of the time I like you, but sometimes you make me so darn HUNGRY!!!! Okay, not even hungry (as I just ate dinner), but just CRAVING the food you make. What time is dinner? Dessert? Tomorrow's breakfast? Oh darn, will you just cook a week's meal for me. ;)

Looks delish!

Kerstin said...

Sounds delicious, especially with that yummy cream cheese frosting and toasted coconut on top!

Peabody said...

Those look mighty tasty. I love strawberry anything.

La Cuisine d'Helene said...

You make me so hungry, this looks so delicious.

Unknown said...

looks great! you don't even know the number of times i've started something after 9 only to realize it takes a lot longer than i thought... :)

A Bowl Of Mush said...

What a delicious looking cake!