If You Make One Cake This Summer, It Should Be This Fresh Strawberry Sheet Cake
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Strawberry cake is one of my favorite cakes. As far as I’m concerned, nothing says “birthday” like a sheet cake studded with strawberries and frosting roses. One of the best things about having a summer birthday is that strawberries are in season, so you can always get a really good strawberry cake to celebrate with.
Many “strawberry” cakes are just a white or yellow cake with strawberry frosting, or even a plain sponge cake with white frosting and then one or two strawberries sliced on top of it in an interesting way. This one is a real strawberry cake — or, actually, it’s more like a double strawberry cake, because it incorporates fresh, puréed, in-season strawberries in both the cake itself and the cream cheese frosting on top of it.
The key to this recipe is making sure the strawberries are almost completely puréed. You want them mostly smooth so the flavor will combine fully, but you also want to make sure there are little bits of strawberry still floating around in it so you can see them when the cake is finished baking. To do this, put all the strawberries in a food processor to purée for a few seconds, then pulse it until it’s almost entirely smooth. When you have a mostly puréed base with some little strawberry bits still left inside, you’ll know it’s ready.
The cake part starts with a simple white cake batter with a bit of vanilla for flavor. Mix the dry ingredients together; then mix the oil, sugar, eggs, and puréed strawberries together; and then combine the two in stages until they’ve just come together. Bake it until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, then let the cake cool completely before attempting to frost it. The cake should be a dark pink from the strawberries, with little flecks of red fruit visible throughout.
Top the cake with homemade cream cheese frosting (it’s easy, I promise). When the frosting is ready and the cake is cool, cover the sheet cake with a thick layer of frosting, smooth it over the surface, and get ready to enjoy the kind of cake you can only get in the summer.
Get the recipe: Fresh Strawberry Sheet Cake from Butternut Bakery