Sunday, 31 March 2013

Strawberry and Cream Cake

Easter is the fiancé's mum's New Year.  The clocks have gone forward, making the days longer; the weather is usually brighter and warmer and she can put up the summer curtains.  She also insists on having her children over for lunch, and now me by extension.  Being the avid baker I was charged with dessert and could make whatever I wanted.  Well I really didn't know what I wanted to do except that it would be something I'd not made before.  And vaguely spring/summery, to reflect the changing seasons.

I had a look through my cupboards to see what I had and see if it sparked any ideas.  As often happens when I open my cupboard, something fell out: one of the packets of freeze dried strawberry powder I had bought to use in my quest for strawberry extract alternatives.  Well there was an idea.  A strawberry cakes.  Strawberries are quite a summery thing.  And what else does one think of when they have strawberries?  Why, cream of course.  There.  Strawberry and cream cake.  That should be fine.

However, I wasn't sure how to go about adding the strawberry powder to a cake.  Would it be like with cocoa where you supplement some in place of flour?  Should I rehydrate it first?  Obviously the safest answer was to look it up and see if I could find a recipe that used it.  Which clearly I did find and it was a vegan recipe too, which is cool.  Of course I ruin that by covering it with cream.  As far as I can tell, from this recipe and from comments on various forums, you just add the powdered strawberry to a white cake recipe, with a little liquid of some kind, like strawberry extract or reduced strawberry purée.  This recipe uses strawberry extract as its liquid, which I cannot get here in the UK (hence why I have my quest).  So I made a strawberry purée, since I had strawberries in my fridge (I bought them to use for decoration but didn't end up going with that idea in the end).  

I may have got a bit carried away with icing this cake.  Ages ago I saw several pictures of cakes covered in buttercream roses.  They all looked so pretty and though this cake is not particularly tall I wanted to give it a try.  And just to make it a bit more interesting, I wanted to have a gradient colour change running from the centre to the base.  Whipping the cream and icing the cake took about 40 minutes as a result but the final outcome did look so beautiful.  I was very proud.

The overall result was a very beautiful cake that tasted like strawberries with cream.  The only problem though is that it had quite a close texture and as a result was a little 'gummy'.  The fiancé said it was a bit like a fruit roll, only better.  Despite that though, everyone seemed to really enjoy it and a vast majority of it got eaten.

Recipe - adapted from My Vegan Cookbook
Whilst the cake itself is a vegan recipe, my decision to use cream to decorate it means I've essentially ruined that.  So if you want a fully vegan cake, use a vegan alternative for the cream.  A lot of places I've seen use whipped coconut cream. 
  • 290g/10oz plain flour
  • 180g/6.5oz caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1.25 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 75g/3oz freeze dried strawberry powder
  • 330ml/11.5fl.oz water
  • 30g/1oz butter
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 115g/4oz strawberries
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • Pink food colouring
  • 450ml/16fl.oz double cream (or coconut cream for fully vegan cake)
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4 and grease and line 20cm/8inch round cake tin.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and freeze dried strawberry powder.
  3. Blitz the strawberries to a purée and run through a sieve into a saucepan.
  4. Reduce the strawberry purée over a medium heat until you are left with about half.  You should have about 1.5 tbsp worth of purée.
  5. Melt the butter.
  6. In a small bowl, combine the water, oil, melted butter, lemon juice, strawberry purée and a few drops of food colouring.
  7. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix together gently with a spoon until combined.  
  8. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and level out.
  9. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  10. Allow to sit in the tin for about 10 minutes and then transfer to a rack to finish cooling.
  11. Whip the cream until you get stiff peaks.
  12. Spoon about a quarter into a piping bag fitted with a large closed star nozzle.  
  13. First pipe a large rose in the centre of the cake, then pipe a circle of smaller roses around it.  It doesn't matter if there are gaps between roses, fill these by holding the nozzle perpendicular to the cake and squeezing out just a little cream to create a small flower shape.
  14. Squeeze any cream left in the bag back into the bowl and add a few drops of pink colouring.  Fold in carefully so you have a slightly pinkish cream.  If there are obvious streaks of colouring running through it doesn't matter since it adds to the effect.
  15. Pipe another circle of roses around the outside of the first circle.  These ones should be pretty close to the edge.  Fill any gaps between the roses in the same manner as before.
  16. Repeat step 14.  You should now have a darker pink cream.
  17. Pipe roses around the side of the cake and fill in all gaps along the top edges, base and between roses with small cream flours.


  1. Claire McGinlay11 May 2013 at 22:59

    This cake looked so beautiful and tasted just as good.

  2. There are various shapes and varieties are available in strawberry cake . Buy the best one for your celebration.