With Valentine’s Day just around the corner you may be on hunt for a pink or red dessert. You can always turn to a tried and true Red Velvet cake but what about something a little different like a Strawberry Cake. Now, strawberry cake can pose some issues. Basically, how to get the strawberry flavor into the cake without it ending up being a soggy mess thanks to the extra moisture of the strawberries. You could dice up some strawberries and add them to your batter, but, that’s not really a strawberry cake. There’s also the option of reducing the strawberries into a syrup and then incorporating that into your batter. But, a much more simpler way is to use freeze-dried strawberries. For this cake, I simply processed the strawberries in my food processor to turn them into a powder that I then incorporated with the rest of my dry ingredients.
Once my batter was ready I decided to bake it in a 6-inch heart pan. If you don’t have a heart pan on hand you can bake it in a 6-inch round cake pan instead. You could also do an 8-inch pan, but, your cake won’t have as much height to it and you will also have to adjust your baking time.
Typically, most strawberry cakes are topped with a strawberry buttercream. I opted not to do that for one simple reason. I only had enough freeze-dried strawberries to make the cake! So, I did a little brainstorming and thought that a Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting would work well with the cake. I came up with a frosting that still has the flavor of cream cheese with just the right amount of lemon. I literally could eat this frosting by the spoonful.
To frost the cake, I decided to go a little fancy and use a small star tip to decorate and then sprinkled some Valentine’s Day sprinkles around the perimeter.
And I am happy to say that the cake and frosting worked well together! You can’t tell from the picture, but, my cake was a very light pink. If you want a cake with a deeper pink or red hue you can add in some food coloring once you are done making the batter to get to the color you want.
Strawberry Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
For The Cake:
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 oz. freeze dried strawberries
1/2 cup sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 large egg, at room temperature
1/3 cup sour cream, at room temperature
1/4 cup milk, at room temperature
1/2 tablespoon lemon zest
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the Frosting:
1 8oz. block cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Cake:
Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray a 6-inch pan with baking spray or coat with butter and then dust with flour.
Using a food processor pulse the strawberries into a powder.
Whisk together the strawberry powder, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a medium bowl and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer cream together the butter and sugar on medium speed. Add the egg and beat until well combined. Add in the sour cream, milk, lemon zest & vanilla and continue mixing until well combined. Add in the flour mixture and beat until just combined.
Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake 30 to 40 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the Frosting:
Using a handheld mixer (or stand mixer) beat the cream cheese and butter together on medium speed until smooth and creamy. With the mixer speed on low add in the sugar until well incorporated. Raise the speed to medium and add in the lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla extract until all incorporated.