Thursday, April 16, 2009

Strawberry Cake

I saw strawberries on sale last weekend, and I couldn’t help but buy them. They were from California, so I realize my buying them wasn’t great for the environment, but they were red all the way through and perfectly ripe. And I was dying to try this cake, too. So I gave in and bought them (they were about the same price as local strawberries in season).

I made a simple buttercream icing to go with it with 1 ½ cups of lactose-free margarine and 3 cups of powdered sugar.

I puréed the strawberries for the recipe, and used the leftover purée as a sauce on the side. I wasn’t bold enough to add it to the icing and start messing with adjustments for the consistency. Though I must say that I was left with strawberry seeds most everywhere (maybe my strainer is too small and held back more than just seeds); I’d consider buying premade purée in a specialty store next time. And I didn’t use the food coloring called for in the original recipe.

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
2 cups granulated sugar
¾ cup canola oil
1 ½ cups puréed strawberries, strained
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp lemon zest
4 large eggs, beaten
red food coloring (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 °F. Grease and flour two 9-by-2-inch round cake pans, tapping out excess flour; set aside.

In a large bowl, stir to combine flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. In a smaller bowl, mix oil, puréed strawberries, vanilla, lemon zest, and eggs. Add the strawberry mixture to the flour mixture and mix with a wooden spoon until just blended.

Divide batter evenly between prepared pans, smoothing with an offset spatula. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until the tops spring back when gently pressed with your fingertips, about 45 minutes.

Transfer pans to a wire rack to cool 10 minutes. Invert cakes onto wire rack. Re-invert cakes and let them cool completely, top sides up.

Prepare the frosting; frost as desired and refrigerate until ready to serve.

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