This strawberry cake packs a powerful strawberry punch! The secret is the filling made from fresh strawberries along with a homemade strawberry caramel, which will ooze out of the cake deliciously when you cut a slice-imagine a caramel sauce, but fruity instead of buttery.
Makes: One 3-layer cake, serves 10
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes, plus 1 hour to cool
For the filling:
- 18oz (500g) fresh strawberries, plus a few extra berries
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 cup (200g) granulated white sugar
- Zest of 1 large lemon
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the cake:
- 1¾ cups (240g) all-purpose flour
- 3 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 8 tbsp (1 stick / 115g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ¾ cup (150g) granulated white sugar
- 3 tbsp (45g) vegetable oil
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 medium eggs, at room temperature
- ½ cup (120g) plain yogurt, at room temperature
- ½ cup (120g) whole milk, at room temperature
For the frosting:
- 4oz (100g) Philadelphia cream cheese
- 1⁄3cup (40g) powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp whole milk (optional)
- Make the filling. In a food processor, blend the strawberries and water into a smooth puree. Pass the puree through a sieve into a medium tall-sided saucepan. (Take your time with this and then discard the seeds and pulp. You should end up with about 11/2 cups of seedless product.) Add the sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt. Stirring continuously, heat the mixture over medium heat until it starts to boil gently. Lower the heat and allow the mixture to boil gently for 10 to 15 minutes (the timing will depend on the water content of your strawberries), stirring every few minutes to make sure it doesn't burn or boil over. It's ready when it lightly coats the back of a spatula. Turn off the heat and stir in the vanilla. Transfer to a medium, heat-proof bowl, allow to cool, and then chill in the fridge.
- Preheat the oven and prepare the pans. Preheat the oven to 320° F (160°C). Grease and flour three 7-inch (18cm) cake pans and line the bottom of each pan with parchment paper.
- Mix the dry ingredients. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Make the batter. In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment (or in a large bowl, if using a handheld mixer), cream together the softened butter, sugar, oil, and vanilla. Mix until well combined, about 1 minute. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until each egg is fully incorporated before adding the next. Using a rubber spatula, scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl. Add the flour mixture, yogurt, and milk, and mix until there are no more visible spots of flour. The batter should look smooth. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl and divide the batter evenly among the three prepared cake pans. Don't worry if it looks like there's not much batter in each cake pan-these cake layers are designed to be a little thinner than for a two-layer cake.
- Bake the cakes. Bake the cakes for 18 to 22 minutes. Do the toothpick test (see page 15). If the toothpick comes out clean, the cakes are ready. (If your oven isn't large enough to bake three cake pans at once, bake in batches).
- Cool the cake layers. Allow the cakes to sit in the pans for 5 minutes, then gently turn them out upside down onto a cooling rack. Remove the parchment paper, and allow the cakes to cool completely.
Fluffy, sweet, soft and oh-so tasty.
A classic dessert for any sweet tooth.
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