Oh my, this should have been posted weeks ago. Kari and I are quite behind on things at the moment, due to a few unexpected events. We took a couple of weeks off, and will probably have one more week without a recipe to share, but hopefully after that will be back at it.
Over two weeks ago (yikes) we had decided on strawberries for our weekly ingredient. I have such a long list of strawberry recipes that I have been wanting to try that it was difficult to choose. In the end I went with a strawberry lemonade cake.
I had never made a cake from scratch before, so this was a bit of an adventure for me. And it didn’t start well. Watching Julie & Julia years ago, and reading My Berlin Kitchen this past winter taught me to expect disasters while I worked on new recipes, but I didn’t expect them so soon. While whisking the butter and sugar (just the first step of the cake) one of the wires on my wire whisk snapped. It shocked me, and needless to say I was not happy. This was all happening at Scott’s house, so he and his roommates had to deal with my ranting about how much I hated this cake already, how awful it was that my wire whisk attachment broke, how there was no way the cake was going to turn out, and I even threatened to throw it all out and scrap the idea (I may have been a bit dramatic). I was not a happy person that night. I warned Scott that though it was the first time I got upset at a recipe, it probably would not be the last, and he luckily was very understanding of this (and kind of made fun of my mini-tantrum about the whisk, which managed to lightened my mood).
I managed to keep going despite the broken whisk, and only ran into more (minor) problems. I don’t have a stand mixer, so I had to call in reinforcements for adding in the dry ingredients and buttermilk. It ended up alright, but was a pain and just added to my frustration that night. The batter ended up tasting delicious, so I had hope for the cake still. By the time the cakes were done baking I was frustrated and sick of being in the kitchen so I covered the cakes and decided to make the frosting the next night.
It ended up being two nights before I had time to make the frosting, which wasn’t the best situation. But, the frosting was simple, and probably the most delicious frosting I have ever tasted. Once I got that made I was able to throw together the cake, and we were finally able to enjoy a piece. By the time we were able to eat it I think the cake had dried out a bit. The cake seemed a bit dense to begin with, and the slight dryness didn’t help. It was still incredibly delicious though, and the lemon cake balanced perfectly with the strawberry buttercream. If I make it again (which Scott has said is a requirement) I may try to figure out how to lighten up the cake, and I will definitely put it all together on the same day.
Also, photography wise, photographing a whole cake is not very easy, or interesting (at least to me). And I was losing light fast, so I wasn’t able to grab many shots. And, I still haven’t figured out a good way to format my recipes. WordPress automatically changes things around and I can’t seem to figure out a way of fixing it. Does anyone have any suggestions?
Strawberry Lemonade Cake
Recipe from Heather Christo’s Generous Table
· 1 cup (2 sticks) butter at room temp
· 1 1/2 cups sugar
· 2 tbsp fresh lemon zest
· 2 1/2 cups AP flour
· 1 tsp baking powder
· 1 tsp baking soda
· 1/2 tsp salt
· 4 eggs
· 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
· 1 cup buttermilk
· 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
· 5 cups powder sugar
· 2 tbsp whole milk
· 4 large strawberries, chopped
1. Heat oven to 350 and prepare two 9-inch round baking pans.
2. In the bowl of stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, place the butter, sugar and lemon zest. Beat until light and fluffy.
3. In a separate bowl, mix together dry ingredients and set aside.
4. With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs, one at a time, combining thoroughly in between. With the mixer still running, add the lemon juice. (batter will look curdled, but its not)
5. Add one third of the dry ingredients and 1/2 cup of the buttermilk. Mix, then stop and scrape the sides of the bowl. Repeat, adding another third of the dry ingredients and the remaining 1/2 cup buttermilk. Mix, then stop and scrape. Add the remaining third of the dry ingredients and mix until completely combined and the batter is light and fluffy.
6. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans.
7. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let the cakes cool before removing from the pans.
1. Combine butter and powder sugar in a large bowl or standing mixer. Mix together on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add in the milk and strawberries and mix on high speed until the frosting is very fluffy and pale pink in color, with flecks of strawberry.