People consider pink and red to be the colors of Love.
Valentines Day is associated with roses, chocolate, and strawberries.
So, a strawberry cake with a strawberry composite in the center that is then iced with a strawberry frosting and decorated with Valentines Cookies should scream:
Valentines Day and I LOVE YOU
Beside marking off all the checkmarks for Valentines Day, this cake could be welcomed for many other occasional or no occasional at all…a just because I feel like bake.
The cake sponge contains “real” strawberries in it along with the center compote ( fancy word for chunky strawberry sauce) and the fluffy buttercream frosting as well.
Did You Know….Valentines Trivia
- Americans believe that the packaging of Valentine’s Day candies and chocolates should be red and pink.
- Valentine’s Day is the biggest holiday for florists.
- Teachers are the number one recipient of Valentines.
- Valentine’s Day candy purchases represent 75 percent or greater of Chocolate sales annually.
- Both men and women prefer to receive chocolate over flowers ( I would include any edible..cookies and cake )
- Cupid is the goddess of love and he cast a spell of love over people. The bow and arrow illustrates the piercing of the heart.
Strawberry Cake with Strawberry Compote Center and a Strawberry Buttercream Frosted Decorated and Topped with Strawberry Sugar Cookies
For the Cake:
- 2 sticks unsalted room temperture butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 cup Flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 teaspoons strawberry extract
- 1 zest from lemon
- 1/2 juice from 1/2 of the lemon
- 1/2 cup strawberry compote
- pink food coloring
- 6 egg whites
- 12 ouce pack fresh strawberries
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- pinch salt
Strawberry Buttercream Frosting:
- 4 sticks unsalted butter
- 4 egg whites
- 6 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup strawberry compote
- Start off with first making your Strawberry Compote. It will need to be completely cooled for adding it to the cake and to the frostings.Once the compote is make, divide it into three bowls for the needed measurement. (1) 1/2 cup for the cake (2) 1/2 cup for the frosting and (3) The remaining will be used for the center fill of the cake.
- Rince off the fresh strawberries and cut off the green tops.Cut the strawberries into quarters
- Place the strawberries into a sauce pan along with 1/2 cup sugar, the lemon zest,lemon juice and salt.
- Cook for about 30 minutes stiring occassionally over low heat. The strawberry mixture will bubble. Do not boil the strawberries. The strawberries will reduce, break up from the stirring, and the liquid will thicken. The liquid should be the consistancy of pear nectar.
- Remove from the heat and tranfer to a bowl to cool.To speed up the cooling, the compote can be placed in the refrigerator
Making the Cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 cake pans with parchment paper.
- I always start off with prep. Additionally, when I am going to add ingredients to my stand mixer I like to use various size measuring cups for the ingredients. Measuring cups make it easy to pour the ingredients into the stand mixer. Of course, bowls can be used instead.
- Dry ingredient prep: Add in a large measuring cup ( 2-4 cup measuring cup)or bowl the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk it around to blend the ingredients together and set aside.
- Wet ingredient prep: Add the milk to a 2 cup mesuring cup or bowl. Microwave 20 seconds spurs until it is just warm…about 100 degrees or not longer cool to the touch. Do not over heat.
- Add 1/2 cup of the strawberry compote( if you refrigerated the strawberry compote, it will need to room temperature before using it), the strawberry extract, lemon juice, lemon zest, and pink food coloring if using food coloring to the milk. Stir ingredients and set the measuring cup aside.Add the 6 room temperature egg whites to another measuring cup and set aside
- Rinse your mixing bowl out with hot water and towel dry. This will take the chill off the metal bowl.Add your room temperature butter to your stand mixer with the paddle attachment and beat for 3 minutes on medium high speed. The butter will become creamy and pale in color. Scrap down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Using a measuring cup start adding the sugar a cup to the butter.Mix for about 5 minutes .
- Turn the mixture speed down and start to add the egg white.It is important that the egg whites are not cold. Add the egg whites into the mixture about 1/3 of the quanity at a time. Allow the eggs whites to completely incorporate into the mixture before adding in more.
- On a low speed, alternate adding the flour and milk mixture to the mixing bowl. Mix until just mixed. Do not over mix.
- Divide the batter between the baking pans. Tap the pans on the countertop to smooth out the batter.
- Bake for about 35 minutes. Toothpick test the center at 30 minutes and add additional baking time until the toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool the cake pans for 10-15 minutes and then turn the cakes out to a wire rack.The cakes need to be completely cooled before frosting
Making the Strawberry Buttercream Frosting:
- Measure out 6 cups of powdered sugar into a bowl and set aside.
- Fit your stand mixer with the whisk attachment. Add the egg whites and powdered sugar to the mixing bowl and whisk for 5 minutes of a high speed.
- Cut the soften butter into cubes while the egg whites and powdered sugar are whisking.Add the butter cubes to the mixture a few at a time. When all the butter is added, continue whipping the mixture for 10 minutes. It will become light and fluffy.
- Add the 1/2 cup of strawberry compote, vanilla, and salt. Whip until incorporated.
Constructing the Cake:
- Place a cooled cake onto a cake board. Apply a layer of Strawberry Buttercream frostings. At least 1/4 inch. A great option is to place the frosting into a piping bag and to pipe the frosting onto the cake. Start at thee edge going around and around until the entire top of the cake layer is covered. Then using an off set spatulat smooth out the top.Using a piping bag is good for cakes with a center filling. A "wall" or border edge can be created easily and that prevents the filling for leaking out.
- Add the strawberry compote to the center of the cake. Do not all the way to the edge.
- Place the top cake layer on. Apply frosting to the top and sides.Using an off set spatula, crump coat the cake Place the cake in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes to along the buttercream frosting to set.
- Remove the cake from the refrigator and frost the cake.
- Decorate the cake as desired. I used Strawberry Sugar Cookies to decorate the cake.
If you would like to also make strawberry sugar cookies to decorate with here is the link to the recipe.Strawberry Sugar Cookies
I elected to forgo the needed about of food coloring required to have the cake “pink”.As you can see, the color is a pale pink. I dipped a tooth pick into the gel color and swirled it around in the milk mixture.
Oh, I so wish you could take a fork a get a taste right through the screen. This cake is very moist with a lovely strawberry flavor. The strawberry buttercream frosting is to die for. It is very light and fluffy. I could probably eat by the spoon.
I sure hope you try this cake and enjoy it. Please let me how much LOVED it.
Happy Valentines Day