Strawberry Cake

It wasn’t that long ago, so I am sure you remember my caramel cake story. Well, you may also remember that part of my bounty was a strawberry cake. It was amazing. The only other strawberry cake I had ever eaten was while in culinary school. One of the gals brought it in for a birthday celebration. It was good and very popular. I about died when she started listing the ingredients; box cake, jello, cool whip. I do give her credit. It takes major “cakehones” to bring a less than semi-homemade cake to culinary school. I was training to be a pastry snob, so I never made it. Then i went to Mississippi; where they know their cake. I found myself on a whole new quest. I had to develop a great recipe for completely homemade strawberry cake. I think i got it. And now, I give it to you. Enjoy!

Strawberry Cake
*inspired by rose levy birnbaum’s white velvet butter cake*

1 cup chopped strawberries
1 Tbs powdered sugar
mix together and set aside while you prepare the other ingredients
4 oz egg whites (about 4 1/2 egg whites)–at room temperature
1 cup milk–at room temperature
2 1/4 tsp vanilla
3 cups sifted cake flour
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 Tbs + 1 tsp baking powder
12 Tbs butter–at room temperature
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup good strawberry jam
Combine egg whites and 1/4 cup milk with vanilla in a bowl. In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment mix together the flour, sugar and baking powder. Add to it the butter and mix until crumbly. Turn the mixer to low and add the remaining 3/4 cup milk stirring until completely moist. Increase the speed to medium and beat for about 1 minute. Add egg white mixture 1/3 at a time, scraping down the sides between additions. Stir in strawberry jam and sugared strawberries by hand. Divide mixture between 2-8″ pans that have been greased and lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350 for about 30-40 minutes (use the skewer test to ensure the cake is baked properly). Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

strawberry-pecan icing
1 lb cream cheese–at room temperature
3/4 lb unsalted butter–at room temperature
6 cups powdered sugar (more or less)
1/2 cup good strawberry jam
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 cup pecans–toasted and chopped
Beat the cream cheese and butter together. If using a stand mixer, use the paddle attachment. Add the jam, vanilla and salt and beat until fully combined. Add the sugar 1 cup at a time. Check for preferred sweetness after the 4th cup of sugar–add more if you like. I like it with the 6 cups. Stir in the pecans and use to generously frost your cake. (i don’t split the layers…this is a 2 layer cake with a 1/4″ thick of icing as filling).