This month marked the birthday of a special friend whose favorite food in the whole world is strawberries. She tries to add strawberries to everything: scones; pancakes; cakes … but unfortunately they don’t turn out so well because strawberries are so juicy! Add fresh strawberries to a cake and it starts to “weep.” (If you’ve ever tried this, you know what I mean!) Add fresh strawberries to scones and they go kinda flat.
Thus my decision to make a strawberry birthday cake for her, and to make it full of strawberry flavor without the strawberry runny-ness! My creation is before you – I’ve made it several times now, using different proportions to get it just right. I highly recommend the egg-white version below, but you could use whole eggs instead. If you try your favorite egg substitutes, let me know how they turn out! I didn’t have time yet to venture into making this cake vegan, but I’d love to know if you do!
For all the strawberry lovers in your life, I give you Strawberries & Cream Cake (Gluten and Dairy-Free!).
*Note: Before you get fussy with me because I used cake mix in this recipe, please understand that once in awhile I suffer from the same time restraints we all do! Especially in recipe development, when you have to make a recipe several times to get it right and be sure that it’s right enough to share … using my mix was a true blessing! If you’d rather make this recipe from scratch, I’d suggest following the recipe for my white cake, using those dry ingredients as if they were a mix, then proceeding with this recipe as written. There, now everybody’s happy!
Strawberries & Cream Cake
- Jules’ Cake Mix
- 1/2 cup butter or non-dairy alternative (e.g. Earth Balance® Buttery Sticks)
- 2 cups granulated sugar of choice (white sugar; unrefined sugar; coconut palm sugar; etc.)
- 8 egg whites (or 4 whole eggs)
- 1/2 cup strawberry purée (start with 10 oz. frozen or fresh strawberries)
- 1/2 cup milk, dairy or non-dairy (e.g. So Delicious® Coconut Milk)
- 1 cup dehydrated strawberries, sliced
- red food coloring (if desired) (India Tree® Natural Decorating Colors)
Pre-heat oven to 350º F (static) or 325º F (convection). Spray two 8 0r 9-inch round cake pans with non-stick cooking spray and dust entire surface lightly with Jules Gluten Free™ All-Purpose Flour. To make cupcakes, oil or line cupcake pans with cupcake papers (Makes 28-30 cupcakes).
Purée frozen or fresh, cleaned and hulled strawberries in a blender or food processor. Measure out 1/2 cup. Reserve extra to drizzle over slices of cake if desired (or make a smoothie!).
Combine the butter and granulated sweetener of choice and beat well with your mixer’s paddle attachment, until the mixture is very light and fluffy (approximately 3-4 minutes). Add the eggs next, beating well until the mixture is light (*NOTE: a reader shared that she whipped the egg whites separately to soft peaks and then folded them into the batter, which made the cake incredibly fluffy and light, and didn’t dry it out.)
Slowly add the purée, milk and food coloring (if using), alternating with the Jules’ Cake Mix and beating in between the additions. Stir in dehydrated strawberries and pour into the prepared pans.
For cakes, bake for 30-35 minutes, turning the pans half-way through if using convection setting; for cupcakes, test after 20 minutes for doneness by inserting a cake tester or toothpick in the middle of each cake and be sure it comes out clean, with very few crumbs attached. The cakes will also begin to pull away slightly from the sides of the pans. Add time if necessary to fully bake the cakes.
When done, turn off the oven and leave the oven door open to let the cakes cool slowly there for 5 minutes or so, then remove the cakes to a cooling rack.
After 15-20 minutes of total cooling time, gently invert the cakes to remove them from the pans, then flip gently back onto the cooling rack until fully cooled.
Frost the cakes only when fully cooled, or in the alternative, wrap the cakes with wax paper or plastic wrap and seal inside freezer bags to freeze or refrigerate until ready to use.
This gorgeous frosting creates the “cream” for my Strawberries & Cream Cake. No dairy here, though!
- 1 cup granulated cane sugar
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
- 2 egg whites
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Over medium heat, whisk together sugar, water and cream of tartar in a small saucepan. Continue stirring until the mixture bubbles and the sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat immediately (the mixture may start to brown, but do not allow it to cook to dark brown or to burn).
Combine egg whites and vanilla in a mixer bowl. Slowly stir in the cooked sugar mixture with beaters on low. Increase mixer speed to high for 6 minutes, or until the frosting has whipped to stiff peaks when tested with a rubber spatula.
Frost cakes with a thick layer of Fluffy Frosting, swirling designs using an off-set spatula for added decoration.