I have to admit something. This post is a fraud. I just thought I should tell you. The gorgeous, delicious cake featured today is not inspired by fiction. I know. I’m sorry. I’ve let you down and I feel really awful about it. This cake was brought to you, not by any work of fiction that I’ve experienced lately, but by the very real (and totally fantastic) five year old H-man. Well, six years old now. You see, this little guy’s birthday was about two weeks ago, and when I asked what he wanted for his birthday dessert he promptly answered, “strawberry cake!” Not being able to resist this cutie little face, I went looking for a good strawberry cake recipe.
Now, H-man is not necessarily a gourmet. When told he could pick a birthday restaurant, he picked McDonald’s. He wanted one of those, “cheeseburgers that have pancakes on either side.” That’s a McGriddle for those of you that don’t speak kindergartner. Despite this, or maybe because of this, I really wanted to make a cake from scratch. I’ve done the boxed mix with gelatin trick and it’s good; don’t get me wrong, but I really wanted to up the game for this occasion.
Getting a strong strawberry flavor from fresh strawberries can be tough. That’s why the gelatin trick is so widespread-it works. You end up with a lovely pink cake that tastes quite distinctly strawberry. Fresh strawberries give a cake a sort of brownish color without food coloring and the flavor can be quite light, even nonexistent. So, it was with a healthy dose of skepticism that I hit Pinterest to find a recipe that looked like it might work. What I found was Triple Strawberry Cake by Kara at Kara’s Couture Cakes. The combination of fresh strawberries, freeze-dried strawberries, and strawberry simple syrup packs a big flavor punch and the frosting is spectacular!
Is this cake more work than a boxed mix with some gelatin? Yup. Is it totally worth it? Yup. Give it a try for your next big day!
PS- This recipe makes a LOT of frosting. I thought I was pretty liberal with it and I still had a ton left. It will get put to good use on waffles and graham crackers. And someone might eat some with a spoon. Maybe. Not me, obviously. But someone. Maybe.