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Homemade Strawberry Cake

Who can resist a flavor-packed strawberry cake with strawberry cream cheese frosting with no artificial colors? Thanks to a couple of secrets, this cake is just that.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time55 mins
Course: cake, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: strawberry cake
Servings: 12
Author: Adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction

Ingredients

For the cake

  • 2 1/2 cups sifted cake flour, spoon & leveled
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter softened to room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 5 large egg whites at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup sour cream or plain yogurt at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup whole milk at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup reduced strawberry puree see note*

For the Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1 1/2 cups freeze-dried strawberries*
  • 1 8-ounce block cream cheese softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup 1 stick; unsalted butter softened to room temperature
  • 3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 Tbsp whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • salt to taste

Instructions

  • Make the reduced strawberry puree and stick in the refrigerator to cool completely. See note below.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease two 9-inch cake pans and line with parchment paper.
  • Whisk the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Set aside.
  • In a stand mixer or bowl mixer, beat the butter and sugar together on high until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as necessary. Beat in egg whites until combined, then sour cream and vanilla extract. Add dry ingredients on low until just incorporated. Then mix in milk and reduced strawberry puree slowly until just combined. Be care of over mixing here. Pour batter into two cake pans.
  • Bake for 22-25 minutes or until center is baked through. Allow the cakes to completely cool before frosting.
  • Meanwhile, process freeze-dried strawberries into a powder. Set aside.
  • In a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the cream cheese for 1 minute on high until completely creamy. Add in butter, then confectioners' sugar, strawberry powder, and vanilla. Slowly add in milk tablespoon by tablespoon until you reach your desired consistency.
  • Place 1 cake layer on cake plate, put about half of the frosting on top of the first layer, cover with the second, then frost the top of the cake. You can always frost the entire cake if you'd prefer to not have the naked look. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes before slicing. so the frosting doesn't get runny
  • Cover leftover cake and store in the refrigerator.

Notes

Note: To make strawberry puree paste, reduce lightly pureed strawberries over low-heat for 40-45 minutes or until liquid is minimal.  You should have barely over 1/2 cup of strawberries when you're done.  Cover in an airtight container and stick in the refrigerator to cool.  
 
*Freeze-dried strawberries can be a little tricky to find, but they are at most grocery stores.  Safeway has it next to the organic dried fruits.  Harris Teeter has it in the dried fruit aisle.  Be careful you don't buy the strawberry fruits that are gummy.  You want the kind that are freeze-dried and will turn into a powder when processed.