Last week my dad bought a gigantic tub of strawberries and I, being a baker, was inspired to make a few cakes. Well, two cakes, and 26 cupcakes. Plus, I need a strawberry and raspberry recipe for this month’s Behind the Curtain Challenge. I thought it would be kind of boring to share four strawberry-inspired recipes in a row for no reason, so I made up my own reason. This week, Monday June 10th to Sunday June 16th is officially declared Strawberry Week on Teenage Cakeland !!!
The first strawberry recipe I have to share is inspired by The Pioneer Woman’s Chocolate Strawberry Nutella Cake, which I instantly fell in love with and had to reproduce. This cake was for my APUSH teacher, though, and I was afraid someone he might share it with had a nut allergy, so sadly the Nutella was a no-go.
The cake was highly successful anyway.
Can I just say how really great it is that Ree of The Pioneer Woman posts photos of every step when sharing a recipe? I wonder if she has people to do that for her. Anyway, in some cases, the step-by-step pictures are extremely helpful. I think I’ll start doing that…but not for the next couple of recipes. Sorry 😦
I used my favorite devil’s food cake recipe from Dorie Greenspan’s book and layered it with whipped cream and strawberries, as inspired by The Pioneer Woman. The cake itself has a really nice chocolate flavor with an almost fudgy texture, especially if you sprinkle some chocolate chips into the batter. Strawberries and whipped cream contrast the cake’s darkness and make it refreshing and summery (that’s been a theme on the blog recently, hasn’t it? Refreshing and summery). And gorgeous, by the way.
Devil’s Food Strawberry (Tall)Cake
- 1 1/3 cups flour
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 stick butter, room temperature
- 2 tbs oil or applesauce
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 eggs, room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled
- 1/2 cup buttermilk or whole milk, room temperature (almond, soy, or dairy)
- 1/2 cup boiling water
- 4 oz chopped semisweet or milk chocolate, or 2/3 cup chips
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and line two round cake pans with parchment or wax paper.
- In a medium bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
- Cream the butter and oil or applesauce in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the sugars and beat on medium until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for one minute each and scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula after each addition. Beat in the vanilla.
- On low speed, add the melted and cooled chocolate.
- When the chocolate is fully incorporated, add the dry ingredients and milk alternately: the dry ingredients in three additions and the milk in two. Mix each addition until just incorporated, and scrape the sodes and bottom of the bowl as needed.
- Mix in the boiling water, still at low speed.
- With a rubber spatula, mix in the chopped chocolate or chips.
- Divide the batter between the two cake pans and smooth the tops with the rubber spatula.
- Bake 25 to 30 minutes, rotating at the midway point. Test for doneness.
- Cool on a cooling rack for five minutes, then invert and cool completely.
- Make the whipped cream topping and strawberries while the cake is baking and cooling.
Whipped Cream Topping
- 1 box vanilla pudding
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3 tbs sugar
- Make the pudding using the 1 1/2 cups milk and place in the refrigerator.
- In a chilled stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, whip the heavy cream on medium-high speed, gradually adding the sugar, until stiff peaks form.
- Gently fold the whipped cream into the pudding a little at a time to make a light, fluffy frosting.
Strawberries from The Pioneer Woman
- 2 pints (4 cups) fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Stir the sugar and vanilla into the strawberries. Let the juices absorb for fifteen minutes, then drain the excess.
- Level the cake layers so they are completely flat. Leveled side down, place the first layer on a plate. Spread on half the whipped cream topping and then arrange half the strawberries on top.
- Place the second layer on top of the strawberries, leveled side down. Spread the rest of the whipped cream on top and carefully arrange the second half of the strawberries.
- Chill until ready to serve.
This is my favorite chocolate cake recipe. Devil’s food is the type of cake my dad always bought in cake mix form and made when I was little, and has always been ingrained in my memory as THE chocolate cake- I didn’t even realize there was a difference between regular chocolate and devil’s food. Now I know, of course, but chocolate cake just doesn’t give me the same satisfaction as devil’s food always has. Adding whipped cream and strawberries makes this cake very elegant, in both flavor and appearance. The strawberries were just sweet enough, and just tart enough. If you’d like, you can channel your inner Pioneer Woman and spread 1/3 cup Nutella over each layer before adding the whipped cream. To make the layers easier to frost, you can freeze them for a few hours or overnight. Just defrost them in the refrigerator before serving.
So this cake was for my APUSH teacher, Mr. McAuley. I think he liked it. I pray he did, because he’s writing my college recommendation letter next year.