Sunday, July 12, 2009

mmmm strawberries....

i returned from my fantastic thai vacation just in time for 4th of july, and decided to give pioneer woman's strawberry shortcake cake a whirl for the party i was invited to. and man was it delicious. i pretty much stuck to her recipe (which i'll also include at the end of the post), the exception being that i used a 9" round baking pan instead of 8" because that was what i had. here we go:

mixing the sour cream in.... it may not look delicious yet, but just you wait

in the cake pan. remember, i used 9", and it seemed alright to me.

cooling on the rack. apparently it's normal that it turns this brown on the outside, as it was rather delicious on the inside.

making the frosting. i sifted in 1.5 lbs of confectioners sugar. eep.

the recipe calls to cut the cake in half and make a layer cake. i tried to be all precise about the cutting and even used a ruler and toothpick guides, but i still ended up with one half seriously thinner than the other. this i'm going to go ahead and blame on the fact that when the cake was baking it ended up with a relatively sunken in center, hence messing up my accuracy in halving the cake. next time, i might just split the batter between two 9" cakes so i don't have to deal with the cutting.

the other way i altered the recipe: i don't know if i overused the strawberries, or if using a 9" instead of an 8" pan made that much of a difference, but whatever the case i doubled the amount of strawberries in the recipe. when i began spreading the first pound of strawberries (shown here soaking in the sugar) on the bottom layer, it just didn't seem to be enough. good thing i had bought a 2nd pound of strawberries at the store!

the top of the cake, full of strawberries. now imagine half that amount. not enough strawberries, right?

beginning to spread the delicious cream cheese frosting...

almost done...

viola! strawberry shortcake cake, a la the pioneer woman.

and here's her recipe:

Strawberry Shortcake Cake


1 1/2 cups flour
3 tablespoons corn starch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
9 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 cup sour cream, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 pound cream cheese, room temperature
2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter
1 1/2 pounds powdered sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla

1 pound strawberries

Sift together flour, salt, baking soda, and corn starch.
Cream 9 tablespoons butter with the sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well each time. Add sour cream and vanilla and mix until combined. Add sifted dry ingredients and mix on low speed until just barely combined.
Pour into greased and floured 8-inch cake pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes, or until no longer jiggly like my bottom. Remove from cake pan as soon as you pull it out of the oven, and place on a cooling rack and allow it to cool completely.

Stem strawberries and slice them in half from bottom to top. Place into a bowl and sprinkle with 3 tablespoons sugar. Stir together and let sit for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, mash the strawberries in two batches. Sprinkle each half with 1 tablespoons sugar and allow to sit for another 30 minutes.

Make icing: combine cream cheese, 2 sticks butter, sifted powdered sugar, vanilla, and dash of salt in a mixing bowl. Mix until very light and fluffy.

Slice cake in half through the middle. Spread strawberries evenly over each half (cut side up), pouring on all the juices. Place cake halves into the freezer for five minutes, just to make icing easier.

Remove from freezer. Use a little less than 1/3 of the icing to spread over the top of the strawberries on the bottom layer. Place the second layer on top. Add half of the remaining icing to the top spreading evenly, then spread the remaining 1/3 cup around the sides.

Leave plain OR garnish with strawberry halves.

IMPORTANT: Cake is best when served slightly cool. The butter content in the icing will cause it to soften at room temperature. For best results, store in the fridge!

** please take note and store in the fridge. i forgot to, and ended up with a sticky, gooey syrup on the counter as the strawberry juice oozed out**

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