This is a recipe I found online at Apartment Therapy and just made for a friend's birthday-mine did not look this stunning but tasted great: http://www.thekitchn.com...
Unlike lemon or chocolate, baking with flour isn't good for full flavor from fragile strawberries, which is why purchased strawberry cakes taste like chemicals and why most recipes for semi-homemade strawberry cakes call for flavored gelatin. About 40 years ago at a baby shower, I was served a cute little pink cupcake made with a packet of unsweetened strawberry Kool-Aid. Don't even think about doing this--it was downright nasty.
I hate it when someone asks me to make a strawberry cake. I try to gently steer them away from that option by suggesting a strawberry shortcake instead. There are people who are insistent, however, even when I tell them that my strawberry layer cake is just so-so. So I grudgingly make one but happily take their cash for it.
I'm afraid this is the best I can do: Allow 2 cups of frozen strawberries to partially thaw. While they are still icy, slice them into a food processor or blender or use a blender stick to puree them. Measure 1 1/4 cups of puree and use it to replace the milk or buttermilk in Dorie Greenspan's or Nick Malgieri's recipe for Perfect Party Cake. (If you don't have Dorie's or Nick's baking book, the recipe is all over the Internet.) If you want the batter to be pinker, add a few drops of red food coloring or beet juice. A frosting of cream cheese or mascarpone whipped cream works best with this cake.
My favorite strawberry cake when strawberries are out of season is a hybrid of an Eton Mess trifle and an American shortcake made from biscuit dough baked in 2 round cake pans. I split both layers in half and put the bottom of one layer into a trifle bowl, then spoon some lightly-sweetened strawberry puree over it until it's wet but not soaked, and I repeat that with the other layers, all cut-side up. It gets covered in plastic with a weighted plate on top and goes into the refrigerator for a couple of hours before being served in tulip glasses with mascarpone whipped cream between the layers and a drizzle of strawberry jam on top. It's about as close to summer as you can get in February.
Here's a link to Smitten Kitchen's Pink Lady Cake. It's a strawberry cake, from scratch, that uses frozen strawberries (including their juices) that is delightlful. It's a firm crumbed cake, unless you separate the eggs (or a couple of them at least) and whip the whites and fold them in once the batter is made. The strawberry flavor isn't very strong in the finished cake, but it's unmistakable and the batter tastes like strawberry ice cream..it's so delicious! Read the comments..mostly the last half. http://smittenkitchen.com...
It should tell you something when the Florida Strawberry Growers' Association recipe blog has no strawberry cake recipe. Hmmmmmn. How about short cake?
I used the Smitten Kitchen one Soozll references last year for our daughter's 4th birthday. I used extra strawberries and red food coloring for a more pronounced pink color suited to a little girl's birthday. I used it with Ina Garten's buttercream recipe and decorated the top with fresh strawberries. It was a hit.
I am a big fan of this Martha Stewart strawberry cake and it has always gotten rave reviews: http://www.marthastewart.... It is light and buttery and is baked with strawberries and drizzles of sugar on top. Mmm!
Here's another one to try, from this month's issue: http://www.saveur.com/article...
Did you try any of the recipes above?
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