Strawberry Ruffle Birthday Cake

I think the older I get the more I look to external joys to celebrate my birthday.

In my youth I used to flippantly say, “My favorite holiday is my birthday!”  I would demand that people shower me in attention and gifts.  Its was my day after all.

*head smack*

Vertical Ombre Ruffle Cake by iambaker.net

And while I fully support when others want to treat their birthdays as the best day of the year (heck, I encourage it!) for me, the greatest gifts are the simple ones.  The best day ever is having my kids near, knowing family and friends are safe and healthy, taking a few moments to just enjoy the precious life I have been given… thats a perfect birthday.

Oh, and cake of course.

Vertical Ombre Ruffle Cake by iambaker.net #cake #ombre #pink

 

I recently posted about an event that totally threw me off. (My husband being hospitalized for heart issues.)  While it has been hard to process and not something I ever wanted to deal with, I am thankful that it has helped me put my priorities in perspective.

The greatest birthday gift is peace of mind when it comes to accepting the curve balls life throws at us.

From Scratch Strawberry Cake by iambaker.net #cake #ombre #strawberry

 

This cake has been a long time coming for me.  I love strawberry cake, strawberry jam, strawberry wine, strawberry anything.  For almost a year now I have been searching for a great from scratch recipe that did not include jello or gelatin.  Not that there are anything wrong with those… just that I truly desired a from scratch recipe and couldnt figure out why it was so hard to come by!

Based on our news and wanting to make some healthier changes in my family’s diet, I was even more motivated to make my hopes a reality.

Strawberry Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2/3 cup strawberry puree (1 cup de-thawed frozen strawberry & 1-2 tbsp water in blender)
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2-3 cups dices fresh strawberries
  • 2 tbsp flour

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare three 8-in round cake pans.
  2. Whip four eggs whites in mixer until soft peaks form. Add 1 cup sugar, 1 tbsp at a time, whipping to maintain soft peaks. Pour whites into large bowl (This was about 5 cups in volume after whipped) and set aside.
  3. Cream room temperature butter and 1 cup sugar until fluffy. Add in vanilla and almond extract. Add egg yolks one at a time, beating after each addition.
  4. Sift together 3 cups flour, baking powder, and salt.
  5. Alternatively add flour mixture and strawberry puree to batter until fully combined. Batter will be thick.
  6. Fold in egg whites.
  7. Coat diced strawberries in 2 tbsp flour and gently add to batter. (I used 2 cups but think 3 cups would also be delicious.)
  8. Pour batter into prepared pans and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. If using two 8-in cake pans, bake for 45-50 minutes.
  9. Recipe adapted from Allrecipes.com
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Tips for Success:

There are a number a steps to this recipe, so its a good idea to read through first and prepare your ingredients before hand.

I had extra strawberry puree left over, so I added it to 1/2 cup of buttercream for the middle of the cake.

I highly recommend pairing this cake with a whipped cream frosting.  I chose Vanilla Buttercream for this because I wanted to use a particular technique (Ruffle Tutorial with #401 tip) for the frosting, but I ultimately believe that whipped cream frosting is the best choice in terms of flavor.

Homemade Strawberry Cake with Vertical Pink Ruffles by iambaker.net

 

I truly enjoyed this cake and hope you will too.

And because its my birthday, and I allow myself one day a year to be bossy without guilt, (without guilt are the key words there!) I am going to request that today you tell at least one person how much they mean to you.  Pick one quality that you admire in someone and tell them so. I promise that not only will it brighten their day, but it will brighten yours too. :)

Strawberry Birthday Cake by iambaker.net #cake #pink #ombre

 

 

Neapolitan Rose Cake

UPDATED: Video Tutorial HERE

I am obsessed with Neapolitan lately.  And if you are friends with me on Instagram you already know this.


I shared this picture yesterday.  As well as another picture of the pre-frosted cakes the day before.

And I even made another Neapolitan Rose cake last week that was for the amazing staff of volunteers and teachers at my kids’ AWANA program.

But I digress.

I love Neapolitan.  I adore the ease and look of  my Rose Cake technique.

When I first did the Rose Cake back in Feb. of 2011, I had no idea it would take off like it did.  Its now being taught in Wilton course’s and being sold in bakeries across the world.

To say I am humbled by it all is putting it mildly!

So to be able to do something new (and delicious!)  with the sweet buttercream roses is so exciting.

For me, this was a match made in heaven.

Not only is the buttercream Neapolitan, but the cake flavors are as well.  I made a chocolate cake, a strawberry cake, and a white cake in 8in pans.  I only used one 8in layer of each flavor for this cake, so I popped the extra layers into the freezer.

I am going to whip up another one of these easy cakes to bring to a Mothers Day celebration this weekend!

I used a basic buttercream for the white and strawberry layers, but added 1 scant teaspoon of strawberry extract to the pink buttercream. (which I tinted with AmeriColor Soft Pink, quite possible my favorite ever brand)

I have been trying to use as many different frosting’s as possible with the rosette technique to determine if they will hold up.  I found this specific buttercream to be very durable as well as obnoxiously sweet.

Which is awesome.

Back to Basics Buttercream

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 two pound bag powder sugar (about 7-8 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon good quality vanilla
  • 4 tablespoons milk
  • dash salt

Instructions

  1. Put room temperature butter, vanilla, and salt into mixer. Add in powder sugar one cup at a time, alternating with the milk until you have used it all.
  2. If your frosting is too thick you can certainly add more milk. I found that this is the perfect consistency for me to pipe roses using the 1M or 2D tip.
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I made a batch up chocolate buttercream as well! (had to halve this recipe)

 

You really cant go wrong with a rose covered Neapolitan cake for mom!

Or you.  Just make it for you.  Its totally worth it.