Thursday, June 26, 2014

Okay, I am hoping to win back some of the people I lost yesterday when I posted that less than appealing picture of quinoa.  Surely, this will do it.  This cake is heaven on a plate!  Just look at it...doesn't it make you want to stuff the whole thing in your mouth....or is that just me completely out of control!
I made this for the first time at Easter.  I think that is when I gained 5 pounds in one day!  This cake is just perfectly moist and the fresh strawberries in both the batter and the icing just put it over the top on the yummy scale!
Here are a couple of tips that I have found helpful when baking a cake.  First, make sure all of your ingredients are room temperature.  If you don't have time to allow your eggs to come to room temperature, you can place them in a cup of warm water to take the chill off.  Second, when it comes to baking, always follow the instructions.  Baking is more like a science, while cooking can be tweaked here and there.  Third, use cake flour instead of just all purpose flour.  It has a finer texture than all-purpose flour and gives your cake a fluffier texture.  Lastly, check your oven often to make sure it is heating at the correct temperature.  I have an oven that skips all over the place.  I will put the cake in a 350 degrees and 10 minutes later, my oven will shoot up to 360 then down to 330.  So, count your blessings if you have an accurate oven.  If you have one like mine, just do your best to keep it at an even temperature.
Southern Living had this cake in one of their recent magazines.  They always have the best recipes and I love getting my monthly magazine and see what kind of goodies they share.  This cake is going up to the church tonight for the Vacation Bible School workers.  I hope they enjoy it.  I am so thankful for their willingness to teach and help our little ones come to know the Lord and learn about what a wonderful God we serve. 

Preheat oven to 350 Degrees
1 cup Butter, softened
2 cups Sugar
2 large Eggs
2 teaspoons fresh Lemon Juice
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
2-1/2 cups Cake Flour
2 tablespoons Strawberry-Flavored Gelatin
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/4 teaspoon Table Salt (omit if you are using salted butter)
1 cup Buttermilk
2/3 cup chopped Fresh Strawberries
Strawberry Frosting (recipe below) 
Beat 1 cups of butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add 2 cups sugar, beating 4-5 minutes or until light and fluffy. 

Add 2 eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition.

Add 2 teaspoons lemon juice and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.

Stir together 2-1/2 cups of flour, 2 tablespoons strawberry jello, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda and 1/4 teaspoon table salt (omit if you are using salted butter).  Add 1/3 of the mixture alternately with the 1 cup of buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.  Beat at low speed until blended.

Stir in 2/3 cup chopped fresh strawberries.

Pour into a greased, floured 13 X 9 inch pan.  I use Baker's Joy.  Spread batter in pan and place in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30-40 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.  Now Southern Living says to cool in pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes.  I let mine cool for about 10 minutes and then flipped it out onto a wire cooling rack until completely cool....about 1 hour.  Spread Strawberry Frosting on top and on sides of cake.

1 - 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup sugar, divided
2/3 cup chopped fresh Strawberries
1 drop pink food coloring gel (I didn't use this)
1-1/2 cups Heavy Cream
3 tablespoons fresh Lemon Juice
Place a stainless steel bowl and the beaters in the freezer and leave them there until you are ready to use.
1.  Beat 1 - 8 ounce cream cheese and 1/3 cup sugar with an electric mixer until smooth, add 2/3 cups chopped strawberries and food coloring (if desired); beat until blended.

2.  Beat 1-1/2 cups heavy cream and 3 tablespoons lemon juice at medium speed until foamy increase speed to medium-high, and slowly add remaining 1/3 cup sugar, beating until stiff peaks form. Fold half of cream mixture into cheese mixture, fold in remaining cream mixture.  Use immediately.

NOTE:  Stiff peaks mean that the cream mixture will hold firmly onto the beaters.  Do not overbeat or you will end up with butter.



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