Sunday, May 4, 2008


For the last week of my Wilton cake decorating class, I decided to change things up and do a strawberry cake with mascarpone filling and cream cheese icing. The cake was delicious! I was not nearly as pleased with how my decorated cake ended up looking (the cream cheese icing was just too soft for a lot of the decorating techniques I was using), so there were no "beauty shots" of the completed cake - just this one of a slice on a plate.

If this recipe looks familiar, I've made (and shared) it before, modified into cupcake form

Strawberry Cake

3 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/4 cups sour cream
1/2 cup fresh* strawberries, pureed
1 small package strawberry Jello
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into small pieces
2 cups sugar
5 large eggs, room temperature

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Sift flour, baking powder, soda, and salt into a medium bowl. Whisk to combine evenly. Stir the sour cream, strawberries, jello, and vanilla together in a large liquid measuring cup and set aside.

Beat the butter on high in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment until light and creamy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Continue beating while gradually adding the sugar - it should take a couple of minutes to completely incorporate all the sugar. Continue to beat until very light and fully, about 3-4 minutes more. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

On low speed, add the flour mixture in 3 parts, alternating with the sour cream in 2 parts, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Scrape the sides of the bowl as you mix. Blend thoroughly.

Scoop the batter into 2 greased and floured 9-inch cake pans. Lightly tap the pans on the counter so that the batter settles evenly.

Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in the pan on a rack for 5-10 minutes, then place cakes onto the rack to cool completely.

*Substituting frozen strawberries for fresh works just fine.

Source: Modified from Raspberry Cake

Mascarpone Filling

6 - 8 oz. mascarpone cheese
Confectioner's sugar
Vanilla extract
Heavy cream

There's no real science to this filling. Let the mascarpone sit out on the counter for a bit to soften so that it will mix easily. Cream the mascarpone, then add sugar, vanilla, and cream until you reach the taste and consistency you desire.

Cream Cheese Icing

8 oz. cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups sifted confectioner's sugar (approx. 1 pound)
2 Tablespoons milk

In large bowl, cream the cream cheese with an electric mixer. Add vanilla and combine. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl often. When all the sugar has been mixed in, the icing will appear dry. Add milk and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Keep bowl covered with a damp cloth until ready to use. For best results, keep icing bowl in refrigerator when not in use. Icing can be stored up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Re-whip before using.

Makes 3 cups.

Note: Quantities of confectioner's sugar and/or milk may vary to reach the desired consistency, particularly depending on the weather. Humidity can have a great impact on icing.

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