Strawberry Earth Cake

by angelika on December 5, 2012

My firstborn turned 6 over Thanksgiving which is bittersweet. He is definitely not a baby anymore. Q actually really never was a baby. I always joked that he was born a toddler, full of attitude and getting into trouble around every corner. At 5 he was practicing his teenager, and really became proficient. Now he thinks he knows everything, but still has wonder at the workings of the world. He asked me to bake him a strawberry earth cake. He wanted to celebrate the planet, and perhaps the fact that his mother did not know what the different parts of the inner earth are called. (that part of my brain apparently took over some other task long long ago)  I had set out to make a round cake, but had a bit of a disaster with the bottom half and we went for the northern hemisphere instead. The cake is strawberry cake with strawberry buttercream filling and icing. Covered in sparkly blue icing sugar for the water, and edible printed continents!

Finding a recipe for a strawberry cake, that is a real strawberry cake and not one using jello boxes and white cake mix, was not easy. There is only one, and apparently it is this bloggers all time most popular post. There must be a lot of people wanting a real strawberry cake!

The first step is to make a strawberry puree to use for the cake, and the icing. I used 2 lbs of fresh strawberries. Rough chop the strawberries and marinate with the sugfar for one hour to release the juices. Then cook them with 1/4 cup water added for 20 minutes, or until soft. Press the puree through a fine mesh strainer using a wooden spoon to press the juice and pulp through. This takes about 10 minutes. Then return the berries to the pan and reduce in half. About another 20 minutes. Set the puree aside. I put in a jar and made the cake the next day.

 Preheat the oven to 350. In a bowl combine the puree, milk, vanilla and eggs and mix together. Into the bowl of the mixer, sift all the dry ingredients including the sugar. Add in the butter and mix until it looks like breadcrumbs. As if you are making pie crust. Add the wet to the dry and mix on m until combined. If you want the cake redder add a little food coloring. 

Prep a bowl for the earth cake. I used a 6qt stainless bowl. You can also use 2 8″ or 9″ pans for a layered cake. Butter and dust with flour- then pour in the batter. Bake until a tester comes out clean. 25-30 minutes in cake pans. In the bowl it took 1 hour and 12 minutes. Let the cake cool for 15 minutes, then turn it out to cool on a rack.

Once the cake is cool ice it with your choice of icing. We used the rest of the strawberry puree mixed into a basic buttercream. I prefer swiss meringue buttercream, but since I have only just really mastered it- I didn’t want to risk adding liquid and messing it up.  I cut the cake in half and filled it with buttercream, then iced the top and slathered on the blue sanding sugar to make the water. The edible continents do not go around corners very easily- they are made for flat surfaces, but we still loved the effect. I might not have been as precise as I could have been cutting out the continents, and it shows. But in my defense all I could find were toddler scissors and kitchen scissors. So really I did awesome.

Happiest of Birthdays to Master Q. The best 6 year old on the planet. (not that I am biased) And one picture of the kids celebrating at Disneyland. They are apparently incapable of looking at the camera at the same time, and pretending that they know each other and are happy. Even in the happiest place on earth.

Strawberry Earth Cake
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Recipe from Confessions of a Foodie Bird
Author:
Recipe type: dessert, cake
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • For the strawberry puree:
  • 2 lbs fresh strawberries
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • For the cake:
  • ½ cup milk, at room temperature
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2¼ cup flour, sifted
  • 1¾ cup sugar
  • 4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1½ sticks), at room temp
  • For the icing:
  • 2 sticks butter, soft
  • 4-5 cups powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup strawberry puree or more to taste
Instructions
  1. To make a strawberry puree to use for the cake, and the icing. I used 2 lbs of fresh strawberries. Rough chop the strawberries and marinate with the sugfar for one hour to release the juices. Then cook them with ¼ cup water added for 20 minutes, or until soft. Press the puree through a fine mesh strainer using a wooden spoon to press the juice and pulp through. This takes about 10 minutes. Then return the berries to the pan and reduce in half. About another 20 minutes. Set the puree aside. I put in a jar and made the cake the next day.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350. In a bowl combine the puree, milk, vanilla and eggs and mix together. Into the bowl of the mixer, sift all the dry ingredients including the sugar. Add in the butter and mix until it looks like breadcrumbs. As if you are making pie crust. Add the wet to the dry and mix on m until combined. If you want the cake redder add a little food coloring.
  3. Prep a bowl for the earth cake. I used a 6qt stainless bowl. You can also use 2 8″ or 9″ pans for a layered cake. Butter and dust with flour- then pour in the batter. Bake until a tester comes out clean. 25-30 minutes. In the bowl it took 1 hour and 12 minutes. Let the cake cool for 15 minutes, then turn it out to cool on a rack.
  4. Once the cake is cool ice it with your choice of icing. We used the rest of the strawberry puree mixed into a basic buttercream.

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