photo by Todd Coleman
I just love how it's kind of sphere-shaped and how the two layers are so fat and outlined in a coat of darker crust. I also love the jagged cuts, the paper plate, and what looks to be a plastic lid or tray or frisbee that it's sitting on. It looks delicious, fun, approachable, and unreal all at the same time.
After two trips to two grocery stores and no strawberry extract, I sally-forthed. The extract was for the icing layer anyway, which I wasn't even going to tackle until the following night. In 24 hours, surely, I could find some strawberry extract.
young-wife of me), but I was taking the cake with me too.
And so, that's how I ended up arriving to dinner with the below, what I call the Pac-Man presentation.
Luckily, the cake was so delicious no one cared that Matt had scored first dibs at home hours earlier. And, if you'd like to see a photo of the cake fully intact with strawberry extract as it was intended to be, hop over to Lottie + Doof. He knocked it out of the park.
And while I'm directing you to other sites, did you guys see this, or that badge my site is now wearing over towards the right of the screen? I won Saveur's Best Culinary Essay! Many many many thanks to everyone who voted for "In The Kitchen With Grandma" and to Saveur for recognizing all of the amazing blogs that create such great, thoughtful content week after week.
Strawberry Cake via Saveur (with a Bon-Appetempt option)
16 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened, plus more for greasing pans
3 cups flour, plus more for pans
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup seedless strawberry jam
3 tbsp. red food coloring (optional)
2 cups sugar
1 cup canola oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 1-lb. box confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 tsp. strawberry extract (or, for the extract-challenged, 1/4 cup mashed fresh strawberries?)
Heat oven to 350°. Grease and flour two 9″ round cake pans; set aside. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside. Whisk together milk, jam, and 2 tbsp. food coloring in a small bowl; set aside. Beat together sugar, oil, vanilla, and eggs in a mixer on medium-high speed until pale and smooth, 2–3 minutes. In 3 additions, alternately add dry and wet ingredients to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with dry; mix until combined. Divide batter between prepared pans and smooth tops; bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle of cakes comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes, unmold, then cool completely.
In a large bowl, beat butter and cream cheese on high speed of a mixer until smooth and fluffy, 1–2 minutes. Add remaining food coloring, confectioners' sugar, and strawberry extract; beat until smooth. Place one cake upside down on a cake stand, and spread a healthy amount of frosting over top. Cover with second cake, top side up; frost top and sides of cakes with remaining frosting; refrigerate for 1 hour before serving. Serve at room temperature.