Of course I love it, because I love my friends and I am so happy to have a way to show that love. But I think sometimes I subconsciously feel like my friends will rate how much they think I love them by how nice my cakes are. Or perhaps it's just my ego wanting to show off. Hmmm....
In the course of one month, I have had two baby shower cakes and a wedding cake to do for friends. I have finished one and have two to go.
The first one was for a friend who is having a baby girl. I have noticed that most women don't eat much cake (what's up with that, ladies?), so I opted for baby cupcakes and one small 6 inch cake for a centerpiece. Normally speaking, my talent lies in making delicious cakes rather than extravagantly beautiful ones, so I was a little hesitant to go at it with fondant. I am very glad I did. It turned out oh so cute, and also was commented on by someone who's often hard to please as being, "The best cake I ever tasted." That made me feel good!
I actually even surprised myself at how good the cake tasted, even with the fondant. Being that the shower was for a baby girl, I opted for a strawberry cake in order to stick with a pink theme. Moms take note- this caked used for a birthday could seriously make a little girl flip her lid. The recipe didn't have a recommended icing, so I used a basic cream cheese icing, and all I have to say is mmmmm.
I can't believe I didn't take any photos of the finished cake table. I forgot about it all when the shower started, and if I keep doing that I'm never going to build up a decent portfolio. What I do have for you today is the recipe for that surprisingly delicious strawberry cake.
Normally I am a purist, and would not support putting something as unnatural as Jell-O brand gelatin in anything that I am making. However, a good strawberry cake is hard to find, and the Jell-O adds a lot in color and strawberry flavor- especially during the times of year when vibrant, sweet fresh strawberries might be lacking. It's fairly simple to make a 1/2 cup of strawberry puree. Just trim roughly 8 ounces of strawberry and stick them in a blender til there's no chunks left.
- 2 cups white sugar
- 1 (3 ounce) package strawberry flavored gelatin
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 4 eggs (room temperature)
- 2 3/4 cups sifted cake flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 cup whole milk, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup strawberry puree made from fresh strawberries
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour two 9 inch round cake pans.
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugar and dry strawberry gelatin until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time, mixing well after each. Combine the flour and baking powder; stir into the batter alternately with the milk. Blend in vanilla and strawberry puree. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a small knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow cakes to cool in their pans over a wire rack for at least 10 minutes, before tapping out to cool completely.