I tried… after my first failed attempt at baking a strawberry cake in order to use up some nasty-looking, dying strawberries (that I bought hungry and on sale… natch) in my fridge, my ego was so bruised I didn’t think I was up for it again. You see, stupid me kind of forgot one ingredient as she was cooking. It’s sooooo easy to leave off the baking powder, right? Yes. I forgot to add baking powder. That’s how bad I am at baking. I love to eat but never really had that much of a sweet tooth so I never really baked. Growing up, buying anything sweet in my family’s house was a rare occasion. My mom was by no means a mini-Hitler, she didn’t try to deprive us of sweets (ok, maybe she did), but it was a special occasion if we had sweets around. Maybe cousins came for the weekend and my mom wanted to pretend like we weren’t freaks. Maybe it was that one week a year that we rented a house “down the Jersey shore” and mom allowed us to each pick out one sugar cereal for the week. Maybe mom was feeling like she wanted to be more domestic so she would buy that Tollhouse cookie dough and pretend it came from scratch? Those were really the only times I ate sweets growing up.
So, maybe I’m trying to blame everyone and everything else for this crappy attempt at cooking. Ok, I can’t believe I’m doing this, but I’m going to put a picture of my baking soda-less ‘cake’ here:
Delicious, right? Are you still there? Do you still love us? Could you possible forgive me for not knowing how to cook sweets? PLLLLEEEAAAASSSEEE, I’m on my knees beggin’.
Well, the next day I dusted myself off, wiped my tears and snot away and threw that flour-stained apron on for one last attempt. This time I’ll used the baking soda!! I also changed recipes. Pixie at You Say Tomato had a sweet idea to bake better and more easily – check off the ingredients you’ve used and the steps you’ve finished. Brilliant!! So, I did it. Here’s the result.
I used some Nigella Lawson icing recipe but I have to tell you that two days after I made the cake, alot of the icing actually was absorbed by the cake instead of staying on the cake. Maybe this is a normal thing and most people finish cakes in 2 days. Hey, there’s only two of us here! I was also able to use a bit more of the blood oranges from this post to color the icing a bit pink.
Anyways, I’m sure I haven’t inspired you to bake with this post, but I had to share the story of a “Girl Baker Gone Wild”. I may leave the baking to the husband from now on.
STRAWBERRY BUNDT CAKE WITH ROYAL ICING
Ingredients for Cake:
- 3 cups cake flour (or substitute 3 1/2 cups of regular flour with 1/2 cup corn starch to make 4 cups of the cake flour “substitute” – remember to only use 3 cups of it, though!)
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder (this is important, remember!!)
- 3/4 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup milk
- 3 large whole eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cup unsalted butter (divided)
- 10-15 fresh strawberries, sliced and mashed with back of a fork
What to do for cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease and flour a 12-cup Bundt pan or tube pan. Tap out any excess flour.
- Sift the cake flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of a standing electric mixer.
- In a medium bowl, using a fork, beat together the sour cream, milk, whole eggs, egg yolks, and vanilla until very well blended and smooth. Add the butter and half the egg mixture to the dry ingredients. Beat at low speed just until thoroughly incorporated. Increase the speed to high and beat for 1 minute; do not overmix.
- Add the remaining egg mixture and beat at medium-high speed until the batter is fluffy and smooth, about 1 minute longer.
- Throw in the sliced/mashed strawberries along with any juice that was extracted and fold into the batter.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared bundt pan. Rap the pan on the counter several times to remove air bubbles. Bake the cake in the middle of the oven for 50 to 60 minutes, or until it is well browned, pulls away from the pan sides, and a toothpick inserted in the thickest part comes out clean.
- Run a thin knife around the pan edges to loosen the cake if necessary, then invert onto a serving plate. Allow to cool before adding icing.
Ingredients for Icing:
- 2 large egg whites (or substitute powdered egg whites)
- 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice plus 1/2 teaspoon blood orange juice (Feel free to just use 1 whole teaspoon of lemon juice if you don’t have any blood orange juice)
What to do for icing:
- Combine the egg whites and confectioners’ sugar in a medium-size mixing bowl and whip with an electric mixer on medium speed until opaque and shiny, about 5 minutes.
- Whisk in the lemon juice/blood orange mixture, this will thin out the icing. Beat for another couple of minutes until you reach the right spreading consistency for the cake. Should be stiff but able to run a bit down the sides of the cake.
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