This Strawberry Cake from scratch is covered in a thick layer of Pistachio Buttercream and flavored with fresh strawberries, strawberry jam and a hint of lime.
This is seriously the BEST strawberry cake from scratch
I would not lie to you, dear reader. This cake is the bomb.
A couple of years ago, I made Strawberry Mojito Cupcakes for a friend's 50th birthday party. They are rich, dense, creamy strawberry cupcakes, flavored with mint, lime, and rum and covered in Mojito Italian Meringue Buttercream. They were a hit. One party guest told me, "There was life before these cupcakes, and life after these cupcakes..."
So, when creating the recipe for this Strawberry Cake, I started with that cupcake recipe. I made a few modifications to ensure that the larger cakes would rise as well as the small cupcakes, but the end result is basically the same: an intensely strawberry cake that's dense and unbelievably moist.
This strawberry cake is not anything like what you get from those airy, slightly artificial tasting strawberry cake mixes. The crumb is downright creamy. The batter includes strawberry jam and fresh strawberries in addition to strawberry emulsion.
The strawberry emulsion is completely optional, by the way. It will give your cake a deeper strawberry flavor and more of a pink color. But, the cake is still deliciously strawberry and gorgeously pink without it.
If you've been reading this blog for a while, you know what a fan I am of Italian Meringue Buttercream. With a few exceptions, it's really the only frosting I ever make. I don't really like frosting, you see. Never have. But I LOVE Italian Meringue Buttercream.
It's not too sweet, and so ridiculously creamy that it literally melts on your tongue. If you, like me, have never really liked frosting, I promise you'll like Italian Meringue Buttercream.
Until now, my favorite version of Italian Meringue Buttercream was the Salted Caramel version. No longer. Pistachio is my new fave. It tastes like Pistachio gelato. And I ADORE Pistachio gelato.
In order to achieve a delicious, rich pistachio flavor in this Pistachio Italian Meringue Buttercream, I've used Pistachio Paste. Honestly, I never knew Pistachio Paste ever existed until I used it in this Buttercream.
When I set out to make a Pistachio version of Italian Meringue Buttercream, I did some searching on Amazon to find a good flavoring option and came across Pistachio Paste. It works beautifully.
It's kind of pricy, but so delicious that I feel it's worth it for those special occasions on which you want to spoil people with Pistachio Buttercream. I mean, it's not something you're probably going to use every day. Although, I would really like to use it every day.
Ever since baking this cake, I can't stop thinking about all the other ways I can use it... in cookies, perhaps? Swirled into brownies? Maybe in a pistachio cream filled danish? Yum. I want to bake all those things.
But first, it's time for another slice of this.
Used in this Strawberry Cake Recipe:
- 1 recipe Italian Meringue Buttercream, the Pistachio flavored version
- 1 ½ cups good quality strawberry jam (18 oz)
- The zest from 6 small limes
- 6 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 4 tablespoon cornstarch
- 4 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
- 4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoon butter (1 stick), melted and cooled to room temperature
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 6 large egg whites + 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 ½ cup plain, unsweetened full-fat yogurt (preferably Greek yogurt), at room temperature
- 4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoon strawberry emulsion (optional)
- 2 cups fresh strawberries, diced
MAKE THE CAKE:
- Preheat oven to 350 and prepare three 8-inch cake pans as follows: Grease the inside of each pan with vegetable shorting. Cut three 8-inch parchment paper rounds and lay them inside each pan to cover the bottoms. Lightly grease the parchment paper with vegetable shorting. Shake some all-purpose flour around the inside of each pan to coat the bottom and sides.
- In a small bowl, stir together the strawberry jam, lime zest, and lime juice until combined. Set aside.
- Add the cornstarch, flour, baking powder, and salt to a medium size bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside.
- In a medium size bowl, beat the egg whites with a wire whisk or hand-held electric mixer until firm peaks form. Set aside.
- Add the melted butter, sugar, and whole eggs to the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on high speed for 2 minutes, until well combined and lightened.
- Add the yogurt and flour mixtures in 4 alternating additions, beginning and ending with the flour. Beat for about 20-30 seconds at medium speed after each addition - just long enough to incorporate each addition fully.
- Add the vanilla and strawberry extracts along with the jam and lime juice mixture to the batter and beat on medium speed for 1 minute to combine.
- With a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, stir in the chopped strawberries. Gently fold in about ⅓ of the beaten egg whites to lighten the batter. Gently fold in the remaining egg whites, just to combine.
- Spoon batter evenly into prepared pans and bake in preheated oven for 45-55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into one of the cakes comes out mostly clean, without raw cake batter clinging to it. The tops of the cakes will be cracked slightly, and just starting to pull away from the sides of the pan.
- Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Turn each cake out of its pan and allow it to cool completely on wire racks before frosting.
- Frost and decorate with Pistachio Italian Meringue Buttercream.
The frosted cake will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Unfrosted strawberry cakes will keep, tightly wrapped, at room temperature for up to 1 day or frozen for up to 3 months.
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