My husband's thirtieth birthday was yesterday. He requested a very specific cake for the occasion, a strawberry cake with cream cheese frosting. I'm pretty sure that Jeff wouldn't care if I made it with a box mix and frosting from a can, but I just couldn't live with myself if I did that. Gross.
This baby is from scratch, and I'm really happy with the results.
makes 2 8" round layers
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp salt
3 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1 strawberry Jell-O packet (3 oz)
1/2 10-oz package of strawberries, slightly thawed and pureed
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease two 8" round cake pans with butter or baking spray and dust with flour. Make sure to tap out the excess.
Cream the shortening and the sugar together in the bowl of an electric stand mixer. Add the remaining ingredients in order starting with the eggs. Mix for 30 seconds at a low speed and then high for 3 minutes. The batter will be the consistency of thick, melted strawberry ice cream.
Pour into the cake pans and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then flip each pan over onto the rack, tapping gently to remove the cakes.
Let the cakes cool completely before frosting.
(adapted from MarthaStewart.com)
2 (8 oz) packages of cream cheese at room temp
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temp
1 (2 lb) bag of confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (I prefer clear in this application)
Place cream cheese and butter in the bowl of your electric stand mixer. Beat with the paddle attachment until creamy, about 30 seconds.
Add sugar in parts, using a spatula to scraped down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Add vanilla and mix at a medium speed until fluffy. (I prefer to use my whisk attachment for this so I can add a bit of air for extra fluffiness)
(This recipe will most likely make more frosting than you'll, but it's better safe than sorry. It's pretty tasty on graham crackers, I promise.)