LUCY BURDETTE: I know, you've seen a lot of strawberry recipes come out of this blog--and strawberry season is almost over! But I couldn't resist sharing this last cake. If we were forced to choose, I think it was our favorite.
And also in the good news department, I made it as a sheetcake. So not only does it serve a good-sized crowd, there's no fussing with layers. I'm pretty sure Hayley Snow will be making this for a special wedding pre-celebration in KILLER TAKEOUT (coming next April.) Not saying whose, in case you haven't finished FATAL RESERVATIONS...
And it would be perfect for reading while snacking on Daryl's new book, FUDGING THE BOOKS, and Peg's BERRIED SECRETS! Congratulations you two!!
For the strawberry cake:
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups cake flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 cup buttermilk
Butter well a 9 by 13 inch pan, and heat oven to 350.
Using an electric mixer or food processor, beat the butter with the sugar until light and fluffy. Beat the eggs in one at a time. Beat in the lemon juice and vanilla extract. Combine the flour, salt, and baking powder in a small bowl. Add the flour to the butter mixture, alternating with adding the buttermilk. (I used a cup of milk with one tablespoon of cider vinegar instead of buttermilk.)
Pulse in the chopped strawberries until they are small pieces and the batter begins to look pink.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 40 minutes until a toothpick stuck in the center comes out dry. Cool the cake on a wire rack.
For the strawberry icing:
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chopped strawberries
1/3 cup sugar
Beat the cream cheese with the strawberries until mostly smooth. Add the vanilla and half the sugar, beat that in. Whip the cream with the remaining sugar until thick. Fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese/strawberry mixture. Spread the icing on the cooled cake and refrigerate until serving. Decorate with strawberries if desired.
FATAL RESERVATIONS is on bookshelves now!
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