We celebrated my niece’s first birthday over the weekend. When I found out we’d be having a small celebration for her, I jumped on the opportunity to make her birthday cake. Making all the family’s kids’ birthday cakes has become a bit of a self-imposed tradition, after all! Because of the wee little miss’ love of strawberries, I decided to whip up a fabulous Swiss chocolate cake topped with fresh strawberry butter cream. I have to brag: it turned out magnificently! The cake was delicious and moist, and the icing had just the right amount of strawberry flavour to it. A perfect combo!
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup Dutch process Cocoa Powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
1 cup strong, hot black coffee or espresso
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Prepare 2 x 9″ cake pans with butter and flour or parchment paper.
Sift all the dry ingredients into the bowl of your electric mixer.
Add remaining ingredients to mixture and mix, with your paddle attachment, for 2 minutes on medium speed.
Divide among prepared pans. Batter will be runny.
Bake for 35 minutes. Cakes are done when toothpick or skewer comes clean.
Cool on wire racks for 20 minutes.
Fresh Strawberry Butter cream
1.5 cup fresh strawberries
2 cups unsalted butter
5-6 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
2 tsp vanilla extract
Heavy cream as necessary
Puree the strawberries a blender or using your immersion blender.
Transfer the strawberry puree to a saucepan and heat over medium heat. Bring to a boil and stir often. Reduce the puree by half. This should take approximately 20 minutes. Remove from heat and cool completely. (You can do this step way ahead of time!)
Beat the butter in your electric mixer using your paddle attachment.
Add 1 cup of sugar and beat until just blended.
Add 2 tbsp of puree and the vanilla extract. Beat until just blended.
Add 2 cups of sugar followed by 2 more tbsp of puree. Twice more (I used approximately 6-8 tbsp of puree)
Add the remaining sugar and beat until you achieve the desired consistency. If the buttercream is too runny,add some sifted sugar. If it’s too dry, add some of the heavy cream, about 1 tbsp at a time.