I made a cake for Chelsea’s birthday on Friday. Actually, I made the cake the night before, which was my first mistake (the strawberry juice oozed out of the cake). My second was being more ambitious than I had time to be on a weeknight. And my third was thinking that self-rising flour and cake flour were the same thing. The result was a cake that turned out very different from what I was expecting. This is the first traditional cake I’ve made from scratch, though, so I wasn’t really expecting it to be perfect. It still tasted pretty good, though.
I planned to create a vanilla cake/lightweight frosting/custard and strawberry filling combination that would taste similar to the french vanilla cake with custard and strawberry filling that the Union Catering Service at UT Austin makes. I love that cake! However, my cake turned out VERY dense, and I didn’t have time to make a custard filling, so I just used frosting and strawberries. The frosting, although not well-suited for use with fresh fruit since the juices tend to make it melt, tasted great–I used a recipe my mom used to make.
Magnolia Bakery’s Vanilla Birthday Cake
- Eating this cake was like eating a really thick cookie. The recipe called for self-rising flour and regular flour. I used cake flour instead of self-rising flour, thinking they were the same thing. Bad idea.
- This was also a fairly sweet cake recipe (a little like pound cake), and I was looking for a slightly less sugary, slightly more vanilla-tasting cake recipe.
- I saw another recipe online that used a vanilla bean paste and a little almond extract, which I was tempted to try. If I can find vanilla bean paste, maybe I’ll try that recipe next time. I think I’m looking for something with a less buttery flavor.
- I didn’t think about the ooze factor when I added the filling for this cake. I probably should have only spread the strawberries to about 1/2 to 3/4 inch from the edge of the cake. I spread them to the edge, and as a result they oozed out of the side of the cake when I placed the top layer on and started to frost the outside of the cake. Also, they oozed strawberry juice overnight out of the bottom of the cake.
from the Betty Crocker Cookbook
- I used the recipe from the Betty Crocker Cookbook, but Paula Deen has an almost identical recipe online.
- If you don’t have a double boiler (I don’t either), you can substitute by boiling water in a saucepan and setting a large metal or heat-resistant glass bowl. over the saucepan. The bowl should be big enough so the bottom doesn’t touch the water in the saucepan.
Fills and frosts 2 8″ or 9″ layers or a 13″ x 9″ cake.
Postscript: Strawberry Cream Cheese Cake Squares
I had an extra cake layer from leftover batter, so we put some storebought cream cheese icing and some thin strawberry slices on it. The denseness of the cake was actually pretty nice for this, because it made it easy to hold a square of it and take a bite. Yum!