Strawberries & Cream Cake

February 6, 2013 by Ali

Strawberries and Cream "Heart" Cake | gimmesomeoven.com

Conversation heart cake success!!!

I have been dreaming about making this cake ever since conversation hearts first landed in the stores this season. I mean, what could be better — you can have your cake, and eat it too, and read it too!! ;)

Although I have a bit of an irrational fear of baking layer cakes. So I played it safe and went with a nice small 6-inch cake as I’m working my way into the 8- and 9-inch territory. But you could easily turn this into a larger cake if you’d like! As far as the decorating technique goes, it couldn’t be simpler — just layer on zillions of conversation hearts! It takes a little while, especially if you get distracted reading all of the cute sayings, but it actually went much more quickly than I thought. And it was all the better with an episode of “Nashville” on in the background for some cake decorating country music serenading. (Yes, I’m obssessed – 11 episodes in one week and counting.)

I’m also completely happy to report that my experiment with the inside of the cake was just as exciting as the outside! But alas, I literally got on such a roll with taking photos of the outside of the cake that I totally forgot to snap a pic of the inside. (I told you, I’m a layer cake rookie!) But trust me that this recipe for a strawberries and cream cake is absolutely incredible. The strawberry cake is 100% fresh –no food coloring, no Jello, no cake mix, nada. Just a great scratch cake flavored with strawberry puree. And then of course, the entire cake is hugged with rich cream cheese frosting. Absolutely delicious. And as my friend said, it is way better than any box mix. Success!

So as one of the conversation hearts said, “I M SURE” that this cake definitely made my day, and I hope it will make yours! Happy Valentine’s Day, friends!

Strawberries and Cream "Heart" Cake | gimmesomeoven.com

Strawberries and Cream Cake

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: 8-12 Servings

Ingredients

    Strawberry Cake Ingredients:
  • 16 ounces frozen whole strawberries (2 cups)
  • 3/4 cup milk, room temperature
  • 6 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups cake flour
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 12 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces and softened
  • Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients:
  • 2 (8 oz.) bricks cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 6-8 cups powdered sugar
  • Topping Ingredients:
  • 1 (16 oz.) bag conversation hearts

Method

To Make The Cake:

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 9-inch round cake pans, line bottoms with parchment, grease parchment, and flour. (**I used two 6-inch round cake pans, although there is enough batter for three 6-inch cake pans if desired. You can follow Wilton's guidelines for cake sizes and batter here.

Transfer strawberries to bowl, cover, and microwave until strawberries are soft and have released their juice, about 5-7 minutes, stirring once halfway through. Place strawberries in a fine-mesh strainer set over small saucepan. Firmly press fruit dry (juice should measure at least 3/4 cup); discard strawberry solids. Bring juice to boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until syrupy and reduced to 1/4 cup, 6 to 8 minutes.

Whisk together strawberry juice, milk, egg whites, and vanilla in bowl, and set aside.

Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt on low speed until combined. Add butter, 1 piece at a time, and mix until only pea-size pieces remain, about 1 minute. Add half of strawberry mixture, increase speed to medium-high, and beat until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Reduce speed to medium-low, add remaining milk mixture, and beat until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Give batter final stir by hand, being sure to mix in any clumps on the bottom of the pan.

Scrape equal amounts of batter into two prepared 9-inch round pans, and bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking. (Or if using 6-inch round pans, pour 2 cups of batter into each prepared pan, bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, baking 25 to 30 minutes.) Cool cakes in pans on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove cakes from pans, discarding parchment, and cool completely, about 2 hours.

Use a knife or a cake leveler to level out the cakes so that they are perfectly flat. Then add a thick and even layer of frosting on top of the first cake, and set the second cake on top. Continue to frost the entire cake with a very thin layer of frosting for the "crumb coat" (to seal in the crumbs). Then go back over the entire cake and frost with a thicker layer of frosting for the final coat. Layer with conversation hearts, beginning at the bottom and working your way to the top and center. (**You will want to work as quickly as possible so that the frosting stays moist for sticking.**)

Serve immediately, or store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

To Make The Frosting:

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the cream cheese and butter on medium speed until smooth. Add the sugar and vanilla and mix at low speed until combined. If you need to thicken the frosting, add more powdered sugar. If you need to thin, add a teaspoon or two of milk.

**For easier slicing, I recommend placing the hearts in vertical rows instead of alternately spaced. You also totally don't need to eat ALL of the hearts. They can be decor. ;)

Strawberries and Cream 'Heart' Cake | gimmesomeoven.com

Strawberries and Cream "Heart" Cake | gimmesomeoven.com

Strawberries and Cream "Heart" Cake | gimmesomeoven.com

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About Ali

Ali Ebright is a freelance recipe developer and food writer/photographer, and blogs at Gimme Some Oven and Gimme Some Life. She also loves all things music, traveling near and far, actually making things from Pinterest, cozying up with a good book and her sweet pup, Henry, and spending time with a wonderful group of friends. Come say hello and follow Ali on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ & Instagram.

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70 thoughts on “Strawberries & Cream Cake

  1. Ali,
    What a colorful work of art. I love it. And I can just about imagine how absolutely delicious your cake is, too. I have always love these valentine heart candies ever since childhood. Thank you for a very cheerful introduction to a fun Valentine’s Day.
    I selected your masterpiece as my featured favorite thing this week on:
    Alison’s Favorite Things & Places to Discover
    http://www.facebook.com/AlisonsFavoriteThingsandPlacestoFindThem

    Sincerely,
    Ali, too!

    - Alison D. Gilbert

  2. A lovly cake. Just grate for Valentines!

    - Claudia

  3. I LOVE this cake!!! I will be making this and using the candy this Valentine’s day. Thank you for sharing!

    - Karen Gentry

  4. Impressive! It must take a TON of patience to place all of those hearts just so. Well done! : )

    - Heather - Chickabug

  5. I just made this 4 a party & it’s a show stopper! And then I tried to cut it. It was a mess because the hearts did not cut through. I will definitely make the cake again with different cake flavors, but I’ll line up the candies in vertical rows 2 make slicing easier & neater. This one’s a keeper!

    - Pam

  6. Stay still my heart! This is pure genius Ali!

    - Roxana | Roxana's Home Baking

  7. I just made this cake for a friend’s Valentine’s birthday. She absolutely LOVED it. I posted some pics on my sight because it was so beautiful, with a link-back to your page. http://www.whatsanniemaking.com/conversation-heart-cake/

    - Annie @ What's Annie Making

  8. I’m totally crushing on this cake!!

    - Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust

  9. Oh my word. Could this be any more cute or Valentines-y? Personally, I think those little candy hearts are from the devil, but my family would totally be feeling the love if I made them this!

    - Karly

  10. This is officially the cutest cake I’ve ever seen. Ever. And I’m a Valentine’s Day scrooge, so that’s really saying something.

    - Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe

  11. shut the front door! that is an amazing cake!!!

    - a farmer in the dell

  12. This is the cutest cake, ever!

    - Kristen

  13. This is amazing! Awesome cake. :) But I’m dying to know what the inside looks like. Do you hate cutting layer cakes, too? ;)

    - Erin @ Texanerin Baking

  14. Wow! Soooo adorable and the cake sounds delish! I will try to make this over the weekend…my kids will love it! Thank you!

    - Frances

  15. I’m curious. I know you couldn’t cut through the hearts to cut the cake, so tell me, when you removed the hearts to cut it, was there any of the frosting still ‘on’ the cake?? Thanks & have a happy Valentines Day.

    - SHERON

  16. Holy cannoli! This is amazing!! I just made a very different kind of conversation heart cake. I think both versions need to get together for a crazy conversation heart party! ;)

    - Kelly @ Studio DIY

  17. I just saw this on Pinterest. This is SOOOOOO cute!!!!!

    - Linda

  18. Awww, this is so much fun for Valentine’s Day! I love the idea of the strawberries and cream cake, I definitely want to try it this spring!

    - Tracey

  19. Perfectly adorable.

    - Tasha @ Homemade

  20. What a super decorating idea for small kids. I’m going to do this!

    - Lana

  21. SO cute! Love this cake!

    - Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

  22. This is truly amazing. What a gorgeous, gorgeous cake. I would love to make this one day…thank you for posting!

    - Emily

  23. ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh this is so perfect!!!!!!!!!!

    - Katrina @ In Katrina's Kitchen

  24. Ali, wow! This is so amazing! Jason would be so happy if I make this for him!

    - Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious

  25. This is the most adorable cake ever!

    - Kathryn

  26. Holy cow! That is soooo crazy adorable!

    xo
    summer

    - summer

  27. Love the all-natural strawberry cake recipe! I’m going to try turning it into cupcakes for my family to enjoy for Valentine’s. Maybe I’ll decorate each cupcake with a conversation heart or two as well!

    - Liz

  28. That is just ridiculous cute! I need to make it for my sweeties.

    - Sommer@ASpicyPerspective

  29. OK, you’ve done it. Valentine’s Day perfection! I have the same odd fear of baking layer cakes, but doing a smaller cake like this is a great idea. Thanks so much for sharing!

    - little kitchie

  30. So creative and a fun treat for Valentine’s Day!

    - Jennifer @ Mother Thyme

  31. I love the conversation hearts so much I can’t stand it. What an awesome and adorable idea!

    - Jen @ Eat. Swim. Shop.

  32. This is so sweet. Seriously well-done! I don’t think I could have had the patience to add all of these little hearts!

    - Cassie | Bake Your Day

  33. absolutely adorable.

    - Mackenzie {SusieFreakingHomemaker}

  34. That is one amazing looking cake!!!

    - Jocelyn @BruCrew Life

  35. What a fun cake!

    - shelly (cookies and cups)