Monday, October 5, 2009

Strawberry birthday cake

Lucky Abigail got to have two birthday cakes this year. (Yes, her birthday was in January and I still haven't finished blogging about it. Maybe in 2010 I'll be more timely in my topics. Maybe.) We decided it would be simpler to have two small parties, one with family and one with a few friends, than to have one large party. Between our smallish house, age differences, and out-of-town family, we just thought this was a better solution.

Both parties were Strawberry Shortcake themed because I love Strawberry Shortcake and have since I was about three or four years old. Her nursery is decorated in Strawberry Shortcake too. (I figured I'd get in my style while I had a chance.) I blogged about her Strawberry Shortcake decorated cake a while back.

I was raised by a baker and have been baking cakes from scratch (that's without a cake mix if you're not familiar with the term) since I was about nine or ten. I knew I wanted to make a strawberry flavored cake for the family party, and I used the same recipe I found online a few years ago. Actually, I found several cake recipes and several icing recipes and mixed and matched until I was happy with the results.

Here's a tip I learned the hard way when making this cake once: make sure you have enough powdered sugar on hand. I've tried making the icing with granulated sugar and it's just not good. It's too grainy and texture is so important in baking. It's worth it to have the correct ingredients. (Not to say experimentation isn't good either, but it's important to know what your end result should be before you start experimenting.)

I use a basic buttermilk recipe that calls for frozen strawberries and strawberry jello. The cream cheese icing uses fresh strawberries that are then drained. Obviously, I don't do a great job since the icing is falling off the cake. I have yet to make a strawberry cream cheese icing that is stiff enough. If anyone has any tips, let me know!

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