A very pink strawberry cake with a moist crumb, a jammy middle and an easy glaze.
Super strawberry and super cute, but otherwise not super sweet.
To make a quick strawberry sauce (for the middle layer and glaze)*
500 g strawberries
250 g caster sugar
For the cake
2 + 1/4 cups plain flour
1 + 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
6 large egg whites (keep the yolks to make ice-cream or another custardy dessert)
3/4 cup milk (skim works just fine)
160 grams butter, softened
1 + 1/2 cups caster sugar
3 tbsp strawberry sauce (above)
For the glaze
1 cup (approx.) icing mixture
3 tbsp strawberry sauce (above)
- To make the strawberry sauce
Hull and roughly chop the strawberries, then add them to a medium saucepan. Heat while stirring over a medium heat/flame until the sugar has turned to syrup (about 5 minutes).
- Grab a stick blender (or transfer the strawberries and syrup to a blender) and blend until all the chunks are gone and you have a smooth, velvety purée.
- Return this purée to the saucepan/stove on a low heat, stirring for about another 10 minutes until it has reduced slightly and most of the froth from the blender has died down. Set aside to cool at room temperature.
- Then onto the cake
Preheat the oven to 155° C and butter a 2L square Pyrex baking dish.
- In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In another bowl, whisk together the egg whites and milk (with a fork will suffice). Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer (with the paddle attachment, if you have one) or a large bowl with hand beaters, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Reduce speed to slow. Add a bit of the flour mixture and a bit of the milk/egg and mix til combined. Continue until you’ve used all the flour and egg/milk.
- Add in 3 tablespoons of your strawberry sauce, and mix until combined.**
- Transfer the batter to the prepared baking dish, flatten out the top with a spatula, and bake for about 60 minutes or until a bamboo skewer comes out clean. You can cover the cake with foil for the last 20 minutes if you think it’s getting a bit too golden on top.
- Place on a cooling rack to cool in the baking dish (this keeps in the moisture).
- When the cake has cooled, turn it out of the baking dish and use a bread knife to slice it into two even layers.
- Spread a nice thick layer of the strawberry sauce all the way to the edges of the lower half (this isn’t jam so it will soak in a tiny bit — be generous). Sandwich the cake back together.
- And finally, the glaze
Sift the icing mixture into a medium bowl, add 3 tablespoons of the strawberry sauce, and whisk the whole lot with a fork until the sugar has dissolved and you have a smooth, slightly runny paste. Add more icing mixture or strawberry sauce to thicken or loosen (respectively) the glaze if needed.
- Slowly and carefully pour the glaze onto the very top/centre of the cooled cake — gravity will send it out to the edges, but you can tidy it up with a butter knife. (The glaze will start to set/thicken as you go, so if you want to control the spread, just go slow and let time do its work.)
- Allow the glaze to set before slicing and serving. With iced tea… or champagne, perhaps?
*This makes, oh, about 5 times as much sauce as you’ll need for this recipe. So feel free to reduce this to as little as 100 grams of strawberries and 50 grams of sugar if you’re not desperately trying to use up strawberries like they’re going out of fashion.
**You can add in a couple of drops of red food colouring now, if you want the cake to be especially pink. I think the naturally super-pink strawberry glaze serves that purpose just fine.