Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Strawberry Forest Cake

I was highly delinquent in making a cake for my friend Erin's birthday (it was in June!) due to a lot of major life changes happening around then, so when she asked for a Black Forest Cake, but made with strawberries instead of cherries, I knew I had to go all-out. Incidentally, I had previously made a cake similar to this (but with chocolate almond whipped cream), but that was before I started blogging. So now, I get to actually blog the recipe! I have dubbed it Strawberry Forest Cake. I did, however, learn a very important lesson: leveling cake layers is NOT optional. This cake makes very thin layers (I might 1.5x the recipe next time), so I didn't want to lose what precious little cake I had by leveling it. So when I drove across town to my friend's apartment to deliver said cake, the layers shifted EVERYWHERE. And, of course, I didn't get a "before" picture. Just trust me on the fact that this cake tasted better than it looked.

Strawberry Forest Cake
(adapted from
  • 2 1/8 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 c. white sugar, divided
  • 3/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 c. milk
  • 1/2 c. canola oil
  • 2 Tbl. vanilla extract, divided
  • 1 c. strawberry liqueur, divided
  • 16 oz. frozen strawberries
  • 16 oz. fresh strawberries
  • 1/4 c. cornstarch
  • 4 c. heavy whipping cream
  • 1/3 to 1/2 c. powdered sugar

Combine flour, 2 c. white sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Stir in eggs, milk, oil, and 1 Tbl. vanilla extract just until blended. Grease two 9-in. cake pans and "flour" using cocoa powder. Divide batter evenly between the two pans. Bake for ~30 min at 350 degrees (check earlier if your oven runs hot!). Cool in pans for 10 minutes, then remove to cooling racks to cool completely.

While the cake is baking, make the strawberry filling. Wash and quarter the fresh strawberries. Put them in a large saucepan with 1/2 c. white sugar (add a little more or a little less depending on how sweet your strawberries are) and frozen strawberries. Whisk cornstarch together with 1/2 c. strawberry liqueur until smooth, then add to the pan with strawberries and stir to combine everything. Heat to boiling, and boil a couple minutes, or until filling thickens. Remove from heat, and cool completely.

Whip the cream until it starts to thicken, then add powdered sugar and vanilla to taste (I used closer to 4 tsp. vanilla because I LOVE vanilla). Continue beating until the cream holds stiff peaks.

To assemble cake
Level the cake layers, then split each in two. Take one of the (flat) bottom layers, and put it cut-side up on serving plate (hint: put waxed paper under the very edges of the cake so that it keeps the serving plate clean). Brush generously with 2 Tbl. strawberry liqueur. Spread with a layer of whipped cream, then top with 1/4 of the strawberry filling. Top with the next layer of cake. Brush with liqueur, then top with whipped cream and strawberry filling. Repeat once more (you should now have 3 layers completed). Take the last bottom layer and put it, cut side down, on top of the cake. Brush with 2 Tbl. liqueur. Frost the sides of the cake with remaining whipped cream, and pipe a "fence" of rosettes around the top of the cake using the whipped cream (it doesn't pipe well, but that's ok). Top the cake with the last 1/4 of the strawberry filling.

Enjoy! Like I said, it tasted better than it looked!


  1. That looks delicious!! And, I wanted to let you know that I nominated you for a blog award!

  2. Thanks! Also, are you sure we're not related? ;) My mom still hides me and Brownie's Easter baskets, and our dad always says that he "lives to eat, rather than eat to live"!