Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Strawberry Cake Tutorial with Recipe for Homemade Strawberry Filling

My husband's grandmother surprised us with an unexpected visit, so I decided to make a simple cake to celebrate her arrival.  Since we had recently picked some of our first strawberries from our garden, I wanted to showcase our harvest by incorporating them into the cake.  I was able to find a simple recipe for strawberry filling, which was sweet but not overly sweet.  I ended up having twice as much as I needed to fill this three-layer six-inch cake, which was great because there was enough left over to give everyone an extra scoop (yum!). 

Strawberry Filling Recipe

*  1 1/4 cups coarsely chopped strawberries
*  1 1/2 tablespoons corn starch
*  1/4 cup sugar 

Boil for two minutes, stirring constantly.  Allow mixture to cool completely before applying to cake.

This cake was pretty simple to make.  I made a basic vanilla cake and tinted the middle layer pink.  While it was baking, I made the strawberry filling and the bow. Here are a few pictures from the bow-making process.  If you want the complete bow tutorial, check out my Princess Cake blog.

I made the dots by rolling out a thin layer of white fondant and cutting them out with a frosting tip.  Then I attached them to the bow with a tiny bit of piping gel.  I used paper towels to help the bow keep its shape until it had firmed up enough to hold its shape. 

While the cake was cooling, I made some leaves and flowers.  I'm certain that I took pictures during this process, but somehow they seem to have disappeared from my phone...  It's okay, though; this part is pretty easy to explain.  To make the flowers, I rolled out some white fondant and used one of my small flower cutters to cut each flower.  Then I made a small indentation in the center and added a tiny ball of yellow fondant.  For the leaves, I used my smallest rose leaf cutter to cut the fondant, then pressed it onto a veining mat (making lines with a knife/toothpick would have worked, too), and then pinched the base shut.

By the time I had completed this part, the cake was cool, so I leveled it, filled it, stacked it, frosted it, and covered it with fondant.  I used a six-inch cardboard cake circle as a guide to cut out a circular piece of white fondant for the top.  Then I rolled out/cut a piece of green fondant, about 19 inches long and 4 1/2 inches tall, to go around the cake.  I applied it to the cake by rolling it around my rolling pin, and then unrolling it around the cake.  Then I used my clay extruder to add a white border around the top of the cake.

Next, I placed the bow on top, brushing on a thin layer of piping gel to keep it in place.  Then I added four clusters of three leaves around the cake.  I used a small paintbrush to brush piping gel on the cake where I wanted the vines to be, and then I used my clay extruder to make the vines.  Once the vines were in place, I started adding strawberries and flowers.

To make the strawberries, I rolled pre-colored red fondant in my hands and then flattened the back sides of the berries on the counter.  Then I attached them to the cake with piping gel.  Once they were on the cake, I poked little holes in the berries to look like seeds, and then I added a chunk of dark green fondant above the berries for the crown.  I used the curved pointy tool (I can't remember what it's called) to give the crown some definition.

Then I added a few unripened strawberries - my two nephews' favorite kind to pick!  For these berries, I used white fondant, and brushed them with green petal dust.  Then I went around the cake and added berries and vines anywhere there seemed to be gaps.  Here are some zoomed in photos of some of the berry clusters:

To finish the cake, I made a second border to go around the top of the cake (inside the white border).  I did this by extruding two long, thin pieces of green fondant and twisting them together.  I also extruded a flat ribbon border for the base of the cake.  And that's it!  My grandmother-in-law loved the cake (she thought it looked like a hat box) and my nephews enjoyed the unripened strawberries... I told them that I added those berries just for them. :-)

Here are several photos of the finished cake from a variety of angles:



left side



my favorite angle :-)