It was clear that I would make a small yet mighty Strawberry Cake, but with or without fondant, with strawberries in the batter or the frosting, or both?
An hour of surfing through the net later, I felt inspired by the pictures of the cakes of Cake Bake & Sweets Show and Good Eats ‘n Sweet Treats and knew exactly what look I was going for! However, the recipe still had to be found…
Lately, I have often come across a recipe called “Mircale Cake” on various websites. The miracle lies in its ingredients for one can add any desired liquid to the cake and therefore flavor the cake any way one wants. I decided to give this miracle cake (recipe by Zuckersüße Tortengrüße) a try and use strawberry juice as liquid. I wanted the frosting to be not too sweet and made of as many strawberries as possible. Yet it had to be firm enough so I could coat my cake with it and pour warm chocolate glaze over it. I decided on a variation of a German Buttercream, which I think is amazing. 😀
The baking and assembling of this cake was surprisingly easy and fast and even a newbie to baking could master it.
The cake turned out exactly as I had imagined it! Light and not too sweet, slightly chocolaty and fruity. 🙂
❤ The look of the cake speaks for itself! ❤
For the batter (makes 2 cake rounds Ø 16cm) you will need:
- 3 eggs
- 150g sugar
- 1 pkg vanilla sugar
- 150ml oil
- 150ml liquid (here: strawberry juice)
- 225g flour
- 1/2 pkg baking powder
Once you have all the ingredients and equipment ready, line your baking pans with parchment paper and turn your oven to 350°Fahrenheit/ 180°Celsius air circulation (390°Fahrenheit/200°Celsius bottom and top heat).
Lining baking pans? If you do not know what this means, check it out here!
Combine eggs, sugar and vanilla sugar in a big bowl and beat with an elextric whisk until light and fluffy. As soon as the volume has doubled, interchangeably add a bit of oil and a bit of liquid to the egg mixture beating vigorously in between. Lastly, fold in the flower and baking powder using a spatula.
Generously soak the cakes’ tops (allow 10 minutes to rest, then turn over) and bottoms with syrup (syrup recipe down below, as usual this step is optional) as long as they are still warm.
My cakes baked pretty evenly and were ca. 4.5cm high. As soon as the cakes are cool, one can start cutting them into layers. However, I would advise you to wrap the cooled cakes in cling wrap and store them in the fridge for one night. Since these are yellow sponges, you need to cut off one crust (top or bottom) of each cake! Then cut each cake round into 2 layers ca. á 2.25cm.
How to cut a cake into layers is further described here (just scroll down a bit).
Opinion: The miracle cake turned out fine and was very delicious. 😛 However, the cake was quite soft and kind of crumbly. I would not suggest this version of the miracle cake for thin layers or 3D-cakes. I would guess that the cake’s consistency varies with the choice of liquid (yoghurt, buttermilk, alcohol) and I will definitely give this cake another try and see how it turns out then. 😉
For the vanilla syrup (optional!) you will need:
- 60ml water
- 60g sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Boil water and sugar in a pot. As soon as all the sugar granules have dissolved and the syrup has slightly thickened, set the syrup aside. Once the syrup has cooled stir in the vanilla extract. Done!
For the Strawberry Vanilla Buttercream you will need:
First things first…
This recipe yields just enough buttercream, so if you like to sample or are afraid you might run out, better make a bit more to be on the safe side!
Furthermore, the custard has to cool down to room termperature, therefore it does make sense to prepare the custard (with the cake rounds) a day in advance and simply leave it out during the night.
German Buttercream is a buttercream made of custard and butter. This recipe is a variation of this buttercream using strawberry custard (substitute pureed strawberries for milk) instead of normal custard!
Wash and liquefy the strawberries. Follow the instructions on the back of the custard powder package or make homemade custard always substituting the pureed strawberries for the milk.
Before continuing, the custard and butter, both need to be at room temperature.
Beat the butter until light and airy and add the custard a spoonfull at a time – beat vigorously in between!
Store the buttercream in the fridge until used!
Once the 4 cake layers are cut and the Strawberry Buttercream is ready, you can begin to put it all together:
- 4 layers
- Strawberry Vanilla Buttercream, cooled
- 6 tsp good quality strawberry jelly (no chunks), heated (so it is nice and liquedy)
- 300g fresh strawberries for decorating
First, spread 2 tsp of jelly onto your first layer of cake, then spread 1/6 of the buttercream over it. Now put the second cake layer on top and spread another thin layer of jelly and then another 1/6 of the buttercream across it. The third cake layer is again topped with 2 tsp of jelly and 1/6 of the buttercream. Lastly, place the last cake layer (crust facing upwards) on top.
As soon as all the cake, jam and buttercream layers are done, refrigerate your cake for at least 30 minutes.
Then it is time to coat your cake. Put the remaining buttercream on top of your cake and use an offset spatula to spread it over the top and push all the excess frosting over the edge. At the end there should be a thin and even layer of buttercream on top and a lot of buttercream running down the sides of your cake. Spread the excess frosting all over the sides of your cake, so that everything is well coated with buttercream.
Now take your dough scraper with the right angle and line it up with the bottom of your board (so the side will automatically be straight) and lightly touch it to the side of your cake. Drag it around the sides of your cake scraping off all the excess frosting and creating a smooth surface. Wipe off all the frosting from your scraper and repeat. Now hold your dough scraper under hot water and drag it one last time around the sides of your cake and across the top of your cake. This will give your cake an extra smooth finish. (small irregularities will be covered by the chocolate ganache – so don’t worry!)
While the buttercream sets for at least 1 hour in the fridge, prepare the strawberries.
Wash the strawberries and cut them into thin and even slices (put one nice and uncut strawberry aside – for the middle of the flower). The outer slices will be placed around the cake later, while the middle slices will be used for the strawberry flower (tip: lay the strawberry slices out as you would on top of the cake in advance, so you know where which piece is going once you decorate them as flower on top of the cake).
For the Ganache (aka the chocolate glaze) you will need:
- 56g heavy cream
- 56g milk chocolate
- 80g dark chocolate
Put your heavy cream into a pot and bring it to a boil. Once it boils, add the chocolate making sure it is completely covered with cream. Take the pot from the stove and wait for a couple of minutes. Then use a wire whisk to stir until the mixture hast turned into a smooth chocolate glaze.
Now take the cooled cake out of the fridge and immediately pour the hot chocolate glaze over it. Right when the chocolate glaze hits the edge of the cake top, stop pouring. Use a pallete knife to gently spread the glaze over the edge so it drips down nicely.
Caution: Since the cake is very cool, the chocolate glaze sets pretty quickly. Don’t take too much time!
Since I needed to transport my cake, I stuck a bubble tea straw right through the middle of the cake. Starting from the outside, I then placed the strawberry slices on top of the cake to form a flower. I pushed the whole strawberry gently onto the sticking out bubble tea straw. At the end, I spread some hazelnut brittle over the top (to oblige to my boyfriend’s wishes :-D).
Tip: Since the strawberries are wet, they will water down the ganache, so try to put the strawberry flower on top at the latest possible point in time. Also, try to cool the cake for as long as possible, preferably right until serving time (or the strawberries will turn brown and mushy).
Have a baketastic baking day,