Here in Florida, it's strawberry season! They are popping up in backyard gardens and available to buy from grocery stores and roadside stands just about everywhere. So last week, my husband and I packed up our girls and headed to a local farm to pick our own berries.
Due to my enthusiastic berry pickers, we ended up with a quite a haul (8 lbs to be exact). I knew a strawberry dessert just had to be made. I have a strawberry cake recipe that I really love, so I whipped a batch of cupcakes using our freshly picked strawberries!
About a year ago I went searching for a strawberry cake recipe that was from scratch. Amazingly, there weren't alot of them out there. But then I found one from a really fun blog Confections of a Foodie Bride. The recipe for Katie's Strawberry Cake From Scratch makes a deliciously moist cake and is now a staple in my cake recipe arsenal. And it always gets rave reviews!
But I do have a habit of tweaking a recipe to my personal tastes and this recipe was no exception. The thing I kept discovering when searching for strawberry cake recipes was that some used only real strawberries (or strawberry puree) and some used only powdered strawberry gelatin for the flavor. The ones using the gelatin just tasted artificial to me. I really wanted to use real strawberries in my cake, but when I tried the strawberry only ones, the taste kept coming up short...just vaguely berry-like. It just wasn't strawberry-ish enough for me!
After reading all the rave reviews Katie's recipe was getting, I figured it was just a matter of personal taste. So I ended up combining the two methods. Now I use the real (fresh or frozen) strawberries to make the puree (& increasing it to one full cup) and add a small amount of powdered strawberry gelatin to boost the flavor! I add a spoonful at a time to the puree until I get the taste I'm looking for. Depending on how sweet the berries are to begin with, I add a little less than 1/2 of a package. The combination of the two just really works for me. I still have the authentic strawberry flavor I want, but the gelatin gives it a deeper pink color and really ups the strawberry flavor!
Enjoy a little strawberry delight for yourself!