Saturday, April 12, 2014

Strawberry Go-Go Cake like Pioneer Woman makes

Luscious strawberries? Inspiration from Pioneer Woman's show? That's a go-go!

I love strawberries. When I was in high school, I planted 90 strawberry plants for my Future Farmer's of America project. I kept a record book on them. Mom and I made a lot of strawberry jam and strawberry shortcake. I should have tried to sell them at the Farmer's Market, but I guess I was way to busy with my social life. Oh well...anyway, I love strawberries!

You see those strawberries we got this week? Humongous! They are really sweet, too. I don't know if they are from Bautista Farms or which local grower, I will have to ask Rachael from SLO Veg about that, but they sure are lovely. They usually end up in a smoothy because I don't have time in the middle of the week to make something, but really strawberries are nice eaten right out of the basket, or sliced with a splash of balsamic vinegar, or dipped in sour cream and rolled in brown sugar...all good!

But my Mom used to make strawberry shortcake in a 9x13 sheet pan using her sweet biscuit dough recipe, and that's what I like. Ree's recipe this morning reminded me of my Mom's cake, so I had to try it out. I deviated slightly by substituting 1/2 cup of coconut flour to give the cake a more dense texture and see how that turns out. Mom used Bisquick, but I don't keep that around...I prefer to mix my own. Also, I had the foresight to use a springform cake pan. My cake came out at little crispy on the edges, and I don't think it would have come out of a regular cake pan in one piece. I was a little nervous about slicing it in half, so I waited until it really cooled down.

Ree's frosting looked really, really good with butter and cream cheese as the base. I decided I must try it out, and then I can make it for my daughter's birthday in June if it turns out okay. She loves strawberries and angel food cake, but this may be a nice twist.

So my cake fell a little in the middle, probably due to the heaviness of the coconut flour. It just made my layers not exactly level, but after I cover it with sweet, mashed strawberries and luscious cream cheese frosting, I don't think anyone will notice.

This is Ree's recipe which I followed, except for the flour. I put the changes in parenthesis. I probably didn't use 1-1/2 pounds of powdered sugar, either. Maybe like a pound. Not sure because I didn't weigh it. But I guess I should have, because I didn't have enough to frost the cake all the way down. Sigh. Oh well, I am sure it will taste good anyway, despite its flaws. The guys know better than to complain, too.

Strawberry Shortcake Cake
Recipe courtesy of Ree Drummond


Strawberry Shortcake:
9 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, 
plus more for greasing
1 1/2 cups flour, plus more for dusting
(1 C flour + 1 C cocnut flour)
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups plus two tablespoons sugar
3 whole large eggs
1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pound strawberries, plus more to garnish
1 1/2 pounds powdered sugar, sifted
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Special equipment: 8-inch cake pan that's at least 2-inches deep! Before baking, the batter should not fill the pan more than halfway.

For the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour an 8-inch cake pan.

Sift together flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt. In stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter with 1 1/2 cups of the sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the sour cream and vanilla, and mix until combined. Add the sifted dry ingredients and mix on low speed until just barely combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan. Bake until no longer jiggly like my bottom, 45 to 50 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan as soon as you pull it out of the oven. Place the cake on a cooling rack and allow it to cool completely.

Stem the strawberries and mash them. Sprinkle the strawberries with the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and allow to sit for 30 minutes.

For the icing: Combine the powdered sugar, cream cheese, butter, vanilla and dash of salt in a mixing bowl. Mix until very light and fluffy.

Slice the cake in half to make two smaller cakes. Spread the strawberries evenly over each cut side of cake, pouring on all the juices as well. Place the cake halves into the freezer for 5 minutes, just to make icing the cake easier.

Remove the cake halves from the freezer. Use a little less than one-third of the icing to spread over the top of the strawberries on the bottom layer. Place the second layer of cake on top. Add half of the remaining icing to the top spreading evenly, then spread the remaining icing around the sides.

Leave plain or garnish with strawberry halves, serve slightly cool.

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