When I found the recipe, I copied and pasted into an email and forwarded it to David while he was at work. The subject line said, "A possible birthday treat?" His simple reply was this, "Yes, please!" And it was wonderful! My favorite part of the cake was the frosting, though. The strawberry cream cheese icing is good enough (and not too overly sweet) to just eat with a spoon. I know this because I have eaten several spoonfulls of it! :) The cake recipe calls for two sticks of butter, but I only used one (because I misread the recipe), but it still turned out great! It's a very moist cake with a slight strawberry flavor. The cake isn't pink like boxed strawberry cake mixes...in fact, it comes out a little brown because of a chemical reaction between the strawberries, the other ingredients, and the heat from baking. (I'm not a very scientific person, but that's the best way I can explain it. In other words, don't be concerned when your cake is brown. It will be delicious!)
Here's a picture of David and me at the wedding in St. Louis last weekend. We had a great time on our little trip and were so glad to be there for Daniel and MaryBeth's special day.
Strawberry Sheet Cake
12 oz. fresh strawberries, stems removed and chopped (about 3 cups)
2 cups sugar, plus 2 teaspoons
2 cups flour
2 sticks of butter (I used one, and it was fine)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon baking soda
Over the chopped strawberries, sprinkle 2 teaspoons of sugar and 1/4 cup of water. Let them sit for an hour at room temperature so they can release some of their juices. The berries should reduce to about 1 1/2 cups. In a blender or food processor, crush the berries on a low speed for a few seconds. You want them juicy, but still with some texture. Take 1/2 cup of the strawberry mixture for the frosting and leave the remaining crushed strawberries for the cake.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease and flour a 9x13 inch pan.
Sift the sugar and flour together in a bowl.
Melt the butter on low in a saucepan and then whisk it with the eggs, buttermilk, vanilla, and baking soda. Add the liquid to the flour and then stir in one cup of the crushed strawberries.
Pour batter into the pan and bake for 20 - 25 minutes. Cake is done when a knife comes out clean from the center. Let it cool and then frost with the strawberry cream cheese frosting (recipe below).
Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 stick butter, at room temperature
8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup crushed strawberries
2 tsp. lime juice (about half a lime)
1/4 tsp. lime zest
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Whip together the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Slowly add the powdered sugar until blended. Add the strawberries, lime juice, lime zest, and vanilla. Spread over cooled cake.
Note: Depending on how juicy your berries are, your icing may be runnier than usual. If this is the cake, add more cream cheese to thicken it up.