Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Do you know what’s on the menu yet? If not, perhaps this Strawberry Cinnamon Cake might make it on your dessert menu. If you’re like me, Craig and I like to skip the hustle and bustle of the Valentine’s Day crowd and stay at home and cook and I couldn’t help but think of how beautiful this cake would be on a Valentine’s Day dinner table. Add a few buttercream hearts on the sides of the cake to make it extra festive if you’d like, and then devour.
To make this a little more time friendly, I suggest making the cake layers one day ahead of time, and store in the refrigerator wrapped in plastic wrap, and store in a cake container until ready to use. On the day you plan on serving, make the buttercream and decorate. This cake can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, and is best served at room temperature.
Strawberry Cinnamon Cake
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
- 6 ounces (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces, softened
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 large egg white, at room temperature
- ½ cup sour cream, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 pint fresh strawberries, washed, stemmed and cut into 1/4 –inch dice
CHOCOLATE STRAWBERRY BUTTERCREAM
- 10 ounces semisweet baking chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ strawberry liqueur
- ¾ pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces, softened
- 8 whole medium fresh strawberries, washed, stemmed and cut lengthwise into ¼- inch thick slices
- Adjust and oven rack to the center of your oven and preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray 2 8-inch round cake pans with baking spray, or line with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a sieve combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon and sift over a piece of parchment paper and set aside.
- Place sugar, and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on low speed for 1 minute, then beat on medium speed for 2 minutes until soft. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle. Continue to beat for another 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and paddle and one at a timeadd the eggs and the egg white. Beat for 30 seconds after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl once all the eggs have been incorporated.
- Turn the mixer to low speed and slowly add the sifted dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated. Add sour cream and vanilla extract and beat on medium speed for 15 seconds until combined. Gently fold in diced strawberries with a rubber spatula until combined. Batter will be thick. I find it best to divide batter with an ice cream scoop and smooth the batter in the pan with a small offset cake spatula. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Cool cakes in their pans for 15 minutes, then invert cake layers on to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Place chopped chocolate in a large bowl. Heat the heavy cream, sugar and strawberry liqueur in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar and bring to a boil. Pour the boiling cream over the chopped chocolate and let sit for 5 minutes; then stir with a whisk until smooth. Pour the ganache onto a baking sheet with sides and spread it evenly. Refrigerate for 20 minutes until chilled but not firm.
- Place butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on low speed for 1 minute. Increase the speed to medium-high and mix for 2 more minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix again for 2 more minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and pour in chilled ganache and beat on medium for 2 minutes. Give the buttercream a final stir by hand and transfer about 1 ½ cups buttercream to a piping bag fitted with a large straight tip. Set aside until needed.
- Use a cake spatula and spread 1 ½ cups buttercream evenly over the top and to the edges of the cake. Place the second cake layer on top and gently press into place. Spread the remaining buttercream evenly over the top and onto the sides of the cake and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Pipe a circle of buttercream teardrops about 1 inch wide and 1 inch long with a round cake tip or coupler (I used a coupler), each one touching the next along the outside edge of the top of the cake. Arrange a circle of strawberry slices, stem ends toward the center of the cake, inside the circle of buttercream teardrops. Repeat alternating circles of buttercream and strawberry slices until the entire cake is covered. Enjoy!
STORAGE: Cake can be stored in a cake keeper in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.
Adapted from Death by Chocolate Cakes by Marcel Desaulniers