I have always appreciated the season of summer. Summer to me means annually indulging in fresh and abundant produce. From the fresh vegetables and array of fruits, I definitely keep my plate colorful during this time of the year. By now I’ve expressed my love for my favorite fruit, watermelon, several times. Although I love a good melon, it is not the only fruit that gets my attention.
Strawberries are in second place when it comes my favorite produce confessionals. I have always loved a good, sweet, ruby red, perfectly ripe strawberry. Strawberries, although small in stature stand out when it comes to fruit. When I was in elementary school, I wrote a short story on a strawberry character for an assignment. The point of the story was that this cute strawberry finally recognized and understood her uniqueness and wore her seeds on the outside proudly, unlike her other fruit friends. My teacher loved it and ate the story up (pun intended).
Strawberries are tasty on their own, fresh out the carton, but even better when baked. I have created several strawberry recipes because magic happens when these delicious berries are heated. From shortcakes, cupcakes, biscuits, cobblers and more, I usually find ways to incorporate strawberries. This summer, I decided to take on another recipe and make an exquisite Strawberry Crunch Cake. I have always enjoyed strawberry cake, but why not make it better with more texture and flavor. I made some homemade mouthwatering strawberry crunchies for the outside of the cake. I also decorated the cake using Kaleidoscope Sprinkles. I combined the AKA and DST Sprinkle Mixes to make the perfect strawberry blend of sprinkles. I wanted this cake to be bursting with strawberries, so I decorated the inside and outside of the cake. I love how the cake turned out. This Strawberry Crunch Cake is definitely tastefully and visually gratifying.
You can find the complete recipe and step by step video below.
3 cup flour, divided
2 ½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
¾ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 ½ cup granulated sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. strawberry flavor (I purchased mine from Michaels)
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup strawberry purée
1 cup flour, divided
½ cup granulated sugar, divided
½ cup (8 tbsp.) salted butter, divided and softened
¾ cup (approximately 2 oz.) freeze dried strawberries, ground to fine powder
½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup confectioners sugar
2-3 tbsp. heavy cream or strawberry cream liqueur (Optional. I used Baileys)
pinch of salt
Red food coloring
Green food coloring
Preheat oven to 350F.
Grease and flour bundt and strawberry cake pans.
Make the crunches first. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.
Using two small bowls, add ½ cup of flour to each bowl. Add ¼ cup of sugar to each bowl.
Using a food processor, add freeze dried strawberries and grind into a fine powder. Add powder to one of the small bowls for strawberries crunchies.
Stir both bowls well to combine. Add 4-5 tbsp of butter to bowl for the strawberry crunchies. Add 3 tbsp. of butter to the small bowl for the vanilla crunchies. Add vanilla extract.
Using fork, combine butter into each mixture until dough combines together and forms crumbles.
Lay each crumble evenly onto separate cookie sheets. Bake each of the crumbles for approximately 5-10 minutes until slightly golden brown.
Let each crumble cool completely on cookie sheets. Once cooled, break crumble into smaller bits using your hands (if needed).
Combine both flavored crunchies into one bowl and set aside. *
For the cake:
In a medium sized mixing bowl mix together 2 ½ cups flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
Using a food processor or blender, beat strawberries (frozen work best) until pureed, consistency of baby food. Set aside.
In a large bowl add butter, sugar to the mixture and continue to mix until creamed together. Add eggs to mixer. Beat on medium speed until the mixture is fully combined. Add vanilla extract. Add strawberry flavor.** Slowly add the flour mixture one third at a time with half of buttermilk. Beginning and ending with flour mixture. Mix until fully combined but be careful not to over mix.
**(If you don’t plan to make cake strawberries for inside the cake. Add strawberry pureé to large bowl. Add additional ½ cup of flour to flour mixture. Slowly add the flour mixture one third at a time with half of buttermilk. Beginning and ending with flour mixture. Mix until fully combined but be careful not to over mix. Transfer batter to the bundt cake pan and smooth batter until even in the pan. Hit cake pan onto the counter a few times to knock out air bubbles. Bake cake for approximately 40-45 minutes until toothpick or cake tester comes out clean. )
To make cake strawberries:
Using medium bowl, add 2 cups of cake batter to bowl. Add strawberry purée, any remaining strawberry powder and red food coloring to bowl. Mix until combined. Fold in additional ½ cup of flour. Combine until batter is thoroughly mixed but not over mixed. Set aside.
In a small bowl, add 1 cup of cake batter to bowl. Add green food coloring. Mix until combined and desired color is achieved.
Using piping bag or small plastic bag, pipe green cake batter into strawberry cake pan. Place pan in freezer for 10 minutes to set cake batter. Once batter has set, spoon strawberry cake batter on top of green cake batter.
Bake strawberry cakes for approximately 8-10 mins. (Do not bake cakes completely). Allow cakes to cool in pan until slight above room temperature.
Add remaining strawberry cake batter to regular batter into large bowl. Fold batters together until combined.
Pour third of cake batter into bundt pan. Remove strawberry cakes from their pan. Place strawberry cakes upside down into the bundt cake pan. Cover cakes with the remaining batter. Bake cake for approximately 30- 35 mins. until all the cake has set and tester comes out clean.
While cake is baking make the glaze. In a medium sized bowl whisk together confectioners sugar, cream/ liqueur and salt until smooth. (Glaze should be thick enough to coat back of a spoon.)
Place cake onto cake rack and allow to cool completely. Invert cake onto cake plate or board. Spoon glaze onto cake.
Cover cake with strawberry crunchies and Kaleidoscope Sprinkles.
Devour and Enjoy!
* This strawberry crunchies recipe makes an abundance. You may use the additional crumbles on top of your ice cream or yogurt bowls. You may use them to make crunch muffins, donuts or a great topping for any fruit crumble. You may also eat them with fresh fruit for a light snack or dessert.
Like my cake pans?