Monday, June 15, 2020

Strawberries and Cream Charlotte Cake

Strawberries and Cream Cake, Strawberry Shortcake, Charlotte Cake, Cake Photography, Strawberry Cake
Strawberry shortcake is one of those summer desserts that I could eat every week and never tire of.  I mean, what's more delicious and simple than cake, sweet strawberries and softly whipped cream?  And while I know that biscuits are the traditional "cake" of choice in strawberry shortcake - and as much as I do love biscuits - I like my strawberry shortcake to be made with cake.

This Charlotte cake pan of mine makes the most beautiful cakes, and it hasn't gotten nearly enough love, so I dusted it off and created a cake recipe that would make just enough batter to bake a lovely little cake that would be the perfect accompaniment for strawberries and cream.

A little almond extract and a pinch of freshly ground nutmeg add a wonderful flavor to this simple cake, but what makes it really amazing is the coconut milk.  The baked cake doesn't taste like coconut, but the rich, creamy coconut milk creates the most beautiful crumb and texture - soft and tender, moist and buttery tasting, even without any butter in the recipe.




Strawberries and Cream Cake, Strawberry Shortcake, Charlotte Cake, Cake Photography, Strawberry Cake

Strawberries and Cream Cake, Strawberry Shortcake, Charlotte Cake, Cake Photography, Strawberry Cake

Strawberries and Cream Cake, Strawberry Shortcake, Charlotte Cake, Cake Photography, Strawberry Cake

Strawberries and Cream Cake, Strawberry Shortcake, Charlotte Cake, Cake Photography, Strawberry Cake



Strawberries that are starting to look a little wilted can be used in cooked compotes, sauces or jam, or even frozen to use later in smoothies and pies.  But for this cake, pick the brightest, prettiest strawberries you can find.  The fresh strawberries with a light dusting of powdered sugar look so beautiful piled on top of the cake, and the combination of cake, berries and cream tastes just like summer.

One of the things I love about this cake is how versatile it is.  While I spiced my cake with a little nutmeg, a pinch of cinnamon or ginger would be great too.  Exchange the almond extract for orange or lemon extract along with some fresh zest.  Try it with fresh blueberries or peaches or cherries.  The combinations are endless.




Strawberries and Cream Cake, Strawberry Shortcake, Charlotte Cake, Cake Photography, Strawberry Cake

Strawberries and Cream Cake, Strawberry Shortcake, Charlotte Cake, Cake Photography, Strawberry Cake

Strawberries and Cream Cake, Strawberry Shortcake, Charlotte Cake, Cake Photography, Strawberry Cake

Strawberries and Cream Cake, Strawberry Shortcake, Charlotte Cake, Cake Photography, Strawberry Cake





Strawberries and Cream Charlotte Cake
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse Kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup unsweetened, full-fat canned coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • fresh strawberries
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar

Notes:
Canned coconut milk (unsweetened, full-fat) is preferred for this recipe with its high fat content and rich creamy flavor - cartons of coconut milk from the dairy aisle will not work as well.  You should whisk together the contents of the can (since the coconut cream separates from the coconut water) first, before measuring out 1 cup.  The baked cake does not taste like coconut, but if you prefer to use another type of milk, I'd suggest replacing with half 'n' half.

The Charlotte Cake Pan is the perfect size for the amount of batter that this cake recipe makes; if you want to bake the cake in a regular-sized bundt pan instead, you should double the cake recipe for a full bundt cake.


Preheat the oven to 350.  Thoroughly grease the Charlotte Cake Pan with non-stick baking spray (or you can grease with butter and dust with flour).

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and nutmeg.  Add the eggs, coconut milk, vegetable oil and vanilla, and whisk briefly until the batter is smooth and well combined.  Pour the batter into the pan.

Bake on the center rack of your oven for about 37-40 minutes, until the top springs back when lightly touched and a cake tester comes out clean.  Set the pan on a wire rack, cover loosely with a clean kitchen towel, and cool completely.

Carefully turn the cake out onto a serving plate; if needed, gently use a knife around the edges to ease the cake out of the pan.  If the cake has a domed top (which will be flipped over to be the base), use a sharp knife to slice off just enough so the cake can sit flat.

Arrange the strawberries on top of the cake.  Beat the cream and powdered sugar with an electric mixer until soft, thick peaks form, and serve with the cake.

Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen

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