vcheddar Posted 3 Feb 2013 , 5:05am
post #1 of

Hello!

I have been tweaking a recipe I have for Strawberry cake -made from scratch, all organic ingredients,  no additives, jello, pudding, etc.  The cake comes out really good and I love the taste, but it looks brown, not pink! For the life of me I can't figure out what am I doing wrong.  It does use butter instead of oil and I am wondering if that will make a difference.. or if the sugar, which is not as refined is causing the brown color.  It is not overbaked, just brown crumb. 

Any thoughts?

 

Thanks!

38 replies
cakeyouverymuch Posted 3 Feb 2013 , 5:21am
post #2 of

You aren't doing anything wrong.  Strawberries do not have enough color to give your cake the color you are trying to achieve.  If you want strawberry pink you're going to have to use food coloring.

icer101 Posted 3 Feb 2013 , 5:21am
post #3 of

That is the color of strawberry cake made from scratch. I make them also. The sites where i have gotten my recipes, say , you have to add just a little red food color. I never do. When you see the recipe , even scratch , that show a pink or reddish color, it is coming from the jello that is added. hth

Annabakescakes Posted 3 Feb 2013 , 7:01am
post #4 of

I have gotten a "decent" looking color, but not good enough flavor. If you reduce the in a crock pot or on the stove, then just use the juice, it helps a bit. Strain the berries out, totally, they will be brown and gloppy. The juice is red. 

 

May I have your recipe? ;-)

ibeeflower Posted 4 Feb 2013 , 12:44am
post #5 of

Mine is a bit brown too. I add a dot of food coloring to make it pink.

vcheddar Posted 4 Feb 2013 , 4:37am
post #6 of

Sure! I need to type the changes but I'll pm you the recipe this week.

vcheddar Posted 4 Feb 2013 , 4:38am
post #7 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by Annabakescakes 

I have gotten a "decent" looking color, but not good enough flavor. If you reduce the in a crock pot or on the stove, then just use the juice, it helps a bit. Strain the berries out, totally, they will be brown and gloppy. The juice is red. 

 

May I have your recipe? ;-)

Sure! I need to type the changes but I'll pm you the recipe this week.

vcheddar Posted 4 Feb 2013 , 4:41am
post #8 of

Thank you everyone! I will try with a little food coloring.  I was trying to avoid that but I'll use India Tree natural coloring and see what happens. Has anyone used that brand? I guess I'll just try a little at a time until I get a nice color...

I was convinced I was doing something wrong because every picture I ever see has all this pretty pink shade. 

Annabakescakes Posted 4 Feb 2013 , 8:30pm
post #9 of

It's funny that we will use color on the outside of our cakes but don't want to color the insides ;-) I am the exact same way! My yellow cake isn't super yellow, and I resist adding yellow to it, I just inform the client. And my lemon and orange aren't yellow or orange, but I do put a tiny bit of color in just so can tell the difference from bake day to fill day! With the strawberries, it makes a world of difference if you just use the juice, and not the puffy grey berries that are left after the reducing. 

But I have tried at least 5 different recipes, many of them twice, and I can't get a good flavor and good texture at the same time. The one time I got good flavor, the cake was too wet and solid, and grey-brown like an old wet scabicon_surprised.gif

cakeyouverymuch Posted 4 Feb 2013 , 9:20pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Annabakescakes 

It's funny that we will use color on the outside of our cakes but don't want to color the insides ;-) I am the exact same way! My yellow cake isn't super yellow, and I resist adding yellow to it, I just inform the client. And my lemon and orange aren't yellow or orange, but I do put a tiny bit of color in just so can tell the difference from bake day to fill day! With the strawberries, it makes a world of difference if you just use the juice, and not the puffy grey berries that are left after the reducing. 

But I have tried at least 5 different recipes, many of them twice, and I can't get a good flavor and good texture at the same time. The one time I got good flavor, the cake was too wet and solid, and grey-brown like an old wet scabicon_surprised.gif

 

Eeeeewwwww!  You do have an incredible way with words, you do! 

 

Never occured to me that my lemon or orange cakes should be yellow or orange, always thought of those as flavors rather than colors.  But I do want my yellow cakes to be really yellow, probably because I grew up with box cakes and yellow box cakes are, well, really yellow.  I've never added color to a cake batter unless a rainbow is requested, but then I've never been asked for a strawberry cake and I'd probably want that to be both flavor and color consistent.

-K8memphis Posted 4 Feb 2013 , 9:38pm

j-e-l-l-o

 

i think they grow organic jello--usually more expensive

 

icon_biggrin.gif

 

jk jk jk

cakeyouverymuch Posted 4 Feb 2013 , 9:56pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by -K8memphis 

j-e-l-l-o

 

i think they grow organic jello--usually more expensive

 

icon_biggrin.gif

 

jk jk jk

 

If one uses jello does one have to reduce the sugar and what does the gelatine do to the texture of the cake.  Also, since the jello itself is pretty much a conglomeration of artificial colors and flavors, why would one not just use quality food colorings and extracts without the added trouble of dealing with what the extra sugar and the gelatine itself would do to an (presumably) tried and true recipe?

 

Not trying to pick a fight, just asking.

-K8memphis Posted 4 Feb 2013 , 10:14pm

first of all--op wanted organic stuff so i was just being silly about it being 'organic' not that it's from mars but you know what i mean

 

but just in my own quest for a great strawberry cake---

 

i tried all manner of purees and cooked this and that when i did my testing for strawberry cakes

 

and far and away my favorite was the jello plus fresh strawberries in any white cake mix or recipe

 

i just added it in--didn't tweak the sugar or anything--

 

color perfect, taste perfect to me--the fresh strawberries in there makes a killer layer cake

 

the texture is not anything different than a normal cake

 

that's what worked for moi

-K8memphis Posted 4 Feb 2013 , 10:25pm

two other tidbits

 

the guys making the jello have spent zillions of dollars i'm sure in r & d so it's a very nice strawberry flavor and color already

 

although the strawberry cake mix people need to work on it--that was not a good strawberry flavor to me

 

then

 

as bakers we often balk (we in general) at using 'chemicals' as for example those used in jello--added for tartness or whatever

 

but the most high end chefs delight to use the weirdest gums and chemicals to make the most delicious things people flock to buy or devote themselves to try to replicate

 

so just some observations that intrigue me

 

i did my homework but the jello people did it better

 

i'm going to use the best i can find--i'm not gonna limit myself just because it happens to be jello

 

just chatting here

ibeeflower Posted 4 Feb 2013 , 10:33pm

I have made the strawberry cake using jello and K8 is right on color, texture, and sugar. I didn't like the taste when I used jello but that is a personal preference. 

-K8memphis Posted 4 Feb 2013 , 10:35pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by ibeeflower 

I have made the strawberry cake using jello and K8 is right on color, texture, and sugar. I didn't like the taste when I used jello but that is a personal preference. 

 

 

did you use fresh strawberries + jello???

ibeeflower Posted 4 Feb 2013 , 10:44pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by -K8memphis 

 

 

did you use fresh strawberries + jello???

Yes, I added 1/4 cup of puree. Do you puree yours or cook it down?

-K8memphis Posted 4 Feb 2013 , 10:55pm

no i used chopped fresh ones

 

i tried the purees--used cooked uncooked store bought frozen from restaurant supply and all that--those purees were icky to me

 

 

jello + fresh chopped real strawberries + white cake = my strawberry cake

ibeeflower Posted 4 Feb 2013 , 11:12pm

I pureed fresh strawberries. I don't know if you did that. Now I just cook them down and get a reduction sauce and use that. :) 

cakeyouverymuch Posted 5 Feb 2013 , 1:24am
Quote:
Originally Posted by -K8memphis 

first of all--op wanted organic stuff so i was just being silly about it being 'organic' not that it's from mars but you know what i mean

 

but just in my own quest for a great strawberry cake---

 

i tried all manner of purees and cooked this and that when i did my testing for strawberry cakes

 

and far and away my favorite was the jello plus fresh strawberries in any white cake mix or recipe

 

i just added it in--didn't tweak the sugar or anything--

 

color perfect, taste perfect to me--the fresh strawberries in there makes a killer layer cake

 

the texture is not anything different than a normal cake

 

that's what worked for moi

 

I have a perfect (for me) white cake recipe.  It makes 3 nine inch rounds. Would one three ounce pkg of jello be enough?  or would I need a larger pkg?  and how much strawberries, would a cup or so be enough?  Finally, would this work for other fruit flavors, do you think?  I'm thinking of peaches. . . . .lol.

-K8memphis Posted 5 Feb 2013 , 2:27am

peaches --what a great idea -- making my mouth water

 

we should try it huh

 

have to use frozen or wait for peach season--it won't be too long to wait either

 

i think i might wanna grill/fry the peaches a bit maybe--something to test anyhow

 

i also think i would dice & flour the peach bits maybe--see how that goes

 

think i'd like it in yellow cake-

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

ok--to one cake recipe/box mix i used

 

1 three oz --the small box of jello

 

1 cup chopped fresh strawberries

 

this made about 6 cups of batter

 

i think to get 3 nine inch cakes  (12-15 cups batter?) you would might wanna add more maybe

 

i added the berries last after mixing completely then mixed it some more but i wanted the berries to show in the final product so i just let them get slightly mashed by the beater--they do sink to the bottom some--but once you get it torted --it's just a great bunch of pretty strawberry goodness in there--omg--super good--i was really pleased

cakeyouverymuch Posted 5 Feb 2013 , 2:47am
Quote:
Originally Posted by -K8memphis 

peaches --what a great idea -- making my mouth water

 

we should try it huh

 

have to use frozen or wait for peach season--it won't be too long to wait either

 

i think i might wanna grill/fry the peaches a bit maybe--something to test anyhow

 

i also think i would dice & flour the peach bits maybe--see how that goes

 

think i'd like it in yellow cake-

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

ok--to one cake recipe/box mix i used

 

1 three oz --the small box of jello

 

1 cup chopped fresh strawberries

 

this made about 6 cups of batter

 

i think to get 3 nine inch cakes  (12-15 cups batter?) you would might wanna add more maybe

 

i added the berries last after mixing completely then mixed it some more but i wanted the berries to show in the final product so i just let them get slightly mashed by the beater--they do sink to the bottom some--but once you get it torted --it's just a great bunch of pretty strawberry goodness in there--omg--super good--i was really pleased

 

Could do the peaches something like a bananas foster with maybe a maple syrup get a really good glaze on them.  Frozen peaches should work, they don't get all mushy like frozen strawberries do. 

 

I have a smaller white cake recipe that I use for cherry chip cake.  Makes 2 eight inch rounds.  Its a really thick batter so the berries shouldn't sink too much.  I think I'll try that with the strawberries--actually what I really want to try it with is raspberries or blackberries.  They'd have to be folded in really gently.  I'm not that big a fan of strawberries, but DH thinks strawberries are a whole food group and would really appreciate a good strawberry cake.  His birthday is in March and they usually have the good imported berries in the stores by then.  Thanks for the ideas K8!

vcheddar Posted 5 Feb 2013 , 4:22am

Great ideas.... I have tried strawberry puree, fresh sliced, chopped, etc. My preference is chopped in a food processor.  I didn't have a chance to try a few more tweaks today, but certainly will use some of your suggestions. (hopefully later this week) I won't use Jello -as I am aiming for organic and no animal products.... now I want to try the idea of peach... yum
 

Thegalnextdoor Posted 6 Feb 2013 , 7:45am

Aaak! I have tried many different methods with fresh berries to get a delightful pink tinge in my strawberry cake, all failed. Then one day, as I sat watching my three year old delightfully snacking away on some freeze dried strawberry bits, it came to me. "Why hadn't I thought of this before?" I said to myself. So, what I did was stew and reduce a basket of fresh berries, strained them, used that as the liquid for a white cake, I used a mix, but I'm sure you could figure this pitt for scratch, too. Then I used an entire pouch of freeze dried strawberries from trader joe's, folded those in. The cake turned out quite a lovely shade of pale pink, a little muted, better than grey, and the freeze dried berries lent a great flavor, color and texture. Give that a go ;)

Annabakescakes Posted 7 Feb 2013 , 2:33am

AThe freeze dried sounds like a great idea! Are they chewy after baking, or do they moisten?

rosaliejenkins Posted 7 Feb 2013 , 12:16pm

I am the exact same way...!! I've tried it twice, the first time it was brown might strawberries were not fresh, the second time it was more delicious with strawberries flavors as used fresh strawberries. And also I have used organic jello.

nhbaker Posted 7 Feb 2013 , 1:23pm

The first thing that came to mind for me as a natural additive for a pink color is beet juice.  I don't think it would take much and shouldn't affect the flavor.

-K8memphis Posted 7 Feb 2013 , 2:04pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by nhbaker 

The first thing that came to mind for me as a natural additive for a pink color is beet juice.  I don't think it would take much and shouldn't affect the flavor.

 

 

good idea--then you are all set for lunch too -- a nice beet salad ;)

hbquikcomjamesl Posted 21 Feb 2013 , 11:14pm

Not being made of money, and not having the time to juice a bunch of strawberries, and strain and reduce the juice, I use a combination of seedless strawberry jam and imitation strawberry extract  in my strawberry marble, and use a white cake as the base, and a few drops of McCormick red food coloring to keep the pink batter pink.

 

You do realize that Jell-O, like any other gelatine, is basically boiled-down collagen, whether from bones, hides, horns, or hooves.

ibeeflower Posted 21 Feb 2013 , 11:39pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by hbquikcomjamesl 

Not being made of money, and not having the time to juice a bunch of strawberries, and strain and reduce the juice, I use a combination of seedless strawberry jam and imitation strawberry extract  in my strawberry marble, and use a white cake as the base, and a few drops of McCormick red food coloring to keep the pink batter pink.

 

You do realize that Jell-O, like any other gelatine, is basically boiled-down collagen, whether from bones, hides, horns, or hooves.

You mentioned you use imitation strawberry extract. What is in that? 

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