I have a bride that has ordered a strawberry wedding cake. She is actually my third cousin. Anyway she said she wanted a strawberry cake "like the one from the grocery store." I said "like from the bakery?" But, she means Duncan Hines or Betty Crocker. I don't usually bake from a box and I worry about how it will hold up. She told me it was up do me and what I thought would work best. What does everyone think? Box or scratch. Anyone have a killer scratch recipe the bride would love. I don't think she wants actual strawberries in it. Thanks!
I put real strawberries in mine, so I can't help with that. If she doesn't want real strawberries then she probably wants an artificially flavored strawberry cake, especially if she wants Duncan Hines. You can either tell her that you don't make fake strawberry cakes, and would she like something like a vanilla cake with sliced strawberries between the layers, or just make the cake mix. Are you getting paid for this or is it a present?
You could experiment with adding strawberry jam and maybe some flavoring to your regular scratch recipe. That way you won't have to sacrifice your normal style, but can add some flavor and color to the cake.
Well, you have two options: bake what she wants, or try to convince her to try a white/vanilla cake with a strawberry filling.
There are several recipes on here for an 'adjusted' box mix ( adding ingredients like extra pudding, sour cream, buttermilk, etc.) that would most like work quite well with a Duncan Hines Strawberry cake mix and taste really great.
For a more subtle flavor, you could suggest the vanilla cake with fresh strawberry or even simply a fruit jam type filling. I make a "Strawberry Cream" which is really yummy - it gives a nice mild flavor and is pink-rather than the red of the fruit or fruit jam.
Here is my recipe
Strawberry Cream Filling:
1- 8oz bar of cream cheese
1/3 cup 10x sugar
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
Using the whip attachment on your KA, beat these ingredients together briefly until incorporated. Stop & scrape down the bowl.
1 large container (16oz or so?) or 2 of the 8oz containers of frozen whipped topping, thawed. Must be completely thawed or it won't work! Whip briefly, scrape bowl again to make sure all of the cream cheese mixture has been incorporated into the whipped topping and is not sticking to the bottom of the bowl.
Flavorings - I like to add about a 1/4 -1/2 teaspoon of Creme Bouquet flavoring or Vanilla.
Whip again on high for a minute or so- it doesn't take long! Don't over-whip!
Add a 2-lb sleeve of a commercial Strawberry Fruit Filling (I use Henry & Henry brand) and gently mix until well blended. You will probably have to scrape the bowl once more just to make sure the strawberry is completely mixed in.
Now beat away your family members bearing spoons! ;) LOL
I use this filling plain (kinda like a cheesecake mousse), or it can be used as a frosting! Yum!
Using a fruit puree should make a flavorful cake if your fruit is ripe and sweet. The general rule in baking is a deviation of +/- 20% of main ingredients should not have an adverse effect on the structure of the cake. If I were going to make such a cake, I would start by adding 2 ounces of strawberry puree to my most reliable standard yellow cake recipe. A yellow cake has added advantage of egg yolk which acts as a thickener if you are concerned that the fruit puree will make the cake weak. But if you are concerned about color, then a white cake should still be able to hold up with added fruit puree.
Just an aside, a group of bakers and I were having a discussion on food philosophy. We are all scratch bakers. The professional pastry chef in the group stated she wresteled to reconcile her food philosophy with that of a client with a contrary philosophy (client states she loves the flavor of boxed cake). Frequently the client isn't really conscious of the ingredients in boxed mixes, thus don't realize boxed mixes consist of enriched flour, hydrogenated oils, soy, starch, artificial flavorings, and artificial coloring. The flavor they taste is in fact artificial. I think all scratch bakers wrestle with finding a way to balance their food philosophy against contrary tastes. After this dicussion, I decided I would to list the foundation ingredients I use; in this way as way I will be better prepared to explain my food philosophy and the principles on which my baking business is founded. I think most people embrace scratch baking, so I don't think it will turn clients away. In fact I think the opposite is true. I know one baker who uses grocery store boxed mixes--no where on her website does she state this fact. Most troubling is she will tweet and post FB messages about hours of "baking" to fill an order-- deliberately misleading clients into believing she is a scratch baker. I'm sure she would still have clients if she disclosed the use of boxed mixes, but in our region, that number would be few.
You are fortunate your cousin is very open to a scratch cake. Perhaps this is an opportunity for you to introduce her to this glorious way of eating:)
Do the packet mix. It will hold up beautifully and it will relieve you of some stress. Her wedding is not the time to show off your baking from scratch as she may or may not like it. You need to make HER happy and if box mix is what she likes to eat, then box mix it is. Nobody will know whether this is packet mix or scratch anyway. They'll be too busy enjoying it, not dissecting it. That is something only we serious bakers do ;)
what shockolata said ^^^
my strawberry cake is a box mix of white cake + strawberries + strawberry jello powder + milk and eggs maybe oil lemme know if you want the proportions -- it's around here somewhere -- it's wonderful --
i found it -- see mine is double grocery store box mix -- hahahaha
1 18.25 ounce box duncan hines white cake mix
1 box strawberry jello (the small box that makes up into 4 cups of jello but you only use the powder)
1 cup mashed strawberries (they get mashed in the mixer)
a scant half cup of oil
1/2 cup milk (regular milk)
cake mixes are smaller now so there's that -- i think i add the strawberries after all the mixing is completed -- the berries can bake more toward the bottom of the layer so just keep that in mind when you stack so it's proportional -- keep them all right side up for example --
i tested all kinds of purees and all kinds of things -- this recipe won hands down
i think it was cooks illustrated ran a test some years ago on baking with real and artificial vanilla and their testers could not tell the difference -- so there's that too
and i cut my strawberries with a real sharp knife into small, pretty uniform sized pieces so the cake will slice & serve well
I used pretty much the same recipe as @-K8memphis recently, except with butter instead of oil, and add 3 Tbsp butter, and puree the strawberries in a blender first. It holds up really well, even under fondant -- firmer than regular cake mix cake, (probably because of the extra flour.)
@-K8memphis thank you for that interesting article. I grew up with powder vanillin whose flavour I prefer but I cannot get here in the UK. My mother sometimes posts some vanillin to me which I keep for my personal baking. I use real Madagascar vanilla extract which is very expensive and I am just beginning to get used to its flavour. Thanks to the article, I now understand what it is that is happening, with cookies especially.
Anyone who answered in this thread get a spam private message? grrrr.....
cakedout --i got a spam message about signing up for $27 a month thing -- but it seemed more related to a cookie thread --
cupcakemama3 -- the proportions of the cake mix/formula i use is in post 8 right above your request --
shockolata -- isn't taste interesting -- one of our five senses and other than using it it seems to go overlooked -- i guess the psychology/understanding of it -- talking about the mechanism of taste/flavor/palate always intrigues me
Here another route. I bake my strawberry cake from scratch, but you can use this method for boxed mixes too.
Start with a 1 pound bag of frozen strawberries....whole berries, no added sugar.
Spray a 2 quart microwave safe deep bowl ( a large batter bowl type glass measuring cup is ideal) with pan spray (berries tend to climb the sides as they cook and this prevent boil over).
Pour the frozen berries into the bowl and microwave on high 5 minutes. Remove and puree with an immersion blender or mash really well with a fork.
Return to the microwave and cook 3 minutes on high. Stir, then repeat the cooking cycle until the berries are reduced to a thick paste.
Cool and store in the fridge.
Add 1/2 cup of the berry puree to one box of white mix prepared according to package directions or your favorite recipe. A couple drops of red food color will boost the color if desired.
This makes a very good strawberry cake without that all too sweet artificial taste.
I made up my strawberry paste and am going to try this tonight, Jeff. Thanks!
You may need to experiment a couple times....more or less berry concentrate...until you get the flavor you are looking for.
I found that cakes with fruit purees and concentrates tend to be dense, and don't have a pretty color. This adaptation has worked beautifully for me - It makes a lightly textured cake (assuming your white cake is lightly textured) and has a really pretty pink color. The jello is optional, and the amount can be increased or decreased. I usually prefer simple basic ingredients and no mixes, but the jello does give the best color. (I use Beyond Buttercream, Jennifer Bratko's wonderful white cake recipe).
To your usual white cake recipe for 2 8 or 9 inch layers, substitute 2 Tbsp of the sugar with 2 Tbsp strawberry jello powder (dry). Use 2 tsp vanilla and 1 teaspoon strawberry extract as the flavorings. at the end, stir in one heaping cup of finely chopped freeze dried strawberries including all the fine powdery bits. bake as usual. the strawberries are FREEZE DRIED (NOT "frozen" NOT "dried"). Usually in the dried fruits section though. I get them at trader Joes, and see them at a variety of stores, also available on line. They "reconstitute" during baking and give a very nice strawberry flavor, not at all chewy, and a little bit of visual texture but don't add moisture.