Sprinkles Strawberry Cake with Fluffy Cheesecake Frosting
Things I learned in my first year of marriage:
- Boys eat a lot. Hoping that lasagna will live on for three nights? Forget it.
- An unloaded dishwasher says, “I love you.”
- His and hers ice cream cartons are always a good idea.
- Compromise looks like…1% milk.
- Bathroom doors are optional.
- ESPN is not.
- It’s OK to eat your “anniversary” cake tier seven days after your wedding, instead of saving it. Now, you can have Strawberry Cake with Fluffy Cheesecake Frosting on your one-year anniversary instead. Upgrade!
As of March 31st, Ben and I have been married a year. It’s hard to believe this crafty photo was snapped 12 months ago. Thank you, Pinterest.
This next, peaceful picture epitomizes the start of our marriage. Aren’t we just a dream of newlywed bliss? I’m pretty sure that’s a beam of light coming from my face. Bridal glow!
Twelve-months later, this picture more accurately captures our state of co-being. Ben actually made this exact face this morning when he saw my hair.
But seriously. It’s OK if you don’t save the top tier of your wedding cake. This I know for certain.
Our cake tasted phenomenal the night of wedding. So phenomenal, in fact, that I saw no reason to subject our “anniversary” tier to 365-days of freezer burn. Why ruin a perfectly good cake when you, along with three of your girlfriends, can feverishly demolish it while it is still in its prime.
12 hours after you return from your honeymoon. Without your husband. Oops.
Yes, I ate our anniversary tier without Ben. I owe Ben a cake.
Strawberry Cake with Fluffy Cheesecake Frosting might just be the secret to an enduring marriage. The refreshing flavor is intoxicating and comes entirely from real strawberries. The texture is rich, yet delicate. Whatever the disagreements in your household (i.e. the skim vs. 2% milk battle), all members can unite over big, dreamy slices of Strawberry Cake with Fluffy Cheesecake Frosting.
When I set out to make our replacement anniversary tier, I new it had to be strawberry, since this was the flavor of our original wedding cake. Sentiment aside, the single best strawberry cake I have ever tasted was at Sprinkles Bakeshop in LA. One of the most famed cupcake shops in the country (and arguably the original), Sprinkles prides itself on natural, quality ingredients, and that care shows in its products.
I wanted to achieve a taste as close to Sprinkles’ as possible, and I was delighted to find the actual recipe online. I made a few changes to adapt the recipe for an average home baker but kept the most important aspects to ensure true-Spinkles taste: I used only real strawberries, avoided artificial food coloring, and used a blend of half-and-half and milk for additional depth and richness.
The resulting cake tasted exactly like Sprinkles! Friends, this cake is so magnificent, I am prepared to argue that instead of growing fruit, all strawberry patches in heaven actually sprout Strawberry Cake with Fluffy Cheesecake Frosting. Divine, defined.
Though Sprinkles tops its strawberry cupcake with strawberry buttercream, I wanted to allow the cake’s fantastic flavor to shine and opted for a light cloud of fluffy cheesecake frosting instead. Reminiscent of whipped cream with a slight cheesecake tang, fluffy cheesecake frosting enhances the natural sweetness of the strawberries without overpowering them. Cake and frosting are a perfect couple.
Every marriage has its traditions. Strawberry Cake with Fluffy Cheesecake Frosting will be ours at every anniversary to come and certainly some nights in between. True love lasts a lifetime!
Sprinkles Strawberry Cake with Fluffy Cheesecake Frosting
Yield: Two 6-inch rounds, One 9-inch round, or 12 cupcakes (see notes)
- 2/3 cup fresh or frozen whole strawberries (thawed if frozen)
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons non-fat milk , room temperature
- 2 tablespoons half-and-half, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg , room temperature
- 2 large egg whites , room temperature
Fluffy Cheesecake Frosting
- 1 packet instant whipped topping (Dream Whip)
- 1 package cheesecake-flavored instant pudding mix (4 serving size—the “small” box. You can use sugar free or regular)
- 1 1/2 c. non-fat milk (use cold, direct-from-the-fridge)
- Preheat oven to 350°. Butter and flour two 6-inch cake pans. Set aside.
- Place strawberries in a food processor and pulse until pureed. You should have 1/3 cup of puree total. Add a few more strawberries if necessary.
- In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. In a small bowl, mix together milk, half-and-half, vanilla and strawberry puree. Set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or a large mixing bowl), cream butter on medium-high speed, until light and fluffy. Slowly add sugar and continue to beat until fluffy. Reduce the mixer speed to medium and slowly add the egg and egg whites, just until combined.
- With the mixer on low, slowly add half the flour mixture and mix just until combined. Add all of the milk mixture and mix just until combined. Slowly add the remaining flour mixture, scraping down sides of the bowl with a spatula, and mix until just blended.
- Divide batter evenly among the prepared cake tins. Transfer pans to oven and bake until tops are just dry to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer pans to a wire rack. Either let cool 10 minutes and follow this How to Create the Most Moist Cake You’ve Ever Baked or let cakes cool completely.
- Prepare the frosting: In a deep mixing bowl (glass or metal works best), whisk together the instant whipped topping and instant pudding mix. Add milk and with a mixer, beat on low speed until blended. Increase mixer speed to high and beat for 4 to 6 additional minutes, until stiff peaks form. Frost and assemble cake following this Quick Guide to Frosting Cakes and serve.