Thursday, March 17, 2011

Big and Little Pink Strawberry Cakes, Naturally

GR turned eleven years old last month, officially making her a tweener. She requested a pink colored, strawberry flavored birthday cake. When we cut out artificial colors and flavors and petroleum-based preservatives last Fall, I hadn't really encountered a need to improvise on colors and flavors until now. I knew it would be coming with the children's birthdays, so I was mentally prepared. GR was very specific: she wanted strawberry flavor, not strawberry chunks. I had thought of using strawberry extract because I think it's okay, but I'll have to check to be sure. But, I really wanted to see if I could do this without extracts. I had also heard of using beet juice for the color, but since I was already using real strawberries for the flavor, I thought I'd see what color they'd make as well. What turned out was a sweet pink hue with a gentle strawberry flavor. GR was very pleased with it. She had a slumber party a few days later, and wanted the same thing in cupcake form, and we ended up with perfect little pink mini-cupcakes.

I used my White Cake with White Butter Cream Frosting as a base to start with. I thought by adding strawberry puree, I wouldn't need the soy milk, but I actually ended up using the same amount of soy milk as in the original recipe. Also, since my dear husband, G, has been complaining so much lately about the lack of frosting in between cake layers, I decided to double the butter cream frosting. Eh, don't do that, unless you have a limitless ability to eat sweets. I am a salt girl, myself, but even my sugar-lovin' family said that frosting version was too sweet. So, stick to the original. I'll repeat the recipe below. The photo of the cake below is with the doubled frosting recipe, and you can see I had abundant frosting. GR wanted both her cake and cupcakes topped with fresh raspberries, and they complete her beautiful desserts. She wanted to do the honors of topping them herself, and she did a great job, deepening my belief that she's going to be a fantastic cook someday.

Pink Strawberry Cake

You can kind of make out the pink cake here

Gorgeous strawberry puree!

Pink cake batter

Our cute little, pink mini-cupcakes

Mini-cupcakes all dressed up and ready to be devoured

Big and Little Pink Strawberry Cakes, Naturally


(The same for both a double-layer cake or mini-cupcakes)

2 and 1/2 cups flour
1 and 1/2 cups vegan or raw sugar
1 Tbs. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup soy milk
2 and 1/2 cups of chopped strawberries, pureed in blender
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbs. EnerG Egg Replacer
4 Tbs. water


1/2 cup vegan margarine, room temperature
1/8 tsp. salt
3 and 3/4 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 Tbs. soy milk

Fresh raspberries for garnish


For the cakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. For a double-layer cake, spray two round cake pans with an oil spray, and lightly flour their bottoms. For mini-cupcakes: I did not need to prepare the mini-cupcake pan - the cupcakes came right out. If you need to spray yours, feel free to do so. Set pans aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, cream the shortening to soften it completely. In a small bowl, whisk together the Egg Replacer and water. Alternate beating the flour mixture and the soy milk into the shortening, beating with a mixer on medium speed. At the end, add the strawberry puree, Egg Replacer mixture, and vanilla extract. Beat for three minutes, until completely smooth. For the two-layer cake: divide the batter between the two cake pans, and bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. For the mini-cupcakes: fill each cupcake well almost to the top with batter, leaving a bit of room. Bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in a couple of them comes out clean. Cool both types of pans on cooling racks for fifteen minutes. Remove cakes from their pans and finish cooling on racks. Makes one double layer cake or four and half dozen mini cupcakes.

For the frosting: When the cakes have completely cooled, prepare the frosting. In a medium bowl, cream together the margarine and salt. Starting on low speed and working up to medium, beat in the powdered sugar. Add the vanilla extract and the soy milk, and beat on medium speed for three to five minutes, until the mixture is creamy and smooth. Makes enough frosting for one double layer cake or four and half dozen mini cupcakes. For the double cake - rim the top layer with the raspberries, and for the mini-cupcakes - top each one with a raspberry. Feeds five hungry vegans and some giggling little girls!


  1. Thank you for sharing this. The cake, cupcakes, icing, puree and strawberries look luscious. I will definitely try this soon.

    When I do, I'll let you know how mine turns out.

    Have a good evening!

  2. Oh wow!!!! that looks so nice!!! what a great treat!!!!

  3. Another batch of your Chocolate Pecan Bars was next in my dessert queue, but this Cake might knock them down a notch. I'll have to study the recipe.

    I can't believe G is still complaining about the lack of frosting between cake layers. Would he be willing to do a guest post on your blog? I think it would be a hoot.

  4. Thank you, Millie. :-)

    S.V., this cake is based on the one you've already made, so I know you can do it! As far as G, he is so incrediblly high-maintenance, what with all his food needs, and all. A guest post would just reveal that to the world, so I have to protect him and his quirks. But, if he ever wanted to, I would totally let him - he is very funny!

  5. Blessedmama, who is Alessandra? I did not understand.

  6. I remember being 11, it was one of my favorite ages.

    Great ideas for the all-natural workarounds; you are quite an improvisational baker, which is no small feat improvising in baking takes much more skill than improvising in cooking, I think.

    The cakes are adorable!

  7. The mini-cupcakes are adorable. Your kids are lucky to have such a creative baker for a mom. I like the idea of a pink strawberry cake.

  8. The cupcakes look so cute! What eleven year old wouldn't want one of those? Great job.

  9. 11 year olds are tweeners? I guess I have to get used to that in a few months.

    Thanks for the recipe. While we have made plenty of pink frosting around here, I've yet to try making pink cake/cupcakes. We will definitely be trying this out. The mini-cupcakes are fabulous looking.

  10. Millie, I replied on your blog.

    Thanks, Rose. I've actually become a better baker because of my kids. I really like to please them come birthday time, so I'm always stretching myself.

    Thanks, Andrea. The creativity stems from necessity, I guess. :-)

    Food Feud, those eleven year old girls practically gobbled up the whole batch! I was shocked!

    Jenny, yes, they are tweeners. :-) Glad to help you out. I'm going to continue to post alternatives in the future, as well.

  11. It all looks sooooo very good!
    Blessings, Debra
    Raw Vegan Diet

  12. Hi, Debra! It's been a long time! Thanks for stopping by, and thanks for the comment. :-)

  13. Strawberry cake and cupcakes used to be one of our favorite desserts. I haven't had a strawberry cake in a year though. I will have to make these little cupcakes soon. My husband will love these! Your kids are so lucky to have a mom like you! :o)

  14. Oh, thanks, Michelle! I hope you like the cupcakes when you make them. :-)

  15. I just might have to make this for my son in law, he loves strawberry cake! Very lovely cake!!! I bet your daughter was thrilled, I know I would be! I wish you lived closer I would come over and

  16. You would always be welcome to sample, Brandi. :-) If you make it, let me know if your son-in-law likes it. GR loved it. :-)

  17. omgosh! iread this post when it came out, i dont know why i didnt put up a commetn! i loved the idea of adding strawbery!and the raspberies look so cute on that cake!the color of the cupcakes is so sweet and pretty! great job and Happy Birthday!

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