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Contrary to the title of this post, this recipe calls for absolutely no butter. (In fact, the glaze is vegan.) Instead, it calls for creative use of applesauce and a lot of strawberries.

I’ve always wanted to make a strawberry cake. There are so many recipes for plain yellow cakes and chocolates cakes and everything in between, but seldom is there one for strawberry cake made from scratch and with all-natural ingredients.

We bought four pounds of strawberries at Costco the other day, and with a birthday in the house this week, I wanted to give strawberry cake a try. We also had a container of applesauce that needed to be used, hence this creation.

This isn’t an eat-right-away cake. You have to prepare it in advance, and the glaze is slightly complicated, but it’s all worth it when you have the smell of sweet strawberries permeating throughout the house.

Ingredients

For the cake

  • 3 cups of fresh strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 2 teaspoons of sugar + another 1 1/2 cups
  • 1/4 cup of milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons of baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup of unsweetened applesauce
  • 3 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • I don’t like using food coloring, but you can add a few drops of red food coloring to the batter if you want the cake itself to be either pink or red.

For the glaze:

  • 2 cups of unsweetened applesauce + another 1 1/2 cups
  • 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
  • 8 tablespoon of sugar + 2 tablespoons + 3/4 cup
  • 1 tablespoon of cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 cups of fresh strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Put the strawberries in a blender and sprinkle with 2 teaspoons of sugar.
  2. Puree until mostly liquefied. It should yield about 1 1/2 to 2 cups of puree.
  3. Combine 3/4 cup of the strawberry puree with the milk and eggs, and mix well.
  4. Mix in the flour, baking powder, salt, and the 1 1/2 cups of sugar. [This will leave you with 3/4 cup of puree for cake layering at the end.]
  5. Pour in the applesauce and vanilla extract and mix. It is best to beat the batter with a spoon.
  6. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  7. Grease two 9-inch round baking pans and divide batter evenly between the two.
  8. Baking for 20-25 minutes until done.
  9. Meanwhile, pour 2 cups of unsweetened applesauce into a medium saucepan.
  10. Put on the stove at medium heat, making sure to stir constantly to prevent burning.
  11. Mix in the cinnamon and sugar and continue cooking for another 5 minutes.
  12. Add in the other 1 1/2 cups of applesauce, as well as the cornstarch, and mix.
  13. Continue cooking and stirring constantly, allowing the applesauce to reduce to half its original amount.
  14. While keeping an eye on the applesauce, mix the strawberries and sugar in a blender (use chop or mix setting, not puree).
  15. Pour the strawberry mixture into a small saucepan and put on high heat.
  16. Allow the strawberry mixture to come to a boil, and then reduce the heat to medium. Stir constantly to avoid burning and cook until reduced by half.
  17. Once the applesauce mixture has thickened, pour 1 cup into a mixing bowl.
  18. Sift in 3/4 cup of sugar and mix.
  19. Then add in the reduced strawberry mixture and vanilla extract and mix well.
  20. If the consistency of your glaze is too runny, pour the strawberry applesauce mixture back in the medium saucepan and cook until thickens.
  21. The cakes should have cooled by now. Remove one and spread glaze over the top and sides.
  22. Pour the 1/2 cup of the reserved strawberry puree on top of this first layer and spread evenly.
  23. Layer on the second cake and spread the glaze on its top and sides until all of the cake is covered.
  24. Use the remaining 1/4 cup of reserved strawberry puree to top the cake.
  25. Put your strawberry cake in the refrigerator (uncovered is okay) overnight so the glaze can thicken further.
  26. Take it out the next day and enjoy!
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