Celebrate a special birthday with this yummy gluten free vanilla cake with the BEST naturally flavored and naturally dyed strawberry frosting!
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Ah, you guys. This kid! If you had asked me 12 years ago what age made me the most nervous about having to navigate in motherhood, I probably would have said those tween-y, teen sort of ages, ya know? Babies? I could do that. But 12 year old’s that have thoughts and opinions? I remember being in 6th grade, ya’ll. (And alllll the toddler moms remind the tween momma that toddlers have all kinds of thoughts and opinions…amiright?!) I am actually absolutely adoring this age. Chloe is thoughtful and kind. She really does make me stop and think in different ways, and she makes me a better person everyday. I think most adults would struggle with the kind of empathy and compassion she has, and I am so glad she made me a momma 12 years ago!
Her favorite cake…and a last minute decision to blog it!
Chloe decided she wanted strawberry frosting this year, and while I’ve made this sort of cake before using freeze dried fruit, I’ve never blogged it! After I dressed this cake up on her birthday, I decided last minute to blog it for you…hence the reason why I don’t have all of the step by step instructions here that I typically do. I really hope you get a chance to try it though – the ingredients, and the steps are quite simple! Use the comment section below if you have specific questions!
Beautiful presentation, simple ingredients!
Oh, it’s just so pretty! You’d think this cake was dyed with red 40, or some other sort of dye, but all I use is freeze dried strawberries! They used to be a lot harder to find, but most grocery stores and health food stores carry them now, and you can find them online too. I tend to pick them up at Trader Joe’s. It is a super fun splurge to have amazing color, and even better – the BEST flavor! This cake and the frosting are also all gluten free, dairy free, and nut free!
The Method :: The Vanilla Cake
This is a simple vanilla cake, with big vanilla flavor. If you have a chance to use real vanilla bean, I would absolutely do that – it is my favorite. Extracts work well too. You’ll blend the wet ingredients for this cake, add the dry, and then divide the batter between 2 cake round pans to bake. It doesn’t get any easier than that!
The Method :: The Strawberry Frosting
Here’s the secret to this beautiful, absolutely delicious cake! The strawberry frosting! Freeze dried fruit packs a huge punch in a small package, and it doesn’t change the texture of the frosting like fresh or dried fruit does. There is zero extra moisture. If you used the same amount of fresh strawberries in this frosting as you do freeze dried, you’d have a big soupy mess. Fresh fruit is great to decorate the top with if you wish, or as a big bowl of fresh fruit on the side at the party, but for this cake, I promise you will be so glad you grabbed that bag of freeze dried strawberries. Simply buzz them up in a grinder or blender into a powder and cream them into the frosting! Be sure to check that your freeze dried strawberries don’t have any added sugar – some of them do and you really don’t need that!
It was a big hit!
This was all that was left after the party! I didn’t have time to set up a big photoshoot to get a pretty inside shot – but I hope this does the trick for you to see what the inside of the cake looks like. The vanilla cake is fluffy and moist, and not overly sweet, and the star of the show is definitely that flavor packed strawberry frosting!
Vanilla Cake With *The* Best Strawberry Frosting! :: Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Nut Free, Naturally Flavored, & Naturally Dyed!
For Two 9-Inch Cake Rounds ::
- 1 cup avocado oil
- 2 ½ cups organic pure cane sugar
- 4 eggs
- 2 ½ cups Namaste Gluten Free Flour Blend
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp aluminum free baking powder
- 1 cup full fat coconut milk or raw milk if you can tolerate dairy
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp almond extract
For the Strawberry Frosting ::
- 1 cup organic palm shortening
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 4 1/2 cups organic powdered cane sugar
- 1 – 1.2 ounce bag of freeze dried strawberries divided (I get the 1.2 ounce bags from Trader Joe's)
- 1/4 cup full fat coconut milk or raw milk
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and use palm shortening or butter to grease 2 – 9 inch cake rounds. Trace the bottom of your cake rounds on parchment paper, cut the rounds out, and place the fitted parchment paper rounds on the bottom of your greased cake pans.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine oil, sugar, and eggs, and beat for 1 minute.
- Add the rest of the ingredients for the cupcakes and mix with beaters until combined.
- Divide the batter between the 2 cake pans, and bake for 40 minutes – the cake should “spring” back when you touch it, and a toothpick will come out clean.
- Let the cakes cool for 10 minutes before turning out onto cooling racks to cool completely before frosting.
- When you are ready to frost, blend about 3/4 of the bag of freeze dried strawberries in a Magic Bullet type blender or coffee grinder until it becomes a fine powder. Set the rest of the freeze dried strawberries aside to crumble on the top of the cake later.
- Blend the palm shortening, powdered sugar, freeze dried strawberry powder, coconut milk, and extracts until smooth. You can adjust the coconut milk depending on how thick or thin you like your frosting texture. I had wished I had added a bit more coconut milk to mine this time because it was a bit thicker – the strawberry powder adds another element of dry ingredient that soaks it up.
- Crumble the remaining freeze dried strawberries to sprinkle over the top of the cake if you want for decoration!