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Strawberry Lemon Cake with Spring Flowers | JavaCupcake.com

Strawberry Lemon Cake with Spring Flowers

Celebrate spring with this simple, delicious Strawberry Lemon cake with Spring Flowers! Strawberry Lemon Cake with Spring Flowers | JavaCupcake.com

I made this cake for no other reason than I was inspired by a cake that jennycookies made for Easter.  Jenny made a “naked” carrot cake and topped the cake with frosting and a pile of fresh flowers.  The look was unique and stunning.  I had to recreate it!

Strawberry Lemon Cake with Spring Flowers | JavaCupcake.com

Since I wasn’t making this cake for any particular reason or occasion, I decided I’d make a small 6-in cake so I wouldn’t have tons of cake to give away or waste.  I know my family can’t eat an entire cake by ourselves!

SpringFlowersCake-Collage

For the cake, I used a German recipe I had just used to make an Osterlamm and kicked it up a bit adding fresh lemon zest and lemon extract and coloring the cake pink.  I filled the cake with a simple strawberry filling and frosted it in my usual buttercream but added vanilla bean and lemon extra to bring out even more lemon flavor in the cake.

Strawberry Lemon Cake with Spring Flowers | JavaCupcake.com

The weekend before I made this cake, I went to the Nuremberg Easter Market where the fresh flowers are abundant! I had in mind the kind of flowers I wanted to use and hoped I could find some.  I knew these large Gerbera Daisy’s would be perfect to top my cake!

Strawberry Lemon Cake with Spring Flowers | JavaCupcake.com

Cutting into the cake, you’ll see the beautiful pink cake and strawberry filling.  That next to the white frosting and bright flowers, this cake is a simply gorgeous! I mean seriously… isn’t this cake stunning?

Strawberry Lemon Cake with Spring Flowers | JavaCupcake.com

The flowers on top really bring it to the next level!  You could easily use this cake for Easter, a baby shower, a birthday or a weekend BBQ!

Strawberry Lemon Cake with Spring Flowers | JavaCupcake.com

I almost didn’t want to cut into it!  I just wanted to look at it because it was so pretty!

Strawberry Lemon Cake with Spring Flowers

Strawberry Lemon Cake with Spring Flowers

Yield: 1 6in 4-layer cake

Ingredients

Strawberry Filling

  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 500g strawberries, cleaned and quartered
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour

Lemon Cake

  • 240g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 220g sugar
  • zest of one lemon
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp lemon extract
  • 320g all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 Tbsp whole milk
  • pink gel food coloring

Lemon Vanilla Bean Buttercream

  • 12 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 lbs powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp lemon extract
  • seeds of 1 vanilla bean
  • Fresh flowers

Instructions

Strawberry Filling

  1. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium high heat. Add the strawberries and stir to coat.
  2. Mix in the sugar, lemon juice, salt and vanilla extract. Cook on medium high for 3-5 minutes or until the berries begin to break down, the sugar has melted and the berries begin to juice. Do not boil the berries, just simmer.
  3. Remove a few tablespoons of the juice and mix with the flour until smooth. Add this back into the pan and stir to combine. Cook 1-3 more minutes or until the mixture has thickened.
  4. Transfer the filling to another bowl and refrigerate until cool.

Lemon Cake

  1. Grease and flour 2 6in round cake pans. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees.
  2. Zest the lemon into a medium bowl. Add the sugar. Using the back of your spatula, press the sugar into the zest until it becomes fluffy and fragrant.
  3. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and lemon sugar for 2 minutes.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time and mix well after each addition making sure to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
  5. Mix in the sour cream, vanilla and lemon extracts.
  6. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  7. Add the flour mixture to the wet, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl first. Mix on medium-low speed until combined. Add the milk and food coloring then mix again until combined. Give the batter a few mixes by hand with a spatula.
  8. Divide batter evenly between the two pans and level with an offset spatula.
  9. Bake on the center rack for about 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean and the tops are golden.
  10. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes until removing to a wire rack to cool completely. When you remove them to the rack, place them top side down to encourage the top to level out flat.
  11. Once the cakes have cooled, trim the tops so they are the same height. Measure the height then cut them horizontally down the center, creating two halves for each cake.

Lemon Vanilla Bean Buttercream

  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer cream the butter until smooth. Add the powdered sugar and beat on high until incorporated.
  2. Add the heavy cream, salt, extract and vanilla bean seeds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat on high for 3-4 minutes. Scrape the bowl again and beat another 2-3 minutes.

Assembly

  1. Place one layer of cake, cut side up, on a cake board or plate. Spread an even layer of strawberry over the top coming almost to the edge. Don't put so much on that when you put the next layer on it will all squeeze out. Place a second layer cut side down and repeat. Do this until all four layers are on the cake.
  2. Spread a very thin "crumb coat" of frosting on the top and sides of the cake. This will help trap in the crumbs and frosting before you actually frost the cake. Chill the cake in the freezer 20-30 minutes or until the cakes are firm and the crumb coat is set.
  3. Spread a 1/4 inch layer of frosting on the top of the cake and level flat with a spatula.
  4. Using a piping bag fitted with a large round tip, use the petal technique to frost the sides of the cake.
  5. Cut the stems of the flowers almost completely off. Leave about 1/4-1/2 inch to help stabilize the flower on the cake. Place the flowers on the top of the cake. There is no rule or right way to do this. Arrange the flowers however you think looks the most beautiful.
  6. Chill the cake until an hour before you want to serve it. Serve it the day you make it.

Strawberry Lemon Cake with Spring Flowers | JavaCupcake.com 

Raspberry Vanilla Bean Coconut Cream Cupcakes

Raspberry Vanilla Bean Coconut Cream Cupcakes by JavaCupcake.com

Tomorrow is the last day of school for my 7th grader!  Can’t believe it really… the ending of this year means that we’ve been in Germany for 2 1/2 years! WOW!  I can’t believe that either! Time sure does fly!  With the end of the school year comes great big THANK YOUS from me to the school and office staff of the middle school… and of course, in typical JavaCupcake fashion… they get cupcakes!

Last week, I was on vacation in Berlin and was able to visit several farmers and flea markets on Saturday.  At one of the booths, I found an older women who made her own jam.  Jam is one of my most favorite things to buy homemade… it’s just so much better when it’s made with home grown berries.  I spotted my favorite…. raspberry! YES!  But OMG, this raspberry was made with vanilla beans as well… MINE!  DONE! YES!  I bought a jar to bring home.

Raspberry Vanilla Bean Coconut Cream Cupcakes by JavaCupcake.com

But, ever since I bought the jar, I couldn’t help but daydream about the flavor combination of vanilla bean and raspberry and how perfect it would be in a cupcake!  So today, I’m making Raspberry Vanilla Bean Coconut Cream Cupcakes to bring to the middle school tomorrow.

These cupcakes started with a Martha Stewart recipe… but I kicked it up a few notches.  I typically haven’t had good success with MS recipes… but, a reader mentioned they had good success with it… so I thought I’d give it a try.    I  didn’t over mix the raspberries in the batter so the cupcakes have a nice swirl of pink and white cake together and big chunks of raspberry running through it.

Raspberry Vanilla Bean Coconut Cream Cupcakes by JavaCupcake.com

Oh… and don’t forget the frosting.  It’s not just any old coconut frosting… I made the coconut milk  for the frosting from scratch.  Yah…. you read that right.  From scratch!  And it’s steeped with vanilla beans too.  Oh em gee! So good and so perfect with the raspberry cupcakes!

One last thing before I get to the recipe… the first two pans of cupcakes I made, I baked at 350 F degrees and they shrunk down after they cooled… so I kicked up the oven and baked them hotter and for a shorter time.   This seemed to help keep their domed shape and prevent shrinkage! So… depending on how your oven cooks… you may want to try 350 for 17-18 minutes or 375 for 15-16 minutes.

Enjoy!

PS… Don’t you just LOVE these cupcake liners?  Make sure to visit Sweets & Treats Boutique to order some for yourself!

Raspberry Vanilla Bean Coconut Cream Cupcakes by JavaCupcake.com

Raspberry Vanilla Bean Coconut Cream Cupcakes

Yield: 4 dozen cupcakes
Prep Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Cook Time: 16 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 31 minutes

Ingredients

Raspberry Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 2 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 2 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup + 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • the seeds of 2 vanilla beans
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 6 large eggs
  • 5 cups fresh or frozen (brought to room temperature) raspberries + 2 Tbsp sugar, divided

Coconut Cream

  • 400ml heavy cream
  • 2 vanilla beans
  • 1/2 cup sweetened coconut flakes

Coconut Cream Buttercream

  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3lbs powdered sugar
  • 3 tsp coconut extract
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup coconut cream
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • sweetened coconut flakes (garnish)
  • fresh raspberries (garnish)

Instructions

Raspberry Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F degrees. Line cupcake pans with liners.
  2. In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Slowly pour in the sugar and beat together until incorporated. Add the vanilla bean seeds and beat on high for 4-5 minutes or until light and fluffy.
  3. While the butter is mixing, sift together the flours, baking powder and salt together... twice!
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, to the butter and sugar and beat on medium speed after each addition until incorporated.
  5. Combine the milk and vanilla extract in a measuring cup.
  6. With the mixer on medium-low speed, add the flour to the creamed mixture in three parts... between each addition, add half the milk. Mix only until JUST COMBINED.
  7. Toss all the raspberries in 2 Tbsp sugar. Remove 1 cup of the berries and set aside. Gently mash the remaining 4 cups of raspberries until they have broken down. Fold the whole berries back into the mash.
  8. Fold the raspberries into the batter. DO NOT OVER MIX. You want the pink batter to be swirled through the white batter so you can see both colors.
  9. Scoop batter into the cupcake liners at least 3/4 full. Bake for 15-16 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  10. Allow to cool in pans for 3-5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Coconut Cream

  1. Place the coconut flakes in a medium glass bowl.
  2. Split the vanilla bean pods and scrape the seeds out.
  3. Place the vanilla bean seeds & pods along with the heavy cream in a medium sauce pan and whisk together.
  4. Over medium high heat, bring the cream to a slow boil. Once the cream begins to bubble up the sides of the pan, pour it over the coconut flakes.
  5. Allow the coconut to steep in the cream until it comes to room temperature.
  6. Once cool, strain out the coconut flakes and bean pods.
  7. If using immediately, you can leave it on the counter. If you're using it later, keep cool in the fridge.

Coconut Cream Buttercream

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter until smooth.
  2. Add half the powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
  3. Mix in half the cream, the vanilla and coconut extract and the salt. Beat until incorporated.
  4. Add the remaining powdered sugar and beat until smooth.
  5. Finally, add the rest of the heavy cream. Beat on high for 3-4 minutes or until light and fluffy.

Assembly

  1. Using a large open star tip, pipe a swirl of frosting onto each cupcake.
  2. Garnish each with fresh coconut flakes and a raspberry.

Notes

Prep time includes the cooing of the coconut cream.

 

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