Do you believe desserts are evil? I don’t. While our household doesn’t indulge very often, I believe it’s perfectly fine to make dessert for a special occasion. As long as we’re eating a healthy diet filled with lots of vegetables and other real foods, what’s wrong with an occasional indulgence?
Unfortunately one of the many things that’s happened to our food culture over the past 50 or so years is that desserts and treats have morphed from something special into a habit we indulge in daily—or even worse, several times a day. Further exacerbating the issue is the quality of ingredients in these treats—they simply don’t resemble anything close to real food. So while you’ll never hear me say desserts like cake are healthy, I honestly believe that if they’re made from ingredients we recognize, our bodies can handle the occasional indulgence with greater ease.
To make my point let’s look at what’s in some popular cake mixes and ready-to-spread frostings. Despite what their advertisements may say, do these desserts even deserve to be called freshly baked or homemade? (For a complete ingredient list click here.)
So when there’s a celebration at our house, I usually take the time to make a special dessert … like this delicious Strawberry Cake.
Perfect for springtime holidays like Easter or Mother’s Day or maybe even a birthday party, this cake is absolutely beautiful. Made with 100% whole wheat pastry flour, real strawberries, and the juice and zest from real lemons, this cake is alive with flavor. And if you’re a little short on time, I’ve provided some time-saving tips in the recipe that should make this cake totally doable in less than an hour!
So ditch those boxes of cake mix and kick those tubs of frosting to the curb. And instead, start baking up a REAL, delicious dessert for your family’s next special occasion.
Kitchen Tips and Resources:
- I love my KitchenAid stand mixer. I’ve had it for 20 years now and it continues to keep going strong. It’s perfect for so many kitchen tastes, but it comes in especially handy when baking!
- I used my Blendtec blender to purée the strawberries for the filling and the result was so smooth, there was no need to strain out any pulp.
- I love my microplane zester for the lemon zest. It truly makes zesting a lemon quick and easy! Once you’ve tried this zester, you will wonder why you’ve been using other graters for all these years!
- When I’m making this cake I use four, 8-inch round cake pans—but you can certainly use two and make it a simpler, two-layer cake!
- If you’ve never baked cakes using parchment paper you should definitely give it a try. Butter and flour your cake pans, then insert a piece of parchment paper you’ve cut out to match the size of your pan. Gone are the days of cakes not coming out easily! Here’s the type of parchment paper I use—it’s unbleached and Green Seal Certified.
- When you’re baking cakes you really need some racks to get them to cool off quickly. I love these tiered cooling racks since they’re perfect for cakes or cookies … and they can save you some kitchen counter real estate!
- When you go to all the trouble of making a cake, you really do need something to store it in or help you take it to a party. I bought this BPA-free Sterlite cake keeper at Target, and it works great (it’s also available on Amazon and lots of other retailers).