I saw this recipe in a recent Cooking Light magazine. Then I saw that Kristen made the cake, and next I saw that Patsy made the same recipe but made cupcakes. That is when I decided I would definitely make this recipe but I would follow suit with Patsy and do cupcakes. Cupcakes are so much easier to pass out to others than a cake is....so any I would have left over, I could give to either my kids or take to work.
On the CL website itself there is a bit of discussion about the cake in the reviews. My feeling is that this is a good recipe to keep around but it definitely needs some tweaking. I love the fact you use strawberry puree. There is no flavoring listed in the recipe, but if made again, I would add some strawberry extract to boost the strawberry flavor. My cupcakes came out pretty flat but I kind of expected that to happen as the cake has been described as "dense" and I might play around with the flour in this recipe some too to try and make it not so dense. I decided that I was going to put strawberry puree in the frosting itself as I wanted as much strawberry flavor as possible! My changes to the recipe that I made are listed in red. This recipe gave me 24 cupcakes.
1-1/4 cups sliced strawberries
10 ounce all-purpose flour (about 2 1/4 cups)
2-1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 large eggs
2 large egg whites
1 cup low-fat buttermilk (I used 1 tbsp lemon juice with remaining milk to make 1 cup)
1/4 teaspoon red food coloring
1/3 cup (3 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
1/3 cup butter, softened (I used 1/2 cup)
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier (orange-flavored liqueur) (I used 1 Tbsp)
3 cups powdered sugar (I used 4 cups)
12 whole strawberries (optional) (I pureed strawberries and put about 1/4 cup of the puree in the frosting mix)
Preheat oven to 350°.
To prepare cake, place sliced strawberries in a food processor; process until smooth.
Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt, stirring with a whisk. Place granulated sugar and 1/2 cup butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in egg whites. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Add pureed strawberries and food coloring; beat just until blended.
Divide batter between 2 (8-inch) round cake pans coated with cooking spray. (I used paper lined cupcake pans and made 24 cupcakes)Bake at 350° for 30 (20 minutes for cupcakes)minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pans; cool completely on wire racks.
To prepare frosting, place cream cheese, 1/3 cup butter, and liqueur in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until blended. Gradually add powdered sugar, and beat just until blended.
Place 1 cake layer on a plate; spread with 1/2 cup frosting. Top with remaining cake layer. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake. Cut 1 whole strawberry into thin slices, cutting to, but not through, the stem end. Fan strawberry on top of cake just before serving, if desired. Cut remaining 11 strawberries in half. Garnish cake with strawberry halves, if desired.