Cakes, Desserts, Recipes

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cake

Fresh strawberry cake from scratch… no Jello, artificial flavorings, or anything fake! This cake is delicious and easier than you would think! Top it with a rich chocolate frosting and you have Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cake that everyone will want an extra slice…or two…or three of!

Fresh strawberry cake from scratch... no Jello, artificial flavorings, or anything fake! This cake is delicious and easier than you would think! Top it with a rich chocolate frosting and you have Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cake that everyone will want an extra slice...or two...or three of!

On Halloween, a Dairy Queen opened about five minutes from our house. Dangerous! Before that, we had to drive a decent distance to reach one. Some of the folks in our area were upset, saying the DQ would “ruin” the area with another fast food area. Ruin the area? Ummm, no! Ruin people’s diets, more likely! Haha. Is there anything more delicious than a Blizzard or a dipped cone? I don’t think so… unless it’s this Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cake!

Fresh strawberry cake from scratch... no Jello, artificial flavorings, or anything fake! This cake is delicious and easier than you would think! Top it with a rich chocolate frosting and you have Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cake that everyone will want an extra slice...or two...or three of!

Now I realize that Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cake and Dairy Queen don’t really relate to many of you. But for longterm DQ lovers like me, do you remember the Chocolate Covered Strawberry Blizzard? I used to get them all the time in college and then they took them off the menu. It was a very sad day. Some stores would make them, and others wouldn’t, which made NO sense to me because it’s just strawberries [that they already have from the sundaes!] and chocolate [like chips/shavings OR that dipped cone topping…yum!]. Yum and yum. It’s so basic, but so good, ya know?

Fresh strawberry cake from scratch... no Jello, artificial flavorings, or anything fake! This cake is delicious and easier than you would think! Top it with a rich chocolate frosting and you have Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cake that everyone will want an extra slice...or two...or three of!

Now, I haven’t been to my local DQ [I just got chills typing that, you guys…yay!] yet to see if they’ll make me my favorite Blizzard, but right now I have this cake and the world is a-okay. You can make this fresh strawberry cake with fresh or frozen strawberries, making it a great year-round treat. There’s absolutely nothing fake or artificial in this cake, just lots of pure strawberry goodness! If you want more of a pink/red color, you’ll have to use a little food coloring but I was happy with the color of my cake without that. The strawberry cake is light and fluffy, and when combined with the rich chocolate frosting is absolutely heavenly! I hope you enjoy this cake as much as I did!

one year ago: Pumpkin Cranberry Bread
two years ago: Cranberry and Cream Cheese Muffins
three years ago: Pumpkin Graham Muffins
four years ago: Pollo alla Poggia Alloro {A Family Farm in Tuscany}
five years ago: Homemade Maple & Brown Sugar Almond Butter
six years ago: Pumpkin Soup and Homemade Croutons

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cake

  • Servings: 12
  • Print

for Fresh Strawberry Cake

for Chocolate Frosting

Ingredients:

for cake

  • 24 ounces very ripe strawberries, hulled – or frozen strawberries work too!
  • 1-2 teaspoons sugar, optional
  • 1/4 milk, at room temperature
  • 6 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cup cake flour, sifted
  • 1 3/4 cup sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • red or pink food coloring, if desired

for frosting

  • 3 cups powdered sugar [plus up to an extra 1/2 cup as needed]
  • pinch of salt
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
  • 6 ounces milk chocolate, melted
  • 8 ounces sour cream

Directions:

If using frozen strawberries [I did!], set in a fine strainer placed over a bowl. Let rest until thawed, tossing occasionally to remove excess juices. Reserve liquid for another use or discard as desired.

If using fresh strawberries, hull and toss with 1-2 teaspoons sugar. Let rest at room temperature for an hour or two, until juicy.

Place strawberries in a food processor and pulse. Reserve 3/4 cup puree for the cake. Use the rest for something else–I stirred mine into plain yogurt. Yum!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 8 or 9 inch round baking pans. Mine are 9 inches. If desired, you can also grease pan, line with parchment circles, then grease and flour again.

In a medium bowl, whisk together 3/4 cup strawberry puree, 1/4 cup milk, egg whites, and vanilla.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. While mixer is running on low, add butter. Mix until moist crumbs form.

Add strawberry puree mixture to bowl of stand mixer. Beat on medium speed for about a minute, then turn off mixture. Scrape sides and stir together by hand for about 30 seconds. Add a drop or two of food coloring if desired–original recipe said that batter won’t get pinker so add food coloring if you want more of a pink/red color!

Divide batter between prepared pans. Smooth tops with a rubber spatula, then bake for 22-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. I usually start checking around 18 minutes and cover with foil if top is browning too much.

When finished, let cake rest in pan for 10-15 minutes before turning out onto wire rack to cool completely.

Meanwhile… make that frosting!

In a small bowl, mix 3 cups powdered sugar, cocoa, and salt. With an electric mixer, combine cream cheese and butter until smooth and fluffy.

Add cocoa mixture to cream cheese concoction in 1/3 cup increments, mixing until fully incorporated. Pour in the chocolate [it helps to melt it in a glass measuring cup with a spout] while mixer is running on low, then add sour cream and beat until combined, scraping the sides as necessary. If desired, add additional powdered sugar to reach desired consistency.

Frost the cake once cooled–first between the two layers, then on top and sides. Some people use the extra strawberry puree in between the layers but I didn’t do that. Check out original recipe for more details! Enjoy!

P.S. I stored the leftovers in the fridge due to the frosting. It’s great cold!

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Beverages, Recipes

#HotSummerEats: Strawberry Ginger Smoothie

A refreshing smoothie, perfect for breakfasts on a hot morning or for a snack after spending the afternoon at the pool. This smoothie is full of fruit and a hint of spicy ginger for a fun twist.
Strawberry Ginger Smoothie for #HotSummerEats on thepajamachef.com
Ben and I love smoothies so much that we buy frozen berries in giant 10 pound bags from Sam’s Club. Now that we have an extra freezer in the garage–thanks Mom and Dad!–we can buy multiple kinds of fruit at once! YAY! But up until now, our class combo was vanilla yogurt + frozen strawberries + a frozen banana + a splash of milk or oj. Easy and delicious. For an afternoon snack though, like you may want during hot summer days, the idea of dairy–milk or yogurt–isn’t very appealing. So I switched up my normal smoothie, leaving out the yogurt to create more of a slushie texture and adding some ginger for a ‘lil extra flavor. Feel free to try this smoothie in whatever variations you like–using another type of berry, blending in some greens, adding protein powder or chia seeds, etc. This is a great basic smoothie recipe, tried and true and sure to please! Enjoy!

P.S. Don’t forget to enter the #HotSummerEats giveaway for lots of great prizes, including the ginger I received from Gourmet Garden and used in this recipe.

two years ago: Pretzel Rolls

Strawberry Ginger Smoothie

  • Servings: 2
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups frozen strawberries, thawed on the counter for 5 minutes
  • 2 sliced, frozen bananas, thawed on the counter for 5 minutes
  • 1/2 tablespoon Lightly Dried Ginger – or an equivalent of fresh grated ginger
  • 1/2 cup water, almond or coconut milk, juice, or other liquid, as desired/needed for blending
  • honey, optional

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a blender and pulse until liquefied. Taste and add more ginger if desired, or add some honey for additional sweetness if needed. Serve immediately.

For more #HotSummerEats recipes, click the link below:

Disclaimer: Thank you to Gourmet Garden for providing samples and product to use for#HotSummerEats recipes without additional compensation. I was not asked to provide positive feedback. All opinions are my own. Please check them out on Facebook, Twitter,Instagram, and Pinterest for more information on their products.

Breakfast, Recipes, Spreads

Strawberry Yogurt

Ben and I are yogurt-a-holics. Seriously, at any given time we have about half a shelf of our fridge full of yogurt. Tubs of plain or vanilla. Individual cartons of sundry flavors. It is insane! For awhile, I even made our own yogurt in the crockpot, then strained it out to make homemade Greek yogurt. While that stuff was good, it was time consuming and I fell out of the habit. But our other habit [buying a bazillion flavors at the store] is expensive. What’s a girl to do? Make my own toppings, of course!

Strawberry Yogurt | thepajamachef.com

Back in the days of homemade yogurt I purchased multiple flavors of jam to stir into homemade yogurt. That was easy, but pricy, and took up tons of valuable fridge space. This time, I had some frozen fruit for smoothies and made up a quick strawberry puree with just a bit of sugar, lemon juice, and cinnamon. Hardly a recipe, yobut this sauce is a perfect addition to those store bought tubs of plain yogurt and I thought some of you may enjoy it too! Lately I’ve been prepping mason jars of strawberry yogurt on the weekend and enjoying them at work all week long. For an extra treat, add some homemade granola or a few mini chocolate chips! Yum!

one year ago: Cumin-Scented Cabbage Salad
two years ago: Extraordinary Grilled Cheese
three years ago: The Best Egg Salad I’ve Ever Had

Strawberry Yogurt
click to print

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups frozen strawberries
  • 1 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 32 ounces plain yogurt [regular or greek]

Directions:

In a nonreactive saucepan, combine strawberries, lemon juice, sugar, and cinnamon. Let sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes to let berries defrost, then set over low heat, stirring constantly, until sugar melts and berries begin to break down. Gently break larger berries apart with a wooden spoon. Pour into a small bowl to cool.

Meanwhile, divide yogurt between 6 containers [1 cup/8 ounces each]. When strawberry sauce has cooled, top yogurt with 2-3 tablespoons strawberry sauce. You may have a little sauce leftover. Cover and refrigerate until ready to enjoy.

Time: 60 minutes [10 minutes active].
Yield: 6 servings yogurt, approximately 1 cup strawberry sauce.

Cakes, Desserts, Recipes

Flourless Chocolate Cake with Strawberry Sauce

So, I used to post once a month on a blog called Today’s Housewife. Last fall, the group decided together to stop posting due the busyness of life and families and such. Though sad, I enjoyed being part of the group. As of early January, the blog was officially taken down. But I don’t want to lose my recipes, so periodically I will be reposting them on here. Enjoy!

~

from March 8, 2012…

So are you craving rich chocolate cake, but don’t want to take the time to make one? Or does another box of brownies just seem boring? Perhaps you need a gluten free dessert and just don’t know what to make. Well, have I got a solution for you!

Flourless Chocolate Cake | thepajamachef.com

How about Flourless Chocolate Cake with Strawberry Sauce? Think a rich, sophisticated chocolate fudgy cake topped with sweet, smooth, homemade strawberry sauce. Sound delish? Mmhmm, I thought so.

And despite how indulgent this recipe sounds–it’s actually fairly healthy, calorie wise. You know, as far as chocolate cakes go. What I love about this recipe is that the sweetness comes from the chocolate and the strawberry sauce, not tons of added sugar. That’s how the richness shines through. If you’re pressed for time, you can use strawberry preserves or another all-fruit spread, but don’t skip the sauce, as it really brings the cake up a notch or two.

Flourless Chocolate Cake | thepajamachef.com

Each slice of this Flourless Chocolate Cake with Strawberry Sauce is absolutely divine, and it’s so simple to make that it has definitely earned itself a spot on my emergency dessert list. It is just that good! Enjoy!

one year ago: Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese
two years ago: Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake
three years ago: Stovetop Mac & Cheese with Broccoli

Flourless Chocolate Cake with Strawberry Sauce [cake from You Can Trust a Skinny Cook by Allison Fishman, sauce from Our Best Bites]
click to print

Ingredients:

for cake

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder + more for dusting/garnish
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • vanilla ice cream, for serving

for sauce

  • 1 pint strawberries [I used frozen]
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract [I used vanilla]

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 inch cake pan with cooking spray, then thoroughly “flour” with cocoa powder.

Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, add chocolate chips, and remove from heat. Stir together until chips have melted.

Next, stir together sugar and cooca in a medium bowl. Make a well and add the eggs and vanilla. Whisk to combine, then pour in chocolate mixture and fold in with a wooden spoon. Pour into pan and cook in oven for 60 minutes. Cool on cooling rack for at least one hour or until mostly cool, then invert on serving dish.

While cake is cooling, prepare strawberry sauce.

Combine strawberries, sugar, and extract in saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, always stirring and breaking up berries along the way. Cook for five minutes or until berries are hot and sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and puree with an immersion blender until desired consistency is reached. Alternatively, you could let mixture cool and [carefully] puree in a blender or food processor.

Dust cake with extra cocoa powder, then serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a dollop of strawberry sauce.

Time: 80 minutes [20 minutes active], plus time to cool.

Yield: 12 servings.

Notes: If you’re nervous about inverting the cake pan without breaking the cake, feel free to try lining with parchment paper [the recipe suggested it, but I didn’t do it] or use a springform pan–since it has a removable bottom, it should work perfectly! If you need this cake to be gluten free, be sure to double check that all ingredients are gluten free, as some things [chocolate chips, cocoa powder, etc.] sometimes can contain wheat additives. I’m no expert on gluten free, but just a little heads up. Be sure to investigate on your own!

Linked up with: Weekend Potluck, Foodie Friday.

Breakfast, French Toast, Recipes

SRC: Baked Strawberry French Toast with Strawberry Maple Syrup

This month for the Secret Recipe Club I had the honor of being assigned to Jane’s blog, The Heritage Cook. Jane does so much for the SRC every month, including serving as the hostess of our group [group A, that always posts on the first Monday of the month] so I definitely wanted to do a good job with her blog. 🙂 Jane lives in California and has been into cooking and baking forever–ever since her Easy Bake Oven. How fun! She has tons of great recipes on her site, including lots of chocolate recipes from her Chocolate Mondays posts. So if you need a chocolate recipe, like puddingpeanut butter-chocolate cookie dip, or cake, Jane is your girl! 🙂 But I didn’t make a chocolate recipe today. I made baked french toast. And it is delicious!

Baked Strawberry French Toast with Strawberry Maple Syrup | thepajamachef.com

This was one of the last, if not the last meal we made in our old apartment. TEAR! Ha. But I digress… this baked french toast is soft, sweet, super simple to put together. You can mix everything together the night before you want to serve it, and then just bake it up in about 30 minutes in the morning. We topped ours with walnuts and strawberries, and then an absolutely epic strawberry maple syrup. Jane is a genius, I tell ya!

Baked Strawberry French Toast with Strawberry Maple Syrup | thepajamachef.comThe original recipe used blueberries and pecans instead of my strawberries and walnuts, but I was using up what I had. And it was excellent. I wished I had an orange to grate in some zest–that would have made a great dish even better. The moral of the story is that you can use any fruit and any nut you’d like, and you can have a great, company worthy breakfast in a jiffy. Thanks, Jane! Enjoy! 🙂

one year ago… Maple Cornmeal Drop Biscuits
two years ago… Pumpkin, Sausage, & Spinach Lasagna 
three years ago… Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins

Baked Strawberry French Toast with Strawberry Maple Syrup [adapted from The Heritage Cook]
click to print

Ingredients:

for french toast

  • 1 loaf Italian bread, cut into 1-2 inch cubes
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts, lightly toasted
  • 2 cups strawberries, fresh or frozen

for syrup

  • 1 1/2 cups real maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 cups strawberries, fresh or frozen

Directions:

Spread bread crumbs on the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, 1/2 cup brown sugar, and vanilla. Pour over bread, then cover and refrigerate overnight. It will appear to be very liquidy–that’s okay.

In the morning, top with remaining brown sugar, walnuts, and strawberries. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes or until brown and bubbly.

While french toast is baking, combine maple syrup and strawberries in a small saucepan and heat on low until warm. Gently press berries with a wooden spoon to break up.

Cut french toast into squares and serve with strawberry maple syrup.

Time: 1 hour + overnight.

Yield: 12 servings.

For more great recipes from this edition of the SRC, check out the links below!