Yep, I’m aware that those are NOT dandelions on the strawberry dandelion cake. But Esther and her friends wanted to put edible flowers on the cake and it was late and they couldn’t find any dandelions that were open so they picked nasturtiums.
I could make the cake again and decorate it with dandelions but that probably won’t happen anytime soon. So, we have nasturtiums on the strawberry dandelion cake and it’s all good.
It all started with this book, Cake Stand by Quinn Veon. I first bought the digital edition but then realized I really wanted this in the print edition. So as soon as it came out, I bought it. We have looked through it several times and Esther decided she wanted to pick a cake from it for her birthday cake.
The decision was hard.
She agonized for weeks over the Chocolate Kale Cake or the Strawberry Chamomile Cake. Eventually, the strawberry cake won out.
We made a few modifications and used dandelion tea made with dandelion flowers I dehydrated earlier this spring and we added just a few mulberries to the strawberries in the berry cream frosting.
I love Quinn’s step by step directions in Cake Stand but in all honestly, that’s not how I usually bake. BUT I did this time because I didn’t want to chance Esther’s birthday cake not turning out because I short cut the process. It was actually kind of fun slowing down and enjoying the process.
So here is my adapted version. Enjoy!
- 3/4 cup butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cup sugar
- 6 egg whites, room temperature
- 1 egg, room temperature
- 1 tbsp vanilla
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup milk
- 2 cups strawberries, diced
- 1/2 cup dandelion tea
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 10 tbsp butter, softened
- 5 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 1/2 cup berry puree (strawberries, raspberries, mulberries)
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 2 tbsp milk
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Prepare two 9" cake pans by greasing with butter and dusting with all purpose flour
- Cream butter and sugar together, using a stand mixer or hand mixer
- Measure out flour, baking powder and salt and whisk them together in a bowl
- Separate the six egg whites and put them in a bowl. Add one whole egg and whisk them together.
- When the butter and sugar are creamed together gently add the egg mixture a little at a time. Mixing in each addition before adding more.
- Mix in the vanilla.
- Mix in 1/3 of the flour mixture, then 1/2 of the milk, 1/3 of the flour, the rest of the milk, then the last of the flour. Mix until well blended. You might need to scrape the sides of the bowl.
- Stir in diced strawberries
- Divide the batter between the two pans and bake for 30-35 minutes. Every oven is different and it might take more or less time so keep an eye on it.
- Cool on wire racks while you make the dandelion syrup and frosting.
- Make one cup of dandelion flower tea by adding dried dandelion flowers to a tea ball and steeping in 1/2 cup of hot water. After about 10 minutes take the tea ball out and add the honey.
- Puree the berries in a blender
- Whip the butter until it is creamy and light (use a stand mixer with the whisk attachment or a hand mixer)
- Sift in the powdered sugar a little at a time until it is all mixed in
- Mix in vanilla and berry puree
- Add just enough milk to get the consistency you desire
- Put one cake upside down on a plate and brush with the dandelion syrup. Frost the cake. Put the second cake right side up on top of the first cake and brush with the dandelion syrup. Frost the top and decorate. You can use strawberries or any edible flower to decorate it.
Review of Cake Stand by Quinn Veon
Let me tell you a little bit about Cake Stand. First of all, if you decide you want to own this book, get the paperback edition from the beginning. Amazon will let you download the digital version if you purchase the paperback version first. Don’t do it backwards like I did ;-).
First chapter in the book goes over some cake making basics. Even though I’ve been making cakes for quite a while I learned a few thing I didn’t know. It will be a good primer for teaching my kids how to bake.
Then there are the cakes – 30 recipes and each with a photo. Each cake is make with something from the garden; pears, apples, kale, beets, zuchhini, blueberries, carrots, etc. Lastly, there are about 20 frosting and filling recipes – because what is cake with out frosting?
There are so many things I love about this book, the recipes, the photos, but mostly I love the idea of it. Sometimes, people think that things like cake don’t have a place in a healthy diet. I’ve never been one of those people. I think cake that is made with wholesome, fresh ingredients should unashamedly have a place in our diet, especially for celebrations. I think we should have a cake revolution ;-).
The only thing I would change about the book is that I wish it laid flat. Most books don’t and it’s certainly a small thing but it will be easier to use if it did. However, even knowing that I would purchase this book again.