Spring is the season of bright colors, fresh produce, and, most importantly, delicious cakes. Accordingly, our Strawberry Crème Brûlée Cake is the perfect treat to brush off the winter chill and bring in the warm weather. Each fruit-filled bite is overflowing with juicy fresh strawberries, zesty lemon juice, and delicate vanilla extract. Baked in the Nordic Ware Charlotte Cake Pan, this cake becomes a sweet-as-can-be stunner with beautiful flecks of ruby-red strawberries peeking through the golden-brown exterior.
A heavenly Vanilla Bean Custard is spread inside the hollowed top, cradled by the beautifully arched edges. The sweet custard is created using fragrant vanilla bean paste and heavy whipping cream, making it the perfect pairing for spring strawberries. In typical crème brûlée fashion, the custard is sprinkled with a healthy dose of sugar and browned to create the classic crunch. With a cake this good, we won’t be surprised when it becomes your new spring obsession!
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Strawberry Crème Brûlée Cake
- ½ pound (228 grams) fresh strawberries, hulled
- 1 cup (125 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking powder
- ½ teaspoon (1.5 grams) kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon (1.25 grams) baking soda
- ⅔ cup (133 grams) plus 3 tablespoons (36 grams) granulated sugar, divided
- ½ cup (112 grams) vegetable oil
- 2 large egg whites (60 grams), room temperature
- ¼ cup (60 grams) whole milk, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon (5 grams) fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon (4 grams) vanilla extract
- 1 drop red gel food coloring (optional)
- Vanilla Bean Custard (recipe follows)
- In the work bowl of a food processor, pulse strawberries until nearly smooth but a few small pieces remain. Transfer to a small saucepan; bring strawberry purée to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring frequently, until thickened and reduced to ⅓ cup, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat, and let cool completely.
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Spray a 6-cup Nordic Ware Charlotte Cake Pan with baking spray with flour.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda.
- In a large bowl, whisk together ⅔ cup (133 grams) sugar, oil, and egg whites. Whisk in milk, lemon juice, and vanilla. Add flour mixture, and whisk until almost combined. Gently fold in strawberry purée and food coloring (if using) just until combined. Spread batter into prepared pan. Firmly tap pan on kitchen towel-lined counter to settle batter.
- Bake until cake springs back when lightly touched in center and a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Invert cake onto a wire rack, and let cool completely.
- Spread Vanilla Bean Custard into center of cooled cake. Refrigerate until custard is set, about 1 hour.
- Just before serving, sprinkle remaining 3 tablespoons (36 grams) sugar onto custard, leaving a ¼-inch border around edges of custard. Using a handheld kitchen torch, carefully brown sugar. Serve immediately.
- 3 tablespoons (36 grams) granulated sugar
- 2 large egg yolks (40 grams), room temperature
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¾ cup (180 grams) heavy whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon (6 grams) vanilla bean paste
- In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, egg yolks, and salt.
- In a small saucepan, combine cream and vanilla bean paste; heat over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, just until steaming. (Do not boil.) Slowly add half of cream mixture to sugar mixture, whisking constantly. Add sugar mixture to remaining cream mixture in pan, and cook, whisking constantly, until thickened and an instant-read thermometer registers 185°F (85°C), 2 to 5 minutes. Use immediately.