Strawberry Soda Cake

Another Thursday, another cake recipe.

We were visiting family in Canada over Rich’s birthday, so I didn’t have a cake for him (though his cousin had some LOVELY cupcakes from a local bakery), so, when we got home, I decided to put a little sumpin’ sumpin’ festive together for him.

But nothing too involved, we’re having friends over in a week or so for dinner and I’m making his favorite, from scratch, carrot cake for the occasion.

So. A soda cake it was.

No, not baking soda; a bottle of soda, the all sugar, no corn sweeteners kind, if you can get it, and most certainly no diet or “zero” sodas. I opted for Strawberry Fanta to go with a strawberry cake mix.

And that’s it. You need nothing else to make this cake. Well, frosting, but I am including my favorite buttercream, so all’s good there.

•1 strawberry cake mix
•12 oz vanilla cream soda

Buttercream Frosting:
•3 cups confectioners’ sugar
•1 cup butter, softened
•1/8 tsp black pepper
•1/8 tsp salt
•1 tsp vanilla
•1 tbsp Amaretto (optional)
•1 to 3 tbsp whipping cream

Topping (Optional):
•Sliced strawberries

Heat your oven according to instructions on the back of the cake mix box, and prepare your chosen cake pan(s) – I went with a 13×9 baking pan and applied a bit of cooking spray to the bottom. If I was making a layer or Bundt cake out of this, I would have combined one tablespoon each of:

•Solid shortening
•Cooking Oil

in a bowl until well blended, then brushed this mixture over the pan(s) you are using. Works a treat, and the cakes always come out cleanly.

Add the soda to the cake mix (and nothing else!) in a large bowl, mix according to the instructions on the back of the cake mix box, and transfer the batter to your prepared cake pan(s).

Bake according to the instructions on the back of the cake mix box until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. My metal, 13×9 inch pan took about 30 minutes at 350º, but again, follow the instructions from the box.

Nice looking cake, no?

And it smelled very strawberry-ish.

Set the cake aside to cook completely, then prepare your buttercream frosting.

Using the whisk attachment, beat the butter with the black pepper (trust me, it’s a good thing), salt, vanilla, and Amaretto, if you’re using it, until the butter is light and fluffy.

Add the confectioners’ sugar and, starting on low speed (that powder will fly everywhere) blend into the butter mixture, scraping down the sides of the bowl and increasing the speed as you go, until you have a thick, fluffy frosting.

Whisk in the heavy cream by tablespoonfuls until your frosting is the consistency you like. Note that if you go too far one way (too much cream?) – you can simply stir in additional confectioners’ sugar until you’re happy with the results.

Give it a taste. Nice, right? That hint of black pepper serves to bring out the other flavors.

Frost your cake and, if you have ’em top with fresh strawberries.

My strawberries had been macerated with blueberries in a bit of sugar and Cointreau to be served for breakfast with a lemon curd yogurt sauce, so I went with shiny red sanding sugar.

Nice cake! And popular with Rich, as well as the under 10 set at our semi-weekly lunch gatherings, so, all in all, a hit.

Note: if you cannot find strawberry soda, try cream soda, or, mebbe, lemon lime.

Just no diet, lite, or Zero sodas. Ever.

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