The basics of this recipe are from a serious source for cast iron lovers like me and my husband. We try to cook using our cast iron almost all of the time. It’s a fun piece of cookware to learn how to use because it is not always the same, and far from easy. Navigating through the quirks of your cast iron is half the fun! Here is the original recipe from Southern Cast Iron.
Since my husband likes to smoke all sorts of foods, we have evolved this recipe to include smoked strawberries.
¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
1⅓ cups sugar
¼ cup strawberry gelatin
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¾ cup whole buttermilk
½ cup finely chopped strawberries, smokedso
¾ cup whole fresh strawberries, hulled
6 ounces cream cheese, softened
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
Garnish: fresh strawberries
Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a 10-inch cast-iron skillet with cooking spray.
For smoked strawberries: smoke at a 225 degrees with cherry wood for 15-20 minutes, not letting them dry out too much.
For cake: In a large bowl, beat butter, sugar, and gelatin with a mixer at medium speed until fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in vanilla.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating just until combined after each addition. Fold in smoked strawberries. Spread batter in prepared skillet.
Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, about 50 minutes, loosely covering with foil to prevent excess browning, if necessary. Let cool completely.
For frosting: In the container of a blender, process strawberries until smooth. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Beat in confectioners’ sugar. Gradually stir in 5 tablespoons strawberry puree, beating until combined. (Mixture will be thin.) Refrigerate until thickened but not completely chilled, about 30 minutes.
With a mixer on medium speed, beat frosting until fluffy, about 1 minute. Spread on top of cake. Garnish with strawberries, if desired.