I wanted a strawberry theme for my daughter's first birthday cake. I used a small heart pan to bake layers for the strawberry shape, stacked on top of cake layers from a basic 9x13 pan. I made both chocolate and white layers to please the variety of guests.
The chocolate layers are a basic one-bowl quick cake with a dash of instant coffee for a bit more flavour. The white layers are "gold cake" from the Joy of Cooking which helped use up all the egg yolks left over from the frosting. I added couple drops of strawberry flavouring in the batter as well (LorAnn Oils).
The filling between the layers is a rich and marvelous Chocolate Mousse Frosting, also from the Joy of Cooking. The frosting for the strawberry and the meadow grass is a classic Swiss Meringue Buttercream that I found online at Epicurious.com (the reviewers comments helped make this recipe a success). The frosting was just sweet enough, light and easy to work with, both for piping and smoothing.
I used tinted buttercream (Standard Leaf Green, Cake Craft paste) for the crumb coat on the base rectangle. I tinted more buttercream for the crumb coat on the strawberry (Wilton Christmas Red, gel). I finished the frosting of the strawberry by hand with a spatula. Then I piped yellow tinted buttercream for the "1" on top of the green crumb coat, using a #16 open star tip. I switched to a #4 round tip to outline the "1" in yellow, put seeds on the strawberry, and wrote the name.
To finish the Homemade Strawberry Meadow Grass Birthday Cake, I used a #233 multi-opening tip to pipe the meadow grass all over the sides and remaining top surface. I stuck a couple of dandelions in the grass with the yellow frosting and the #16 star tip.
I left it out at room temperature for an hour before serving. It cut nicely and tasted fantastic! The hint of strawberry flavouring in the white cake really added to the visual theme. All the family and guests really enjoyed their slices and several asked for seconds!