Decorating cakes with strawberries emphasises the freshness, colour and flavour of baked goods. Appetizing to look at and even more delicious when eaten, strawberries are easy to clean and cut into decorative slices. Arranging the strawberries into a pleasing design on the cake does not require an artistic flair and in fact can be done by just about any child or adult. The colour of the icing or the number of layers or shape of the cake can be used to complement the quantity and placement of the strawberries.
Cut off the stems of strawberries that are large, fresh and ripe but firm. Thoroughly wash the strawberries and make certain they dry completely.
Dice some of the strawberries to mix in with the frosting. Cut the pieces large enough to be easily visible, approximately 1/8 inch square, and mix them into the frosting.
Place one layer of cake on the worktable and spread the top of the layer with 1/8 inch of the frosting.
Place the second layer of cake on top of the first layer and then frost the entire cake.
Wash and dry a large, ripe strawberry, and remove its stem. Place it, flat side down, into the frosting in the exact centre of the cake.
Slice enough whole strawberries into 1/8-inch slices to decorate the top of the cake. Start by sliding the slices at a 45 degree angle into the frosting in a circle around the strawberry in the centre of the cake.
Continue to make as many circles outward from the centre of the cake as you prefer.
Cut enough strawberries in half lengthwise to place them 2 inches apart around the centre filling of the cake between the two layers. Use toothpicks if necessary to skewer through the strawberries into the frosting to hold them in place. Push the toothpicks far enough into the strawberries so they are not noticeable.
Sprinkle powdered confectioners sugar lightly over the strawberries on top of the cake.
Never work with overripe strawberries. Slice any bumps or irregularities off the cake with a knife. Dip the frosting spatula into warm water between applications of frosting to keep the frosting smooth and even.
Allow the cake to cool completely before decorating or the frosting will melt.