Strawberry Cream Cake

front-view-of-strawberry-cake.jpg

98% of the time I buy strawberries, it’s for the sole purpose of having fresh fruit on hand. The other 2% of the time is because I want to bake with them. This was one of those times. Cool, creamy, and light it’s the perfect summertime dessert. We all agreed that the whipped topping was worthy of a dessert all on its own.

Ingredients:

for the cake:

  • 3 cups cake flour, spooned & leveled
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 tbsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • a few drops of red food coloring to make a light pink color, optional

for the frosting:

  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 tbsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 3 pints strawberries, stems & hulls removed

Preparation:

for the cake:

Grease 3 9″ round cake pans, line with parchment paper, grease and flour the parchment paper; set aside. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a medium bowl, combine the cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk together until combined; set aside.

Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add about 1/2 of the flour mixture to the bowl; mix on low speed until well combined.  Add the sour cream, vanilla, and approximately half of the milk to the bowl. Mix on low speed until just combined. Add the remaining flour mixture; mix on low speed to fully incorporate. Add the remaining milk; mix on low speed until well combined, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl.

Divide the batter evenly among the 3 pans and bake for 18 -21 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake pans comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool in the pan for a few minutes before transferring a to a cooling rack. Cool completely before adding the frosting.

for the frosting:

In a medium bowl, beat the heavy cream (longer than usual) until stiff peaks form; set aside. Using an electric mixer, beat the softened cream cheese on high speed until light and fluffy, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl a few times. Add the sugar and vanilla extract, beat on medium speed until fully combined.

Meanwhile, slice 1/3 of the strawberries into thin slices; set aside. *For uniformed slices, I used an egg slicer. Brilliant, if I do say so myself! 😉 Dice the remaining strawberries into smaller pieces. Add the diced strawberries to the bowl of cream cheese and mix until combined, and starts to turn a light shade of pink. Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the whipped cream with a large spoon. Refrigerate frosting for an hour before assembling.

When it’s time to assemble the cake, add a cup of the frosting to each layer, spreading to just the outer edge. Line the outside edge with sliced strawberries and repeat 2 more times for each layer. Normally, I frost the whole outside of the cake, but this time I didn’t because I liked to see the layers in between.

*Adapted slightly from: spicedblog.com (Fresh Strawberry Cake)

**Confession: on the referenced recipe, I didn’t read the instructions all the way through first. I saw the picture and just went for it. The picture on the site shows a 3 layer cake, so I proceeded as such. It was only after I’d mixed together the ingredients for the cake that there’s a note explaining, he generally makes the cake in 2 layers, and that the recipe listed (as above) is for a 2 layer cake. He continued by saying if you want to make the 3 layer version, make 1.5x the recipe. Admittedly, I was a bit bummed because it yielded 3 thin layers of cake; however, in retrospect, I wouldn’t change a thing. The thinner layers complemented the whipped frosting.

Side Strawberry Cake

 

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