This weekend was my sister’s twentieth birthday. Strawberries and Cream is her all-time favorite so there was no negotiating (although I’m not too sure why anyone would want to negotiate themselves out of that!). For Grace’s birthdays my family always picks up a strawberries and cream cake from the grocery store. Although the cake is made fresh at their bakery it just wasn’t satisfying anymore. Maybe management changed, maybe there was some sort ingredient switch-up, or it’s possible my family has become quite spoiled. Turns out-baking with farm fresh eggs changes the baked goods game. This year I decided to try my hand at Grace’s cake (assuring everyone that if the cake was a flop ice cream would be on me!).
There is no cake left, there were oohs and there were ahhs and most of all the birthday girl was smiling. We ate it all. So I am jotting it down here for you dear readers to modify/replicate. If not for a birthday then just because it’s spring!
It‘s rumored that Marie Antoinette sang “Qu’ils mangent de la brioche” when the people of France were starving. The tale goes that cakes and pastries were handed out to the poor. I guess they must have had a lot of leftover cake. Whether that’s true or not I will still take a fat slice of homemade cake anyday. Cheers!
Beware: This recipe calls for buttermilk and cake flour- two uncommon ingredients in my household- if you are in a pinch, no fear! I put the substitutes below 🙂 Happy Baking
For the Cake:
-3 cups of cake flour (or 2 ¾ cup all-purpose flour + ¼ cornstarch)
-3/4 tsp baking soda
-1 ½ tsp baking powder
-3/4 tsp salt
-1 ½ (three sticks) butter- room temp
-3 large egg whites
-2 1/3 cups of granulated sugar
-2 tsp almond extract
-1 ½ cups Buttermilk (whole milk with 1 tbsp white vinegar/ lemon juice)
For the Filling:
-2 cups sliced strawberries
-1-2 tsp sugar
For the Frosting:
-1 pint of heavy whipped cream (chilled)
-1/4 cup powdered sugar
-1 tsp almond extract (vanilla extract will do! I prefer the almond undertone)
How to make that cake!
- Preheat the oven to 350* F. Butter two or three round cake pans generously with butter.
- Sift flour (3 cups), baking soda (3/4 tsp), baking powder (1 ½ tsp), and salt (3/4 tsp) together in one bowl
- Cream the butter (3 sticks @ room temp) and sugar (2 1/3 cups) until light and fluffy
- Add in the egg whites (3)and almond extract (2 tsp), continue beating on medium for a few
- While the mixer is still running add in 1/3 of your dry ingredient mixture to the mixer. Scrape down the sides, then add ¾ cup of buttermilk. Repeat until all batter ingredients are mixed together.
- Divide batter into buttered cake pans evenly. Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until they reach a golden brown (Use ye-olde toothpick trick)
- Let cakes cool for at least 10 minutes
Meanwhile… in the filling department:
- Cut the tops of strawberries off and chop ( 2 cups worth)
- Sprinkle with granulated sugar and let sit in a bowl for 10 min.
- Strain and keep pink strawberry water for frosting
Whip it! Whip it real good!
- Chill the whisk & clean mixing bowl in freezer until cold
- Pour in (1 Pint) heavy cream, powdered sugar (1/4 cup) and almond extract ( 1tsp)
- Add in whatever pink strawberry liquid you have leftover
- Whip until stiff peaks!
- Place the largest cake (there always is a bigger layer) on the plate & spread with whipped cream
- Spread half of strawberries
- Repeat if doing three layer cake
- Frost top layer and decorate with remaining strawberries OR fresh chopped strawberries- it’s up to you!