Grammar teachers cringe! I apologize, but, as much as it offends my grammar sensibilities, this cake does deserve the label “most awesomest ever!” My good friend is leaving for far-off lands in just a couple days and for her going-away party, I made this most awesome of awesome tasty treats. It’s impressive to look at, but easy to make, I swear. As with most of my baking adventures, Maya (4) was there to be my stand-in stand-mixer. Why use a machine when little muscles can get the job done?
I adapted this recipe from Sunset Magazine. I do recommend that the first time you make a recipe (especially when baking), you follow the recipe to the letter; after that, however, it’s great when you can tweak a recipe to make it your own as I have done here: a little less sugar, a bigger pan, a little more frosting … and now I make it just the way I (and all my people) like it! Here’s the run-down:
- 2 1/4 cups cake flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2/3 cup milk
Whipped Cream Frosting Ingredients
- 4 cups heavy whipping cream (1 pint = about 2 cups)
- 8 tablespoons sugar (or a little less if you find this too sweet)
- 1 to 1 1/2 pounds strawberries, sliced
- save 4 of the best-looking strawberries to cut in half (for the top of the cake)
- Butter and flour two 9-inch round cake pans.
- Preheat the oven to 350.
- Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl; set aside.
- In a larger bowl, combine the butter and sugar until creamy. Add the eggs and vanilla. Combine thoroughly. Add the flour mixture and milk in alternating batches, starting and ending with the flour.
- Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared pans.
- Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of each cake comes out clean: 20-25 minutes (it takes exactly 22 minutes in my oven).
- Cool cakes for 5 minutes. Invert them onto a rack, remove pans, and let them cool completely before frosting.
- Wash and slice the strawberries.
- Put the heavy whipping cream and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Set the mixer on the lowest setting first so the cream doesn’t slosh out. After a minute or so, raise the speed. Whip the cream and sugar until it becomes thick – you want it to be spreadable. You will actually be able to hear the whisk slow down once it comes to the right consistency.
- Pick a serving plate. Once assembled, the cake will be impossible to move, so assemble on the plate you want to present it on. In addition, pick a plate that will fit in your fridge as this cake is best when cold.
- To assemble, use a serrated knife to slice both the cake layers in half horizontally, giving you 4 layers to work with. Pick the prettiest rounded top for the very top of your cake. Place one layer on your serving plate. Generously frost with the whipped cream, but do so gently – spreading too roughly with a knife will cause the cake to tear. Lay down one layer of strawberries. Repeat with the 2nd and 3rd layers. Place the last layer on top, again generously frosting. Decorate the top with the halved strawberries, or in any way you wish.
- Refrigerate until ready to eat, then enjoy!
What to do with the leftover whipped cream and sliced strawberries? Hmmm … that’s a tough one! If you can’t figure it out, my husband, 4-year-old and 16-month old can help you figure it out. Enjoy!