Sunday, May 11, 2014

Strawberry Dream Cake

I found this recipe via America's Test Kitchen and made it for Mother's Day this year. I've made quite a few cakes in my day but I honestly think this is the best one I've ever baked. If you're a strawberry fan, you have to give this recipe a try.

  • 10 ounces frozen whole strawberries
  • 3/4 cup whole milk, room temperature
  • 6 egg whites, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups cake flour
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed and softened
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed and softened
  • 2 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 12 ounces cream cheese, cubed and softened
  • a pinch of salt
  • 8 ounces fresh strawberries, thinly sliced

Heat the oven to 350 and put a rack in the center. Grease two 9-inch round cake pans and line the bottom. Put frozen strawberries in a bowl, cover, and microwave until most of the juices are released (about 5 minutes if thawed, 8 minutes if completely frozen). Over a saucepan, using a fine strainer, press the strawberries through. Save the solids. Bring the juice to a boil, stirring occasionally, until a syrup is formed and it has reduced to about 1/4 cup.

Add the milk to the juice with a whisk.

Whisk together strawberry milk, egg whites and vanilla in a bowl. In another bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt on until combined. Add butter and mix until pea-sized pieces remain. Add half of the milk mixture. Beat until light and fluffy. Add remaining milk mixture and beat until incorporated.

Divide the batter between the two cake pans and bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes. Rotate pans halfway through baking. Cool cakes completely before frosting.

To make the frosting, mix the butter and the sugar until combined. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until fluffy. Add cream cheese, 1 piece at a time, and beat until incorporated. Add strawberry solids and salt. Mix until combined.

Slice the strawberries and pat them dry with paper towels.

Spread frosting over the first layer, then add the strawberries, then add another layer of frosting. Put the second layer on top and frost the top and sides. Use the back of a spoon to create messy swirls. Put a few strawberry slices on top for decoration.

Whatever cake isn't devoured should be stored in the fridge since the frosting contains cream cheese.

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