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Strawberry Dream Cake
This recipe, adapted from Cook's Country, is for a cake that I am often asked to make for fundraisers and auctions, birthdays and summer holidays. It feels like a special occasion confection, but without all the hassle. I modified the original recipe by reducing the amount of sugar by about 1/4 cup from the batter and 1/4 cup from the frosting. It's still sweet but not tooth-achingly so...You can make the cake one to two days ahead of time and store in the refrigerator but it's best to garnish with fresh berries before serving.
- 10 ounces frozen whole strawberries
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 6 large egg whites
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 1/4 cups cake flour
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces, softened
Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 cups confectioner's sugar
- 12 ounces cream cheese, cut into 12 pieces and softened
- Pinch salt
- 8 ounces fresh strawberries, hulled and thinly sliced
- Preheat oven to 350°. Grease two 9-inch round cake pans, line bottom with parchment, grease parchment, and lightly dust with flour. Set aside.
- Place strawberries in a microwavable bowl, cover, and microwave about 5 minutes or until strawberries are soft and have released their juices. Place a fine-mesh strainer over a small saucepan and transfer strawberries to strainer. Press down on fruit to extract all the juice (it should measure to about 3/4 cup); reserve strawberry solids for the frosting. Bring juice to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until syrupy and reduced to about 1/4 cup, about 6 minutes. Whisk milk into juice.
- Whisk strawberry milk, egg whites, and vanilla in a bowl. Add flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle and mix on low speed until combined. Add butter, 1 piece at a time, and mix until only pea-size pieces remain. Add half of milk mixture, increase speed to medium-high, and beat until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Reduce speed to medium-low, add remaining milk mixture, and beat until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Give batter a final stir by hand, using a flexible silicone spatula.
- Divide batter evenly among prepared cake pans and bake, rotating pans halfway, 20 to 25 minutes or until a tester inserted in center comes out clean. Remove cakes from oven and place on a wire/cooling rack 10 minutes. Remove cakes from pans, discarding parchment, and cool completely. (NOTE: Cooled cakes can be wrapped in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 2 days.)
- MAKE FROSTING: Place butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined, about 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add cream cheese, one piece at a time, and beat until incorporated, about 1 minute. Add reserved strawberry solids and salt and mix until combined, about 30 seconds. Refrigerate until ready to use, and up to 2 days. Let sit out on counter to soften up a bit before frosting the cake layers.
- ASSEMBLE: Pat strawberries dry. When cakes are cooled, spread 3/4 cup frosting over 1 cake round. Press 1 cup strawberry slices in an even layer over frosting. Top with second cake round and spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake. Garnish with remaining strawberries. (Cake can be refrigerated up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.)
Date Published: May 21, 2016
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