A few weeks ago, I saw this cake on Good Things Catered. I was awed by how beautiful it was and as I read through the recipe I thought, “huh, this is something I could make.” No crazy fondant or decorating – just simple strawberries and lady fingers.
This weekend we hosted a baby shower for our friends Cristen and Graham in our home. Cristen and Graham love strawberry cake and I knew this was just the cake for the shower. I think what sold me was being able to tie the pink ribbon around it – how cute! This is kind of sad but I was looking forward to making this cake all week. I set my alarm for 7:30 on Saturday morning so I could get up and get baking!
The cake was wonderful and got rave reviews – for both its appearance and taste. I will definitely be adding this cake to the “special occasion” recipes.
FOR THE CAKE
2 1/4 cup cake flour, sifted (I did not have and could not find cake flour. I substituted all purpose by adding 2 tbsp of cornstarch in the bottom of each cup and filling the rest with all purpose. I used 1/2 a tbsp for the last 1/4 cup.)
1 cup strawberry puree, room temperature (I pureed strawberries in the food processor with a couple tablespoons of sugar)
1/4 cup milk , at room temperature
6 large egg whites, room temperature
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
12 tbsp unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), softened (not melted)
FOR THE FROSTING
20 tbsp (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened (not melted)
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted (I used closer to 3-3 1/2)
1/8 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp heavy cream
FOR THE GARNISH
1 package of Lady Fingers (or you can make your own – see recipe link above for instructions)
1 package of fresh strawberries, sliced
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of two 8-inch cake pans with wax or parchment paper. Grease sides of pan and flour.
In a bowl, combine strawberry puree, milk, egg whites and vanilla. Whisk until combined.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, add sifted flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Mix to combine. Continue beating and add butter. Mix until mixture resembles moist crumbs. Add liquid ingredients and beat at medium speed for about 1 minute or until combined. Stop mixer and scrape down bowl. On low speed, beat for 30 more seconds.
Divide batter evently among pans and smooth tops. Place pans in preheated oven and cook 25-30 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Remove pans from ovent and let rest for 10 minutes. Turn out onto wire racks and let cool completely, about 2 hours.
For buttercream, in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat butter at medium-high speed until smooth, about 20-30 seconds. Add sifted powdered sugar and salt, beat at medium-low speed until most of the sugar is moistened, about a minute. Scrape down the bowl and beat at medium spped until the mixture is fully combined, about another 15 seconds. Scrape down bowl again and add vanilla and heavy cream. Beat at medium speed until fully incorporated, about 10 seconds and then increase the speed of the mixer to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down the bowl as necessary.
To assemble cake, place first layer on a plate and top with a thin layer of buttercream, leaving about 1/4 inch border around the edges. Place a layer of sliced strawberries over the top of the buttercream layer. Place the second layer on top of the first and frost with remaining buttercream. Place lady fingers around the sides of the cake, pressing lightly to anchor. Working from the outside in, layer remaining strawberry slices in concentric cricles until you reach the middle. Place one whole strawberry in the middle.
Tie a ribbon (color of your choice) around the lady fingers.
And here is a picture of the sliced cake, please excuse the quality – this was the lone post-party slice that was left. It was late, I was tired and more interested in getting in bed than getting a great shot!