This Strawberry Cake was originally designed for my Frostings and Fillings Zoom class. It illustrated the American Buttercream in the middle and whipped cream as the finish. A combination of my favorite White cake that appeared in From 1 Recipe Comes Multiple Cake Layers and the incomparable Strawberry Buttercream, intensely flavored with powdered freeze dried strawberries, comes this elegant cake fit for any celebration, especially Mother's Day.
High Ratio Cakes
This cake is a high ratio cake that goes together literally in minute. The texture is soft and moist. I love high ratio cakes because they are so easy to make but not all cakes can be converted to this method, sometimes referred to as reverse creaming creaming. I have no idea why someone decided to call it this but there you are. A high ratio cake calls for the sugar to be the same weight or more than the weight of the flour used in the recipe. It is important to remember that a cup of granulated sugar is 200 grams or 7 ounces, all purpose flour is 140 grams or 5 ounces and cake flour is 125 grams or about 4 ¾ ounces. The flours are unsifted when weighed.
This truly is a party in your mouth.
The recipe calls for freeze dried strawberries which can be found at Trader Joe's as well as other stores. One 1.5 ounce package equals a full pound of strawberries without the juice making them ideal to introduce into a frosting. They need to be powdered in a blender or food processor with about half the powdered sugar. Do not substitute dried fruit, it must be freeze dried. The result is amazing.
While the red food coloring can be omitted, the buttercream will not look very exciting.
Make Ahead Notes
Much of this cake can be made ahead. The layers can be made and frozen or better yet, they can be filled and frozen. Thaw, covered, overnight in the refrigerator and finish with whipped cream. The entire cake can be made and refrigerated the day ahead.
For How to pictures go here.
4 large egg whites (128 grams or 4 ½ ounces)
1 cup milk
1 ½ teaspoons almond extract*
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups sifted cake flour (300 grams or 10 ½ ounces)**
1 ½ cups sugar (300 grams or 10 ½ ounces)
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened (170 grams or 6 ounces or 1 ½ sticks)
*The flavoring can be 2 teaspoons almond extract, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, half vanilla and half almond extracts as you please.
**Note the flour measurement calls for you to sift it before weighing or measuring. Place a 1 cup dry measure on wax or parchment paper. Sift the flour into the cup until it is overflowing. Using a metal spatula, sweep off the excess flour. Repeat 2 more times.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two 9×2” round cake pans with parchment. Spray the center only of each paper.
In a bowl, lightly combine the egg whites, ¼ cup milk, almond extract and vanilla. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl combine the dry ingredients and mix on low speed for 30 seconds to blend. Add the butter and remaining ¾ cup milk. Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Increase to medium and beat for 1 ½ minutes. The batter will be thick and luxurious. Gradually add the egg mixture in thirds, beating about 30 seconds each time.
Divide the dough between the two prepared pans (555 grams or 19 ⅓ ounces each).
Bake for 18 to 22 minutes until a tester comes out clean. They will be lightly golden brown on top.
Strawberry Cake Buttercream
For how to pictures go here
1 - 1.5 ounce package freeze dried strawberries
1 ¾ cup powdered sugar (200 grams or 7 ounces)
1 stick butter, softened
½ teaspoon almond extract
3 to 4 tablespoons milk
Red Food Coloring
Place the strawberries in a blender or food processor. Blend or process until all the strawberries are powdered.
Place the strawberries, powdered sugar, butter and almond extract in a mixing bowl. Add 3 tablespoons of the milk. Mix on low until blended; turn the mixer on medium high and beat several minutes, scraping often, to increase the volume and lighten the buttercream.
Add the additional milk, a bit at a time if needed to facilitate the mixing. Add the red food coloring as needed to get a pleasing color.
It is important to frost the cake several hours before serving as the strawberry buttercream needs time to develop its flavor. But when it does it is beyond wonderful!
Yield: 1 ¾ cup or 370 grams or 13 ounces.
Note: 1 package freeze dried strawberries yields ½ cup powdered.
⅓ cup water
¼ cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons Amaretto or any almond liqueur*
*If not using the Amaretto, increase the water by 3 tablespoons and add 1 teaspoon almond extract off heat. Follow the directions below.
Combine the water and sugar in a small pan. Bring to a boil. Wash down the sides with a pastry brush dipped in cold water. Boil for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the Amaretto.
Whipped Cream Frosting
For how to pictures go here
2 ½ cups heavy cream
¾ cup unsifted powdered sugar (95 grams or about 3 ¼ ounces)
1 teaspoon vanilla
Combine all in the bowl of a mixer. Mix on medium until it begins to thicken and then raise to high and beat until fairly stiff.
Assembly of the Strawberry Cake
2 layers white cake (recipe enclosed)
Strawberry Buttercream, below, see enclosed recipe
Amaretto Wash, below
Whipped Cream Frosting, below
Fresh Strawberries, optional
For how to pictures of finishing a whipped cream cake, to here
Turn the layers upside down and brush each layer with half of the Amaretto Wash.
Spread the Strawberry Buttercream on one layer and set the second layer washed side down on top of the buttercream.
Reserve about ⅓ of the whipped cream frosting. Set aside for decorating.
Apply about ⅔ of the remaining Whipped Cream Frosting to the side of the cake. Finish the top with the remaining ⅓ of the cream.
Comb the sides if desired.
Fit a pastry bag with a ½” tip and pipe swirls around the top edge of the cake with the reserved whipped cream.
Store in the refrigerator.