It’s a lot like a big Strawberry Shortcake, only a bit more dense. My favorite part of this cake? How the sweet juice from the strawberries soaks into the cake. Paired with the light whipped cream, it’s absolutely divine. It’s also a breeze to put together, which is great when you’re cooking up that big family dinner—heck, make the cake the night before, and make the topping the morning of, throwing it all together an hour before you’re ready to serve it! And it holds up really well too. With the gelatin in the whipped cream, you can leave it out for a bit without refrigeration to let everyone marvel at its beauty! And they will. Cause it’s gorgeous. (I spent nearly an hour taking pictures of my cake, and it never even came close to melting.)
My only minor bump in the road—the recipe says to bake the cake in one 8-inch pan. My batter rose all the way up to the top, and then some, making a weird ridge around the edge, and quite a hump in the center. Should I use a 9-inch pan next time? Or maybe dividing it between 2 pans would alleviate this problem? If you try 2 pans, I would suggest maybe cutting off just a little tiny bit of the surface of the bottom layer of the cake, so those delicious juices can soak in.
I left a piece for Boyfriend, who now claims I’m the best girlfriend ever, and took the rest to work. Normally when I bring stuff in there’s still something left when I take my lunch break, but not this time. It was gone within an hour. I’m definitely making this one again! And I’m thinking a mixed berry blend would be DELICIOUS for a summertime cookout!
Strawberry Cream Cake
Adapted from Everyday Food Magazine, July/August 2009
Makes 12 servings
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
1 ½ cups all purpose flour, plus more for pan
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup sugar
2 large eggs, plus 2 large egg yolks
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ cup milk
Filling and Topping:
1 pound strawberries, hulled and thinly sliced, divided
½ cup sugar, divided
1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin (one ¼-oz envelope)
2 cups (1 pint) heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Butter an 8-inch round pan, and line with parchment. Butter and flour parchment and sides. In medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs and yolks, one at a time, beating until combined after each addition. Beat in vanilla. With mixer on low, add flour mixture and milk alternately, beginning and ending with flour. Mix until just combined. Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth top.
3. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the centers comes out clean, about 25 to 30 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes; invert onto a wire rack to cool completely.
4. When cake has cooled, make topping: In a large bowl, combine half of the strawberries and ¼ cup of sugar; set aside. Place 2 tablespoons of cold water in a small saucepan. Sprinkle gelatin over water; let soften for 5 minutes. Heat saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly, until gelatin has dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. (Don’t let it cool completely, or it will congeal. If it does, place it back on the heat, stirring until it dissolves again.)
5. In the clean bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, beat heavy cream, vanilla extract, and remaining ¼ cup sugar until very soft peaks form. With mixer still running, gradually add gelatin mixture; beat until soft peaks form.
6. Assemble the cake: Using a serrated knife, split cake in half horizontally; place bottom half, cut side up on a serving plate. Arrange the strawberry/sugar mixture over the bottom cake layer, drizzling any juices in the bowl over top the strawberries. Top with half of the whipped cream, leaving a 1 inch border. Cover with top half of cake. Top with remaining whipped cream. Refrigerate cake and remaining strawberries separately, at least 1 hour, up to 1 day. Just before serving, arrange remaining strawberries on top of cake.