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Tuesday, May 10, 2016

strawberry dream cake

recently, my mom saw a picture of a strawberry cake on the cover of the may 2016 issue of southern living magazine.  she mentioned that she wanted to try the recipe, so we thought it would be the perfect dessert to make for our mother's day tea party on sunday.

we haven't had strawberries at all yet this spring, so we were really excited when we found big beautiful strawberries at the grocery store.  they were perfect for this cake.

this cake is called a strawberry dream cake, and the name is appropriate because it is like an elevated version of a strawberry shortcake.  there are two layers of vanilla cake with a hint of almond which reminded me a lot of a pound cake.  the cake is frosted with a mascarpone cheese whipped cream frosting which is such a nice change from traditional buttercream frosting.

this cake is so tall because there is a layer of whole strawberries between the two layers of cake.  it looks so pretty when you cut into the cake and see the strawberries sliced.  each piece looks just a little bit different since the strawberries are all over the middle layer.

we topped the cake with a few extra strawberries and some fresh mint leaves from our garden for color.  this cake was just perfect for our mother's day tea party.  it would be great for any spring or summer event.  the flavor is great and it is such a nice treat!

strawberry dream cake
prep time: 10 minutes
baking time: 28-30 minutes
yields: one two layer 9-inch round cake (16-18 servings)
adapted from southern living magazine

cake ingredients:
1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, softened
1 cup granulated white sugar
4 large eggs, separated
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoons pure almond extract

frosting ingredients:
8 oz. mascarpone cheese, softened
1/2 cup granulated white sugar, divided
3 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract

additional ingredients:
2 lbs. fresh strawberries

to make the cake: preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.  grease and flour the sides of two 9-inch round cake pans and line the bottom of the pans with parchment paper.  in the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together.  add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  in a separate bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder.  add part of the dry ingredients to the mixture, alternating with the milk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.  stir in the vanilla and almond extracts.

in a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric hand mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form.  use a spatula to fold 1/3 of the egg whites into the cake batter, then fold in the remaining egg whites in 2 batches.  evenly divide the batter between the prepared pans.  bake for 28-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.  once baked, allow the cakes to cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing the cakes from the pans and allowing them to cool completely on a wire cooling rack.

to make the frosting: in a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whisk the mascarpone with 1/4 cup of the sugar.  set aside.  in a separate bowl, use the stand mixer to whisk the whipping cream with the vanilla and almond extracts until foamy.  gradually add the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar and beat on high until stiff peaks form.  use a spatula to gently fold 1/3 of the whipped cream into the mascarpone, then fold in the remaining whipped cream in 2 batches.

to assemble the cake: place one layer of the cake on a cake stand.  spread a thin layer of frosting on the cake.  cut the green ends off the strawberries to form a flat base.  place strawberries, flat base side down on the top of the cake so that the pointed tops are facing up.  using a piping bag, pipe frosting evenly between the strawberries to fill all of the spaces completely.  smooth the frosting over the top to form a flat layer.  place the second layer of cake on top.  evenly cover the entire cake with the remaining frosting.  decorate with fresh strawberries and fresh mint leaves.

love, laurie


ma pa camlet said...

The cake was beautiful to look at and also so delicious. That is a keeper. I think it could be made with other types of fruit too, such as raspberries, hint, hint!

Mom H. said...

This cake was especially good and very much like strawberry shortcake, but prettier.

Jenifer said...

Hi! A friend has asked me to make this cake for an event this coming Sunday. It looks as though you didn't have a problem with your strawberries bleeding at all. Could I ask how far in advance you prepared your cake? And did you keep it in the refrigerator? Thanks so much!

Laurie said...

Hi Jenifer! I'm so glad you are making this cake for an event this weekend. You're going to love it! I made the cake the night before and then I made the frosting the day of the event. I assembled the cake a few hours before I served it. No, the strawberries did not bleed, but I did make sure to pat them completely dry after I washed and cut them. After you are done enjoying the cake, store the leftovers (if there are any) in the refrigerator. You don't want to let the frosting sit out too long. Enjoy! Laurie

Jenifer said...

Thank you so much for your reply Laurie! I didn't even realize I had blocked messages from bloggers so I appreciate the extra lengths you went to to respond. Your tips are most helpful and encouraging. I love doing cakes but trying something new always scares me. ;) I had heard some horror stories about the strawberries messing everything up but your experience is most reassuring! Thank you again. ~ J

Laurie said...

Jennifer, you are very welcome! I hope the cake turns out great for you this weekend! Yes, I have had problems with berries bleeding on cakes too. I made sure to pat these really dry and let them dry on paper towels before putting them on the cake. Luckily, I didn't have any problems with the berries bleeding at all.